Early in 1995, a group of parents of children with Down syndrome recognised that a great need existed in Singapore to support and educate families, professionals and the public about Down syndrome. Out of a meeting held on 1 October 1995, the Down syndrome Support Group was formed. In May 1996, the group organised and hosted, with great success, the 2nd Asia Pacific Conference on Down syndrome. The enthusiasm generated amongst parents, professionals and community members spurred the formal registration of the group as Down Syndrome Association (Singapore) on 16 September 1996. The Association was registered as a Charity under the Charities Act on 17 January 1997 (no. 1229) and awarded official recognition by the National Council of Social Services on 4 July 1997.
DSA(S) is a primarily self-funding, non-profit voluntary welfare organisation with IPC (Institute of Public Character) status, which works closely and regularly with healthcare and educational professionals, and voluntary welfare organisations. The Association is affiliated to international bodies such as Down Syndrome International (DSI), the Asia-Pacific Down Syndrome Federation (APDSF), Asian Federation of Mental Retardation (AFMR) and the International Association of the Scientific Study of Intellectual Disabilities (IASSID). In April 2004, DSA(S) was invited to organise and host the 8th World Down Syndrome Congress in Singapore, which attracted participants from more than 34 countries.
Our goals and aspirations
We acknowledge and respect the right of all persons with Down syndrome to receive an adequate response to their needs. We are thus committed in our aims to provide support, enable a person with Down syndrome to attain his or her full potential, help a person with Down syndrome to lead a “normal” life and thus be able to contribute to society and educate the public on Down syndrome.