About Us

Our mission is to provide programs and services that educate, connect, develop and advocate to improve the lives of the Down Syndrome community.

Improving the lives of people with Down Syndrome

Our Story

The Down Syndrome Society of Wichita started in the mid-90’s by families searching for support while caring for a child with Down syndrome. At the time, there were very few resources available, so parents came together for social activities, support and building community within the Wichita area.

Over the years, the group expanded, while connecting with an increasing number of families yearly. In April 2006, the Down Syndrome Society of Wichita was incorporated. They continued their annual awareness walk, and began hosting educational conferences, forming family connections and providing new family mentorship with an outreach team.

After completing a strategic process, the Board of Directors decided to continue expansion through the hiring of their Executive Director, Natalie Rolfe, who continues to lead the organization. The organization has experienced continual growth, and now offers a variety of programs and supports for families served. Although its main serving area is Wichita and its surrounding communities, support reaches to Hutchinson and its surrounding communities, along with Garden City and its surrounding communities. DSSW hosts regular Learning Series, Development and Wellness programming including summer programs and an adult independence program, along with connectivity activities and other engagement, education and advocacy opportunities.

Organizational Values

Inclusion

We believe individuals with Down syndrome bring significant value to their communities. We will remain champions for access and opportunities that assist with productive lives.

ADVOCACY

We will be the collective voice for improving conditions in our community for individuals with Down syndrome, and will assist them in speaking for themselves.

DEVELOPMENT

Our programming will reflect opportunities for learning and continual growth for individuals with Down syndrome, their families and networks, to create fulfilled lives.

AWARENESS

We publicly celebrate and support individuals with Down syndrome and will strive to keep programming, events, and ideas focused around their needs.

board of directors

Jennifer Allen, Treasurer

Adams, Brown, Beran & Ball, chtd.

Richard Dodd

Healthcare Service Group

Julie Etzler, Vice President

First National Bank of Hutchinson

Alicia Grissom

Evergy

Beth Hollenbeck, Secretary

Caregiver

Briann Schrader

The Phoenix, Caregiver

Alicia Simon

Allen, Gibbs & Houlk


Ivory Reed

USD 259

Denise Sawyer, President

Caregiver

Natalie Rolfe, Executive Director

ex officio