About DSGO

Founded in 2006, the DSGO is an organization made up of a committed group of parents, professionals and other interested parties dedicated to creating an extensive network of support for individuals with Down syndrome and those who love and serve them in Southwest Missouri.

It is our goal to become the leading resource of Down syndrome information for new and expectant parents, students, healthcare professionals, educators and all Southwest Missouri citizens.

Our mission is to help individuals with Down syndrome become successful by providing support and education to families. We also are striving to bring awareness to early intervention services, promote inclusive education, highlight appropriate medical services, encourage quality employment opportunities and advocate for community awareness and acceptance.

We invite you to explore all that we offer and to join us in advancing the quality of life for individuals with Down syndrome.


In December, 2018 DSGO announced a partnership with Down Syndrome Guild of the Greater Kansas City (DSG). It seems fitting to partnership since DSG helped DSGO get off the ground back in 2006. Here is everything you should know about this agreement:

What does this announcement mean?

The Board of Directors of the Down Syndrome Group of the Ozarks and the Down Syndrome Guild of Greater Kansas City have entered into a collaborative agreement that will allow DSGO to benefit from the expertise in executive leadership, program development, program implementation and resource development of the DSG. Over the next year, we anticipate more robust lifespan programming will be implemented for people with Down syndrome and their families. DSG has not taken over DSGO. They have come along side DSGO.

Why did our organizations agree to this collaboration?

The Board of Directors of each organization agreed to this partnership because we believe strongly in providing meaningful lifespan support for people with Down syndrome.  The DSGO Board understand their current opportunities as well as the time and expense it would take to implement robust and life changing programming.  The Board of DSG understands the value in investing in capacity building both inside and outside the organization.  DSG is blessed to have 150 years of professional staff experience and believes it is our responsibility to share this experience to help other organizations grow capacity.

What happens next?

Over the next year, the DSG Executive Team will work with the DSGO Board to outline a comprehensive action plan.  As a foundational effort, DSG will ask DSGO to perform an organizational assessment so priority areas can be identified and attention can be focused on those areas with the highest priority. Concurrently, the Executive Team will be working with the DSGO Board to keep existing programs moving while exploring new programs benefitting DSGO members.

What assurances do you have that DSG support our current initiatives?

The reason for this collaboration is for DSGO to be able to have access to DSG’s intellectual capital and intellectual property.  DSG will engage with our current initiatives and provide counsel on how to continue moving those initiatives forward.  This may include helping us reshape those initiatives to get better outcomes for our members.  In addition, DSG will assist us to complete a comprehensive assessment of our organizational needs and identify strategies to build capacity for the future.

What will DSG’s day-to-day roles be?

DSG’s primary role will be to work closely with the DSGO Board building capacity in governance, financial accountability, program development/implementation and fundraising.  From a day-to-day perspective, this will take many directions as there are many steps to the mentioned focus areas.  DSGs executive team will have an active presence in the Springfield as these responsibilities increase.

What opportunities will this collaboration create?

We believe this collaboration will provide greater value to the families DSGO serves.  There are many programs and services that DSG currently provides to members in the greater Kansas City area that DSGO is not currently equipped to provide because we do not have the staff capacity.  It would take DSGO several years to develop the funding and staff capacity to be able to provide similar programs and services.   Through this collaboration, our goal is to reduce the time it will take build capacity to add many of those programs and services.

Can we talk about this in the community?

We hope you will share this collaboration loudly and proudly.  We need your help identifying underserved families in the community and bring them into the fold.  This is exciting news and we want you to share this with as many people as possible to create awareness and excitement.

What is the DSGO board’s role in this collaboration?

The Board’s role will begin to transition from a working Board to a governing Board.  When this transition is completed, the board will champion good governance, oversee strategic direction while monitoring organizational performance and advising on the management of the organization.