The leading human rights organization for all individuals with Down syndrome.

National Down Syndrome Society
8 E 41st Street, 8th Floor
New York New York 10017
[email protected] 

Education & Down Syndrome

Like all people, individuals with Down syndrome learn and develop at their own rate and in their own way. People with Down syndrome have varied goals for their futures and individual expectations of their roles in the family, school and community.

Down syndrome is not a blueprint for potential or a prescription for a given educational or life plan. However, people with Down syndrome often experience mild to moderate delays in their cognitive and physical development and research has shown that educational and therapeutic interventions (such as early intervention services) can greatly benefit learners with Down syndrome. Careful consideration, supports and early planning are often necessary to facilitate education and community life.

NDSS Resources


  • The Association for Persons with Severe Handicaps (TASH)
    Promotes the full inclusion and participation of children and adults with significant disabilities in every aspect of their communities 
  • Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD)
    Advances policy and practice for and with individuals with developmental and other disabilities
  • Center for Parent Information and Resources
    CPIR is a central source of information on preadolescents and teens with disabilities. It features a clear and detailed guide to IDEA, the law authorizing early intervention services and special education, and State Resource Sheets to help you connect with disability agencies and organizations in your state.  
  • Center on Human Policy, Law and Disability Studies at Syracuse University
    Seeks to promote the rights of people with disabilities through a network of academic programs, centers, student organizations and affiliated faculty
  • Disability, Literacy and Inclusive Education
    Focuses on imagining and realizing the full literate citizenship of young children with significant disabilities in inclusive early childhood programs  
  • Disability Resources on the Internet
    Provides extensive listings on a number of disability-related topics
  • Education Resources Information Center (ERIC)
    Offers an online library of education research and information
  • Federation for Children with Special Needs
    Provides information, support and assistance to parents of children with disabilities, their professional partners and their communities
  • IDEA Resources from the US Department of Education
    Contains a comprehensive guide to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act 
  • Inclusion Daily Express
    Distributes daily disability rights news
  • Inclusion Press - Inclusion Network - Martha Forest Centre
    Creates person-centered resource materials 
  • Institute on Community Integration
    Improves policies and practices through collaborative research, training, and information sharing to ensure that all children, youth, and adults with disabilities are valued by, and contribute to, their communities of choice
  • National Center on Learning Disabilities
    Provides information and resources  
  • Parent Advocacy Coalition for Educational Rights (PACER Center)
    Provides parents of children with disabilities with publications, workshops and other resources
  • Parent Education and Assistance for Kids (PEAK) Parent Center
    Provides training, information and technical assistance to equip families with strategies to advocate successfully for their children 
  • Office of Special Education Rehabilitative Services (OSERS)
    Dedicated to improving results for infants, toddlers, children and youth with disabilities
  • Special Ed Newsline
    Publishes a weekly newspaper about special education 
  • State Education Resource Center
    Provides professional development and distributes information on the latest research and best practices to educators, service providers and families 
  • Wrightslaw Special Education Law and Advocacy
    Gathers information about special education law and advocacy for children with disabilities


  • Inclusive Education: Rediscovering Our Right to Belong. Produced by N. Kunc and E. Van der Klift. Broadreach Training and
  • The Inclusion Series. Produced by Comforty Media Concepts for the Illinois State Board of Education, Department of Special


  • Activities for a Diverse Classroom: Connecting Students. 2nd Edition. Kratz, L., Sax, C. and Fischer, D. Colorado Springs, CO: PEAK Parent Center. (2003)
  • Adolescents and Inclusion: Transforming Secondary Schools. Bauer, A. and Myree, G. Baltimore, MD: Brookes Publishing. (2001)
  • Behavioral Support. 2nd Edition. Janney, R. and Snell, M. Baltimore, MD: Brookes Publishing. (2008)
  • Believe in my Child with Special Needs! Helping Children Achieve Their Potential in School. Falvey, M. Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brooks Publishing Co. (2005)
  • Creating an Inclusive School. Second Edition. Villa, R.A. and Thousand, J.S. Alexandria, VA: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development. (2005) 
  • The Current Legal Status of Inclusion. Published by LRP Publications.
  • Deciding What to Teach and How to Teach It: Connecting Students Through Curriculum and Instruction. Castagnera, E., Fisher, D., Rodifer, K. and Sax,C. Colorado Springs, CO: PEAK Parent Center. (2003)
  • IDEA and NCLB Guidance: What Parents of Students with Disability Need to Know and Do. Cortiella, C. Mineapolis, MN: University of Minnesota National Center on Education Outcomes. (2006)
  • Inclusive Elementary Schools: Recipe for Success. Fisher, D., Frey, N. and Sax, C. Colorado Springs, CO: PEAK Parent Center. (2001)
  • Inclusive High Schools: Learning From Contemporary Classrooms. Fisher, D., Sax, C., & Pumpian, I. Baltimore, MD: Brookes Publishing. (1999)
  • Inclusive Middle Schools. Kennedy, C.H., Fisher, D. Baltimore, MD: Brookes Publishing. (2001)
  • Negotiating the Special Education Maze: A Guide for Parents and Teachers. Fourth Edition.Anderson, W., Chitwood, S., Hayden, D. and Takemoto, C. Bethesda, MD: Woodbine House. (2008)
  • Social Relationships and Peer Support. Second Edition. Snell, M. and Janney, R. Baltimore, MD: Brookes Publishing. (2006)
  • Steps to Independence: Teaching Everyday Skills to Children with Special Needs. Baker, B. & Brightman, A. Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brooks Publishing Co. (2004)
  • Supporting the IEP Process: A Facilitator’s Guide.  Martin, N. Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brooks Publishing Co. (2010)
  • TASH Connections. Published by The Association for Persons with Severe Handicaps (TASH). Published by National Professional Resources, Inc.
  • You, Your Child, and “Special” Education: A Guide to Dealing with the System. Cutler, B. Baltimore, MD: Paul H. Brooks Publishing Co. (2010)
  • Whole Child Reading: A Quick-Start Guide to Teaching Students with Down Syndrome and Other Developmental Delays. Hale, N. Bethesda, MD: Woodbine House. (2016)
  • Buddy Walk
  • NDSS Yourway
  • NDSS DS-Ambassadors