The Down Syndrome Association of Toronto (DSAT)

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DSAT Mini-Conference

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Monday, April 10, 2017
Talk 1: 6:00 PM - 7:25 PM (1 hr, 25 min)
Talk 2: 7:35 PM - 9:00 PM (1 hr, 25 min)
(Note: Both speakers will present the same talk at both times to allow attendants to attend both if desired)


Northern District Public Library, Room 200 & Room 224 ABC
40 Orchard View Blvd., Toronto, ON, M4R 1B9 (416-393-7610)
View Map:

TOPIC 1 - Room 200: Making School Better: Insights into Educational research & the IEP process for students with Down syndrome. Andy Loebus & Alison Morse

TOPIC 2 - Room 224: Parent Workshop- Sexuality & Relationships for people with Down syndrome. Gabriella Carafa, MSW

Guest Speaker Bios & Topic Descriptions:

1. Making Schools Better: Insights into Educational Research and the IEP Process for students with Down syndrome.

Andy Loebus is a secondary History and Geography teacher and Special Education Specialist. He started his charity, the Down Syndrome Research Institute, in 2005. DSRI has presented at numerous conferences, including the World Down Syndrome Congress in Vancouver in 2006.

Alison Morse is an education consultant and founding member of the Ontario Association for Families of Children with Communication Disorders. She sits on the Ontario Ministry of Education's Provincial Parent Associations Advisory Committee.

Topic Description
The workshop will provide participants with latest research findings on the Down syndrome behavioural phenotype for key domains including cognition, language development, social–emotional development and motor skills. In each area the educational implications will be identified as well as effective strategies to support students with Down syndrome in the classroom.

2. Parent Workshop: Sexuality & Relationships for people with Down syndrome.

Gabriella Carafa is a strengths based social worker at Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital. Gabriella has a Masters in Social Work and a certificate in Rehabilitation Services. She specializes in supporting youth/young adults’ transition to adult services. She has experience working with individuals with an array of disabilities such as acquired injuries, cerebral palsy, spina bifida and those with intellectual disabilities. Gabriella is also the social worker at The Independence Program, a 3 week residential program where youth develop life skills related to independence.

Gabriella is committed to educating individuals and their families about relationships and sexuality. She believes knowledge and open conversation are the keys to developing a positive self-esteem and healthy relationships with others.

Topic Description
Sexuality & Relationships: Parents role in supporting their child/teen develop positive body image, self-esteem, safety awareness, healthy relationships and sexual health knowledge.

Sexuality is part of who we are, what we believe, what we feel, and how we respond to others. Parents play an integral role in fostering self-esteem and healthy relationships. This topic uses a solution focused framework to support parents and caregivers to facilitate what some might think of as an awkward conversation. It’s never too early or too late to begin to explore this topic.


$5 per person, includes food and light refreshments.


Registration is now open. Please click the link below to get your tickets.

PLEASE NOTE: If you are having difficulties paying online, please contact us at and we can provide help.

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PO Box 40039
Liberty Village PO
Toronto ON M5V 0K7

Non-Profit Charitable
Organization #
11888 7942 RR0001

Established in 1987

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