D on The Road We've Shared and A to Z Blogging Challenge
When we talk about collaboration, we explore how people work together on a common goal.Families do this all of the time.In today’s A to Z Blog, we’ll look at how a father created a new model of “support” group to fulfill his own need to be involved with advocacy for his daughter

In most families, regardless of how they are composed, individuals share responsibility for the success and well-being of the unit as a whole.  The work that needs to be done goes much more smoothly if all family members participate, chipping in with tasks they are able to complete.  Repetition helps us become more efficient with each job, but we also need to be ready to handle new surprises and changes to our routine in order to survive.  When we come up against a particularly difficult assignment, we ask for help within our immediate group first, but sometimes we have to go outside of that group to find answers.

At this year’s 321eConference, the D.A.D.S. on The Road We've Sharedfounder of Dads Appreciating Down Syndrome (D.A.D.S.), Joe Mears, talked about how his need to be involved with advocacy for his daughter who has Down syndrome led him to create a new venue for service.
Over 50 D.A.D.S. chapters work “within a local Down syndrome support organization” while D.A.D.S. National provides the guidance and resources necessary to enable each chapter to create their own culture and programs.


In this short clip, published on Facbook by Down Syndrome Affiliates in Action, (D.S.A.I.A.) Joe, a past president of the group, talks about the importance of each group having a clearly defined mission and how that helps build a cohesive community of advocacy.

Posted by Down Syndrome Affiliates in Action on Thursday, March 19, 2015

D.A.D.S. on The Road We've Shared
Photo: DADS National

According to the D.A.D.S. National website the group was founded in 2002 and was based on the notion that fathers who have a child who has Down syndrome could “do more than just set up tables and cook hotdogs at our local Buddy Walks.”

We’re so very glad that they do!Thanks for all of your hard work and “heavy lifting!”

D.A.D.S. Founder on Advocacy

Joe Mears also did a session at the 321 eConference on advocacy and the history of support groups in the Down syndrome community.
Advocacy on The Road We've Shared

D.A.D.S. is a great example how families can add to the advocacy of existing groups and support their own members in a way that meets their specific needs.
Thanks D.A.D.S. everywhere!