Mission, Vision, and Values

Our Mission: The mission of the Down Syndrome Association of Greater St. Louis is to serve, support, and celebrate the lives of all individuals with Down syndrome and their families, through every stage of life.

Our Vision: The vision of the Down Syndrome Association of Greater St. Louis is an inclusive community where all people with Down syndrome can achieve their full potential.

Our Core Values: Respect | Excellence | Inclusion | Equity | Integrity


In 1976, seven mothers of children with Down syndrome held their first meeting to discuss thoughts and ideas about the health, life and well-being of their families. Over 35 years and couple name changes later, the Down Syndrome Association of Greater St. Louis advocates, educates and celebrates with communities in St. Louis and surrounding areas – reaching into Illinois and Cape Girardeau and Springfield, MO.

The DSAGSL is proud to be an efficient steward of your donation, as evidenced by our continued A+ rating by the Better Business Bureau. We currently meet all 20 BBB Accountability Standards, and intend to keep that status intact. We understand there are thousands of other very deserving charities to which you could donate, and as always we thank you for supporting the Mission of the Down Syndrome Association of Greater St. Louis.

As we strive to maintain financial accountability and transparency, we invite you to take a moment to view our Annual Report, Form 990 and Audit Report. The most recent report is below, as well as our archived reports.

Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion

The Down Syndrome Association of Greater St. Louis (DSAGSL) is committed to fostering, cultivating and preserving a culture of diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging among our members, staff, board members, and volunteers. The DSAGSL makes this commitment with equal care, consideration, and opportunity for people of all ages, races, ethnicities, national origins, gender identities or expressions, sexual orientations, geographic locations, languages, physical and cognitive abilities, philosophies, religions or socio-economic status. 

As an organization that supports the inclusion of everyone, we are committed to modeling diversity, equity, inclusion, and fair and equal treatment for all. We respect the value that diverse life experiences bring to our organization and welcome open communication to ensure that all views are represented, understanding that each has value.

The DSAGSL will meet this commitment by:

  • Actively listening and learning from our diverse communities;
  • Recruiting diverse leaders, stakeholders, employees, volunteers, vendors, and presenters;
  • Designing programs and services that address the unique needs of everyone we serve;
  • Improving access and inclusion for all who need our programs and services;
  • Celebrating the diversity of our community in organizational materials;

Mission Video

Three Year Strategic Plan

Dear Family and Friends,

I am so excited to announce that the DSAGSL successfully completed a three year strategic plan in 2023 which helped us grow our organization in excellence over the past three years. As a result of our last plan, we have implemented a new database to better serve our constituents, hired four new staff members to provide expanded family support and direct programming across the region, launched over ten new programs for all ages in Missouri and Illinois, developed new branding to help families navigate our services, and refreshed our mission, vision and values! BUT, planning and growing is never done here at the DSAGSL…

The mission of the DSAGSL is to serve, support, and celebrate the lives of all individuals with Down syndrome and their families, through every stage of life. As we look toward the future, we are excited to work with Susan Conrad, founder of Eicon Partners, for our 2025-2027 strategic plan! We have assembled a dedicated group of board members, caregivers, and staff to inform this process and we need YOUR help!  We are at a launching point for exponential growth at the DSAGSL but we can’t and won’t plan for the future without you. People with Down syndrome and their families are why we exist. Your needs are our top priority. Please consider taking an hour out of your day to participate in one of our listening sessions and / or 15 minutes to complete our survey. YOU have the opportunity to help shape the future for people with Down syndrome in Missouri and Illinois! We look forward to seeing you soon. 

Erin Suelmann

Executive Director and sibling to Andrew, an adult with Down syndrome