Discrimination and racism go against our deeply held values of inclusion and equity.
As National Volunteer Week comes to a close, and with awareness month just around the corner, I want to take a moment to thank all of the amazing volunteers who are part of the WSA community. I wish that I could thank each of you personally for the time, energy and dedication that you provide to the WSA. You make an incredible contribution year-round, and the extra efforts of countless families and friends nationwide and throughout the world during awareness month are immeasurable.
If you currently benefit or have previously benefited, from the Williams Syndrome Association’s programs and services, join us for the largest in-person forum in the world, where families and professionals share expertise and groundbreaking information. The WSA is the only parent-led support group in the country dedicated to providing information, education, and resources to individuals with Williams Syndrome, their families, and the professionals who care for them.
The WSA recommends using “people first” language as we do in our communications—language that puts the person before their diagnosis. For example, a person with a disability; not “disabled person”
Individual with Williams syndrome. Not a “Williams syndrome person or child.” Put the person first. Never mention the disability at all unless it is pertinent to the conversation/communication.
Families affected by Williams syndrome, and not WS families.
Looking for great gift ideas for children with Williams syndrome? We're here to help navigate the busy world toys and books! We talked to our advisors and some parents, who recommended some for improving development in young children. First, toys by Melissa & Doug might do the trick.
It takes a village to provide the resources and support that we envision for everyone affected by Williams syndrome. Together, we can ensure that every individual with Williams syndrome has the opportunity for a bright future and the tools they need to reach their full potential.
Partners in Policymaking is a free program designed to educate people with disabilities and their family members/caregivers and supply them with the power of advocacy to positively change the way people with disabilities are supported and viewed in education, community the workplace, and more. More than 30 states offer free training sessions each year with a certification.
Disney can be a magical place for children of all ages (adults too!) and is a fun destination for many families. Those who have a family member with Williams syndrome may face some logistical challenges, but Disney is known for being on top of their disability services, and there is so much information on their site.
One of the most common things people say to me is, “I don’t know how you do it. I could never be a special needs parent. There is a reason Maya was given to you and not me.”
The WSA is proud to partner with Team IMPACT (TI) to spread the word on how young individuals with Williams syndrome can participate in the inspiring program.
Team IMPACT is a two-year commitment and relationship between college sports teams and individuals with special needs that “connects children with serious and chronic illnesses to local college athletic teams, forming life-long bonds and life-changing outcomes.”