Updated: Jan 15
The Down Syndrome Association of Jacksonville (DSAJ) aims to support families as they navigate the journey for individuals with Down syndrome. The DSAJ offers support for each milestone of the lives of individuals with Down syndrome from educating the local hospitals on better ways to deliver a prenatal or post-natal diagnosis, to making sure new babies receive the therapies they need, to ensuring better and sustainable career paths.
In 1989, the DSAJ – Down Syndrome Association of Jacksonville was founded by a handful of families who recognized the need to have a place for the Jacksonville community to get information, support, and guidance for their loved ones with Down syndrome.
The DSAJ is the only agency in the northeast Florida and southeast Georgia area that assists families of those with Down syndrome from prenatal diagnosis, early intervention, the school-aged years, and throughout adulthood. The association now has more than 1,500 individuals, families and community members who call the DSAJ family.
DSAJ hosts many events and fundraisers throughout the year, but my favorite is DSAJ's Buddy Walk!
In this annual event, families create their own teams starring their loved one with Down syndrome and raise money for a 1-mile charity walk on the sands of beautiful Jacksonville Beach. Our team name is Steve’s Buds, started in 2019.
With carnival rides, games, live music, food trucks and more, The DSAJ Buddy Walk is without a doubt one of the biggest Buddy Walks in the country with 200 people with Down syndrome alongside 3,000 + of their loved ones celebrating that extra special chromosome.