The Up Side of Downs of Northeast Ohio

A nonprofit organization

4% complete

$3,021 Goal

The Up Side of Downs is the primary resource for families and communities regarding Down syndrome, where all people are accepted, included and empowered. The Up Side of Downs envisions a community where people with Down syndrome have limitless opportunities and the ability to pursue their dreams. Life expectancy for individuals with Down syndrome has increased dramatically from 25 in 1983 to 60 today.  USOD programs focus on the three components of our mission-support, education, and advocacy. Programs are designed to meet the needs of families beginning with diagnosis and support individuals with Ds throughout their lifetime. Through a variety of programs, we help families to navigate through ages and stages and engage parents, grandparents, siblings and people with Down syndrome. USOD conducts support groups as well as private Facebook groups, moderated by USOD staff, that allow for opportunities for open discourse and idea sharing. Support groups include Moms, DADS, Baby & Toddler Play Groups, SibShops, Grandparents Group, Growing with 21 (for adult siblings of adults with Ds), Circle of Support (for families dealing with a dual diagnosis of Ds and Alzheimer’s), DS+ (for families dealing with a dual diagnosis of Ds and autism) & De familia a familia (supporting Hispanic families). Family grants are awarded in the spring and fall for medical & therapy needs. USOD offers education programming for children with Ds from 18 months of age through adulthood, recognizing the critical need for enrichment for young learners as well as ongoing learning opportunities for adults. ACES (Able, Capable, Empowered, Strong) education programs for adults help to strengthen families by providing life skills training for more independent living for self-advocates. Social programs continue to be an important component of what we do with weekly exercise programs, bingo, virtual dance parties and family events to engage families throughout Northeast Ohio. Advocacy is an important aspect of our work. Our largest advocacy event is the annual Northeast Ohio Buddy Walk, which brings together several thousand walkers & volunteers. USOD operates Artful 21, a bricks & mortar and online store featuring the work of 29 artisans with Down syndrome. 90% of the proceeds go back to the artisans and individuals with Down syndrome work in the store. 

Organization Data


Organization name

The Up Side of Downs of Northeast Ohio

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Children & Family



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