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
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.
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.
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.
Our programming will reflect opportunities for learning and continual growth for individuals with Down syndrome, their families and networks, to create fulfilled lives.
We publicly celebrate and support individuals with Down syndrome and will strive to keep programming, events, and ideas focused around their needs.
2023-2024 board of directors
Angela Clark, Secretary
Whats Next Disability Services
Beth Hollenbeck, Vice President
House of Schwan
Alicia Simon, Treasurer
Allen, Gibbs & Houlik
Wanda Whitworth, President
social media strategist
Natalie Rolfe, Executive Director