About NADS is the oldest organization in the country serving individuals with Down syndrome and their families. It was founded in Chicago in 1961 by parents who chose to go against medical advice and raised their children with Down syndrome at home. Their pioneering efforts have made it easier for later generations of individuals with Down syndrome to be accepted by their families and communities, to develop their capabilities, and to work towards independence. Our mission is to ensure that all persons with Down syndrome have the opportunity to achieve their potential in all aspects of community life. We offer information, support, and advocacy. The direct support we provide to families through our Parent Support Program, our Mentoring Program, the Work Experience Program, and other individualized services is at the core of our mission, but we do not have the staff or the resources to provide those services outside of the Chicago metropolitan area. However, many of our other services are available to a wider community, including our conferences, our products and publications, our website and online Discussion Forum, and the information about Down syndrome we provide. Our members can be found throughout the United States and across the globe.