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September 2021 Edition
Kia ora koutou

Welcome to this edition of the WDSA newsletter. We hope you are all keeping happy and healthy in these uncertain times.

In this edition you'll find the usual mix of informative, educational and (hopefully!) interesting content:
 

As always please get in touch, committee@wdsa.co.nz, if you have suggestions for this newsletter or ideas that might enable us to better support you as a community.

Ngā mihi
WDSA Committee
Low Sensory Events are specific days and times when Wellington's vaccination centres are set up to provide a low sensory environment. This means more space, fewer people, and lower light, noise and scent. Any person aged 12+ that would benefit from a supported vaccination environment is welcome - as well as their parents, caregivers and whānau, who can be vaccinated at the same time. 

How to Book
Bookings are required for all those wishing to get vaccinated. When booking, please state you would like to attend a low sensory event -
We know it's tough out there at the moment.

Carers NZ, IHC, the Student Volunteer Army, and others at wecare.kiwi can offer helping hands and listening ears to get you through the pandemic. Get in touch for yourself or for someone in your family, whānau or aiga who may be on their own, or might like a check-in from a Police-vetted volunteer. Check-ins can be once, daily or regularly, just to see how things are going and to give practical help as needed. Register at wecare.kiwi.

You'll also find plenty of great mental health and wellbeing resources on the Ministry of Health website.
I'm Blair, Dad to 14-year old Sophia and Charlotte (16) and Chair of WDSA. My expertise lies in governance and I bring strong political connections to my role with WDSA. I'm keen to see people with Down syndrome living, schooling and working alongside everyone else. I believe WDSA, together with NZDSA and other regional community groups, can offer a lot of support to all people of any age and ability, as well as their families and carers. I am very pleased to be leading this wonderful group of people on our committee.
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We'd love to run a series of profiles of all your lovely little (and big) people on our Facebook page to celebrate Down Syndrome Awareness Month in October. Send us the best pic of your friend or family member with DS in party mode, along with a brief caption, and we'll make sure they get their 5 minutes of fame!

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INFORMATION & RESOURCES
Upside Downs Webinars

The following informational webinars are available on Upside Downs' great YouTube Channel.
Speech Language Therapy has (unsurprisingly!) proven to be a popular topic so keep an eye out for another SLT webinar on 19 October.

---Vaccination for people with Down syndrome, first session 
---
Vaccination for people with Down syndrome, second session 
---
SLT for children with Down syndrome
Online Auction

***POSTPONED: NOW 1-7 NOVEMBER***


We've postponed our online auction until November so pop 1-7 November in your diaries now! We'll be fundraising for the Association in order to continue the work we do for our community.

We're on the hunt for auction-worthy prizes. Get in touch with Ruth if you can donate something, or if you know someone who can. More details will be on Facebook in the coming weeks.
 VIRTUAL DOWN SYNDROME CONFERENCE

To commemorate its 40th anniversary in October, and to coincide with World Down Syndrome Month, NZDSA will host the largest Virtual Down Syndrome Conference ever held in this country.

The conference will feature a bevy of high-profile Kiwi and international experts who will speak on a wide range of topics - from education and health to speech, relationships and ageing.  

You'll need to
join the NZDSA (if you haven't already) to register for the conference. There are paid and free membership options available. And keep an eye on the NZDSA's Facebook for more information, including the programme of events which will be shared soon.
Attitude Awards 2021

We have some truly remarkable people in our wider community and we'll be well-represented at this year's Attitude Awards - a glitzy, star-studded event, hosted by Simon Dallow and celebrating the achievements of New Zealanders with disabilities.

Some of you may recognise award-winning actress, Lily Harper, on the list of nominees. Lily won a Best Emerging Actress award for her role in Up Down Girl presented at Circa Theatre recently and is up for an Attitude Creative Award.

Huge congratulations to all this year's awesome nominees - what a feat!
Save the Date

At the last committee meeting, we discussed putting a hold on some of the in-person events we had planned over the coming months until the Alert Level is back to Level 1. However, there are still a few events to look forward to in the not-too-distant future, all things going to plan...
 
  • Special Children's Christmas Party, Saturday 27 November, Te Rauparaha Arena, Porirua - we'll be in touch about how you can secure your tickets to this soon.
     
  • WDSA Christmas Party, Saturday 4 December, Knox Church, 574 High Street, Boulcott, Lower Hutt. Time TBC
Check out these great videos if you haven't already seen them on our Facebook page.

Ngā Tae/Colours

Upside Downs have made this fun video in three languages - te Reo Maori, English and Makaton Sign Language - to mark Te Wiki o te Reo Māori, Maori Language Week.

Para-Dressage Feature: Riding for the Disabled

The Riding for the Disabled Association in Wellington has the mission to develop confidence, independence and wellbeing for people with disabilities through therapeutic horse-related programmes. This video looking at their incredible service also stars a few of our little friends and their parents. 

WeThe15

Launched ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, WeThe15 aims to end discrimination towards persons with disabilities and act as a global movement publicly campaigning for disability visibility, accessibility, and inclusion.
*** WEIT NEEDS YOUR HELP ***

The Wellington Early Intervention Trust is once again holding their epic Quiz Night to fundraise for their, even more epic, music therapy programme, which is non-government funded. If you can help in any of the following ways, please email Lee Jones:
 
* Booking a ticket or getting a table together * Inviting your Kindy or Preschool * Selling raffle tickets * Donating a prize or two * Making a donation *

THANKS FOR READING!

The WDSA Committee is made up entirely of volunteers.
We'd love to connect with members of the community who can spare a few hours to help here and there. If that sounds like you, sign up to our 
Friends of the Committee Facebook group.

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