(Don't forget to renew your membership for 2023 after January 1!)
Membership in the Central Illinois Down Syndrome Organization (CIDSO) is open to anyone over age 18 who is a member of a family which has/had a child with Down syndrome, lives within McLean County, IL, and meets other eligibility requirements which are outlined in our bylaws. Any person(s) wishing to apply for membership who do not meet these requirements may be eligible for a Membership Requirement Waiver. Any person(s) wishing to obtain or maintain membership must enroll by completing the Initial & Renewal Membership Application on an annual basis. We appreciate having this completed by January 31st, but accept membership applications throughout the year.
All members are entitled to attend meetings, vote, and participate in CIDSO activities such as the buddy walk, holiday party, summer picnic, playdates, moms’ night out, etc. Also, all members are sent emails/mailings pertaining to the business of CIDSO. Email comes via the sender ‘Business CIDSO’ once the membership form has been processed. CIDSO also forwards information from national/state/local groups pertaining to individuals with Down syndrome and disabilities. CIDSO members can also join the email list for CIDSO Parents and Caregivers.
CIDSO "Active" Membership
“Active” membership status is necessary to seek CIDSO financial support. In order for an individual with Down syndrome to qualify for the CIDSO Enrichment Fund and/or the Down Syndrome Educational Conference Participation Fund, a member of the family must be:
- A registered member of CIDSO, having completed and submitted the Initial & Renewal Membership Application annually (preferably by January 31st), and
- Meet the requirements for Active membership as described below.
Requirements for Active Membership
A member of CIDSO will be considered an “Active Member” if they are the parent/guardian of an individual with Down syndrome who commits to perform at least 15 hours of volunteer service during the calendar year to the organization in one of the following manners:
- assist and actively help with current fundraising efforts
- coordinate a new fundraising event approved by the Executive Committee (local restaurant fundraiser, social media fundraiser, etc.)
- actively chair a CIDSO committee that serves our organization (fundraising efforts preferred)
- actively participate as an officer of CIDSO for the year
- provide service to a CIDSO committee, approved in advance by the committee chair and/or Executive Committee
Service hours performed by an adult family member other than a parent/guardian on behalf of an individual with Down syndrome will qualify toward the 15 hour requirement.
Before requesting any funds, a family must be deemed/become “active” (as noted above) by indicating how they intend to fulfill their volunteer hour commitment for 2023. The projected hours and activities committed are to be emailed to the Funds Administrator (firstname.lastname@example.org). As hours of service are performed, the member must submit those hours via email indicating the number of hours spent and the task performed to the Funds Administrator for confirmation and documentation (email@example.com).
Please note that it is the commitment, not the fulfillment, of the volunteer hours that needs to be documented prior to receiving funds. We take it on faith that active families will honor their commitments of service hours. If a member receives Enrichment Funds and/or Down Syndrome Educational Conference Participation Funds and does not fulfill their volunteer hour commitment in any given calendar year, they will be ineligible for future funds until that commitment is fulfilled.
Families becoming active in CIDSO for the first time can become “active” members by committing to fundraising/volunteering in the current year.
Families with a child with Down syndrome in CIDSO's catchment area may qualify for an "active" membership waiver if the immediate family is unable to fulfill the requirements as noted in this document due to advancing age of the immediate family members and/or illness/disabling condition that renders them unable to actively participate in supporting CIDSO. This option will be considered on a case-by-case basis as the family solicits such a waiver from the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee decision is final in such cases.
“Active” CIDSO members (as defined above) may access the following funding sources:
CIDSO Enrichment Fund
We strive to enrich the lives of individuals with Down syndrome by opening doors of opportunity and allowing those born with Down syndrome to be active participants in their community. The CIDSO Enrichment Fund is designed to promote people with Down syndrome having access to and being supported in community activities. It is also used to help offset the cost associated with medical care (not covered by insurance) and educational pursuits through community programs. Funding must enrich the life of the individual with Down syndrome and be documented with appropriate receipts. Examples of items funded through the Enrichment Fund have included: educational opportunities; lessons and classes for recreation; fees for participation in sports programs; therapy not covered by insurance (speech, physical, hippotherapy, occupational); costs of medical care, dental care, medical devices, and prescriptions not covered by insurance when those expenses are due to conditions resulting from or related to Down syndrome; and public transportation required for work or recreation. Items we do not fund include but are not limited to: clothing; recreational travel/vacations; replacements of or supplements to income; housing support; insurance premiums; and expenses generally considered to be normal costs of living.
In 2023 an “Active” family can access up to $1000 per quarter ($4000 annually) in funding on behalf of their child with Down syndrome through the Enrichment Fund (Annual amount updated by membership vote 11/29/2022). Enrichment funds are paid out at 75% of the cost of the item based on valid receipts. Funding is limited to $1000 per quarter per "active" child to allow the organization the ability to reassess the amount of funds available after anticipated fundraising efforts in 2023. The total amount of funding available might be adjusted by the membership if the demand exceeds expectations and/or fundraising efforts are different than anticipated. Any changes will not be retroactive to past quarters, but will apply to future quarters after a membership vote.
An "Active Member" as defined above, should use this application to submit an Enrichment Fund request. By accessing and submitting an Enrichment Fund request, the "Active Member" requesting funds understands and agrees to the above qualifications. We strongly encourage families to submit receipts in the quarter (Jan-March, April-June, July-Sept, Oct-Dec) that they are incurred or as soon as possible therafter. This helps with budgeting and determining whether the total amount of funding needs to be adjusted based on fund raising efforts and usage of the fund. Applications for funds for the 2023 calendar year must be submitted by January 31, 2024.
(NOTE: In the past we have directly supported the ISU Speech and Hearing Program and the Redbird Readers ISU Adult Literacy Program. Neither of these programs will be directly paid for by CIDSO in 2023, but instead “active” members will be able to submit their bills for these and other programs through the Enrichment Fund.)
CIDSO Down Syndrome Educational Conference Participation Fund
This fund is designed to enable those touched by Down syndrome to participate in educational opportunities that are intended to increase their knowledge and skills as well as those of the broader CIDSO community. Participants are expected to share information obtained at the conference with CIDSO. Copies of handouts/brochures/CDs, etc. are appreciated. Allocated funds will be first-come/first-served with support being provided for each requesting family once per year as the budget allows.
An "Active Member" as defined above, should fill out and file this application to be considered. Applications must be received by the CIDSO Funds Administrator [firstname.lastname@example.org] 30 days prior to the conference. Retroactive reimbursement will be considered by the Executive Committee on a case-by-case basis. By accessing and submitting a Conference Participation Fund request, the "Active Member" requesting funds understands and agrees to the above qualifications.