Mission and Vision

Mission

The California Down syndrome Advocacy Coalition (CDAC) believes that individuals with intellectual disabilities, including Down syndrome, should be afforded the opportunity to learn, grow, and contribute to the well-being and prosperity of our State.

Vision and Statement of Purpose

The California Down syndrome Advocacy Coalition (CDAC) is a partnership of various active Down syndrome organizations across the state, advocating on the behalf of individuals with Down syndrome and their families. CDAC takes the position that all rights, privileges, and opportunities enjoyed by other California residents should be available to individuals with Down syndrome. In keeping with that position, CDAC pursues the passage and implementation of laws, regulations, and policies aimed at improving meaningful access to education, facilitating independent lives through self-determination, access to competitive integrated employment, and encouraging innovative programs and best practices among service providers. By drawing on the expertise, leadership, and experiences of its members, CDAC is able to provide a comprehensive view of key issues impacting the Down syndrome community.

CDAC seeks to improve the quality of life for all individuals with Down syndrome, regardless of age, by improving and expanding opportunities at the community and state level. While its principal focus is on issues involving Down syndrome, CDAC believes that all opportunities that could benefit individuals with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities must be realized. Those opportunities have to be available to all individuals not only during infancy, but throughout elementary, secondary, and postsecondary schooling and adulthood.

To achieve this goal, CDAC:

> Recommends the statewide implementation of Universal Design for Learning (UDL), an educational framework that requires curriculum, including goals, instructional materials, teaching methods, and assessments, to be designed to provide meaningful access by the widest range of learners.

> Recommends greater data transparency on educational testing and educational outcomes for students with disabilities and students with intellectual disabilities by lowering the “n-size” for reporting results and reporting results by disability type – thus enabling families of people with DS to have access to the same performance data that typical learners do.

> Favors expansion of the availability of, and access to, meaningful postsecondary learning programs for people with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities.

> Promotes the successful implementation of the Self-determination Program in the State of California.

> Recommends expansion of Competitive Integrated Employment in all possible situations.

> Encourages improved and expanded employment training and opportunities and improved services under the statewide entitlement, the Lanterman Act.

>Encourages medical professionals to provide families receiving a prenatal or birth diagnosis of Down syndrome with accurate, up-to-date information about Down syndrome, as well as contact information for family resources related to Down syndrome.