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May 2022 Edition
Kia ora koutou

Crikey, it's almost the middle of the year. How did that happen?! We know that winter is not the easiest time of year for our community and we hope you are holding the cold, flu and COVID bugs at bay. The shortest day is just around the corner so the days will be getting lighter again soon - until then, remember to take respite when you can.

In the meantime, we're planning a HUGE celebration at the end of July and you're all invited (details below). We've also pulled together a range of fun things to do over the cooler months to get you out and about.

For other interesting information relevant to our community, continue to read below...


And please do drop us a line,, if you have suggestions for this newsletter or ideas that might enable us to better support you as a community.

Ngā mihi
Selena and the WDSA Committee
We're looking for a Wairarapa Rep to join our committee. If you have a spare few hours every month and can help be the voice of our community over the hill, then please get in touch.
Auckland Down Syndrome Association: Success in School for Children Who Learn Differently

Registrations are now open for ASDA's next course. This is a two-day ONLINE workshop for SENCOs, teachers, teacher aides, Outreach teachers, parents and anyone involved in educating young people with Down syndrome and other learning difficulties.

The line-up of presenters is second to none - with many well-known professionals who are highly dedicated to our young learners, along with three adults with DS who share their school experiences. Topics covered include:
  • Inclusion - Dr Jude MacArthur
  • Learning Profile of Students with Down Syndrome - Kirsten McDonald
  • Behaviour - Arul Hamill
  • Friendships - Fehm Hussain
  • Numeracy - Dr Rhonda Faragher & Margi Leech
  • Literacy - Dr Sally Clendon
  • Using Visuals - Fiona Kenworthy
  • Collaboration for Success - IEPs - Andrea Smart (MoE)

Please contact Paula or call 09 527 0060 if you would like help to contact your school.


Sexuality & Intellectual Disability

Family Planning are offering this free workshop for whānau and caregivers that focuses on what whānau and guardians can do to support their loved ones in their sexual and reproductive wellbeing. 
The workshop will be 1.5 hours long and will be held across multiple dates:

6pm, 20 July
7pm, 5 September
6pm, 3 November

Register at



NSDSA has a range of great learning events and free workshops advertised in their recent enews, including:
  • Enabling Good Lives Workshop with Care Matters
  • NZDSN Information Hui on the implementation of Enabling Good Lives & the new Ministry for Disabled People
  • Family Network 'Think Plan Do' events for parents who want an inclusive life in the community for their child(ren) with DS
  • Care Matters Workshops on Social Role Valorisation
WDSA Mid Winter Christmas

After two long years of hiatus, we're coming back with a vengeance to hold the (mid-Winter) Christmas party to end all Christmas parties. Don your festive Christmas jumpers or anything-goes fancy dress and dust off your blue suedes as we come together to celebrate.

The committee will put on a spread, including some traditional Christmas treats, plus we'll have face painting and other entertainment to make sure everyone has a great time. Carey-Ann's put in a call to the Big Man in Red who's promised to make an appearance and there will be prizes for the best jumper and fancy dress.

Please bring yourselves and a named gift ($10 limit please) for your kid(s - big and little) to fill Santa's sack.

Saturday 30 July
Knox Church
574 High Street
Lower Hutt
Calling all young athletes!

Thanks to the support of Sport New Zealand, Special Olympics is excited to announce the establishment of the Young Athletes Programme in Wellington - for children with and without intellectual disabilities. The programme offers a safe space for our tamariki to grow their motor, social and learning skills at a key stage of their life. It will be held across the greater Wellington region, in-schools, after school and in the weekend so your whole whānau can participate.

Register your interest today to find out more about YAP upcoming have-a-go days and programmes.
There are many good reasons why Wellington was named the world's coolest little capital by Lonely Planet. Get out and about during the colder months and blow out the cobwebs with these top tips:
  And remember this year marks the first official commemoration of Matariki by way of public holiday on 24 June. The rising of the Matariki star cluster signifies the New Year in Aotearoa. Gather together with friends and whānau to celebrate at the Matariki ki Pōneke Ahi Kā experience, based around the Wellington waterfront and Civic Square.
Little Annie Pop-in Portraits

Our next fundraiser will be a session with Little Annie Pop-Ins in September. Capture a professional portrait of your little or big person for a fraction of the cost of a private portrait session. More details to come.

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.
Copyright © 2022 Wellington Down Syndrome Association, All rights reserved.

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