What is Down Syndrome?

Down syndrome is a genetic condition. It is not an illness or disease.

People with Down syndrome have 47 chromosomes in their cells instead of 46. They have an extra chromosome 21, which is why Down syndrome is also sometimes known as trisomy 21.

People with Down syndrome are not fundamentally different from anyone else. They have the same needs and aspirations in life that we all do.

Everyone has the right to

Meaningful Relationships & Social Interactions

Everyone benefits from having a peer group with whom they can form friendships and participate in social activities. People with Down syndrome can find it hard to make friends as they are often geographically isolated from each other and may be stigmatised by others. Our Up!Club provides a safe place for adults with DS to come together to form friendships and socialise.

A Healthy Living Environment

Everyone deserves a safe space to live in and the ability to be independent. This is no different for people with Down syndrome. Our family support line give families the opportunity to easily get in touch and get advice from professionals on how best to create a healthy living environment.

Fulfilling Work

Just as we derive pride and purpose from our work so do people with Down syndrome. We provide referrals and support to help our members find and keep meaningful employment.

A place in the Community

Feeling included and a part of your community gives us all a sense of belonging. We work tirelessly to promote inclusivity and combat stigmatism to ensure that people with Down syndrome and included and valued members of society.


It's important that all people feel they have support when they need it. Whether it be emotional or financial, we endeavour to help our members and their families navigate the systems of support available and ensure they are able to easily access any services they are entitled to.

Health Care & Education

Everyone in Australia is entitled to these basic rights. We are able advocate for our members and their families in cases of discrimination to ensure people with Down syndrome are not disadvantaged or dismissed and can access the same level of care and education as everyone else.

About Us

Down Syndrome NSW (DS NSW) champions the right of people with Down syndrome to have the same access to society as everyone else. This means the right to health, education, work, family and being part of the community.

DS NSW is an independent, not-for-profit organisation that was established in 1980 by parents of children with Down syndrome.  Today DS NSW is still proudly parent run.

Where Your Money Goes

Service Delivery
Admin Costs

We stand for inclusivity. We stand for fairness. We stand for rights.
We stand for opportunity.

People with Down syndrome can achieve great things and
lead a full and happy life just like anyone else.

Our job is to make sure they have the opportunity to do so.

What our members say

I cannot imagine what it would have been like to come this far without the support of such an organisation. Life has certainly not been without its challenges but we have come to make many wonderful new friends along the way and feel all the stronger and better prepared for it.

Helen Haigh

The Dr said nothing much would become of our child. This gave me the positive strength to give Karley the very best and achieve to her highest potential.

DS NSW have always been a driving force and a wealth of knowledge for myself and in turn our whole family holistically. During the layers of challenging stages of Karley’s growth, DS NSW have the professional skills to share their Advocacy in supporting families.

Kim Moran

Your donation will increase our impact

With only minimal government funding we depend on donations from people like you to provide greater opportunities for our members.