Starting the GiGiFIT Acceptance Challenge 5K in Hoffman Estates, IL

GiGiFIT Acceptance Challenge Brings in $1.6 million and Massive Awareness

The good news is that it is still not too late to join us! Click here to do your part in our movement for acceptance! With just several in-person GiGiFIT Acceptance Challenge events to still occur this year, we are happy to announce it will be our most successful Acceptance...
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A Message From Our Founder On Meeting With Qatari Leaders

To The GiGi's Playhouse Community, Dignitaries from the Middle Eastern country of Qatar recently inquired about visiting GiGi’s Playhouse to learn about our methodologies, model, and global message of acceptance for all. Those Qatari leaders mentioned that the United Nations and the Embassy in Washington, D.C., spoke highly of GiGi’s,...
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Thank you to Accurate

We have all heard the phrase, “a match made in heaven,” but when it comes to describing the partnership between GiGi’s Playhouse and Accurate Personnel, the phrase could not be more, well, accurate. Chief Executive Officer Jaimie Rios’ daughter, Olivia, was born in 2011 with Down syndrome. Jaimie picked up...
Holly Tonak( Director of Fort Wayne GiGi’s Playhouse), Matt (GiGi’s Participant), and Shelby volunteering at Shepherd’s House

Perspective of GiGi’s Playhouse Changes for Volunteer Turned Board Member Who Loses Eyesight

It started with a message. One that really caught the attention of Chief Belief Officer, Nancy Gianni. Enough so that Nancy shared it with a small group of story gatherers at GiGi’s Playhouse headquarters. It is not often that people start volunteering that they find themselves experiencing some of the...
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The 2022 GiGiFIT Acceptance Challenge was a HUGE success!

Delany Hug running the Dash for Down syndrome The national campaign wrapped up Sunday, with a 5K Fun Run, One Mile Inspirational Walk, and a kids Dash for Down Syndrome, in Hoffman Estates. More than 40 in-person GiGiFIT Acceptance Challenge events were held across the country,...
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GiGi’s Training Website, a Groundbreaking Virtual Learning Management System

For just over a year now, staff and volunteers across all Playhouse locations, both on-site and virtual, have been successfully using the GiGi’s Training Website. This innovative leap forward has become an integral key to the future of educating successful, confident individuals with Down syndrome by allowing coordinators, volunteers, board...
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Parent Profile: Amelia Ramirez on Motherhood and the Blessings of Down Syndrome

Motherhood speaks to the core of what it means to be alive. Just spending three minutes alone with a toddler, can cause a mother to experience a complete range of human emotions including happiness, love, fear, stress, anxiety, sadness, wonder, and utter panic! We interviewed GiGi’s Playhouse mom, Amelia Ramirez,...
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National Volunteer Month 2022: Volunteers are Paramount in Helping us Change the Way the World Views Down Syndrome

April is National Volunteer Month! As an organization that is 99% volunteer-run, GiGi’s Playhouse is grateful for the opportunity this month offers to acknowledge and thank the countless volunteers who have helped us empower the Down syndrome community and promote global acceptance of our friends living with an extra chromosome....
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Dear Autism

The following is a guest post Dear Autism, I saw you long before I acknowledged your existence. I witnessed you when Judah shook his Melissa and Doug duster and how he searched relentlessly for it every day. I skeptically enjoyed the way he mimicked all of his shows, suspecting that...
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Your advocacy is making a difference!

The Down Syndrome Coalition, along with our colleagues from the Down Syndrome Diagnosis Network (DSDN), Down Syndrome Medical Interest Group-USA (DSMIG), International Mosaic Down Syndrome Association (IMDSA), and National Task Group on Intellectual Disabilities and Dementia Practices (NTG), and in partnership with our self-advocates and families, succeeded in removing discriminatory...
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To Fully Celebrate Diversity, We Must Understand Intersectionality

Intersectionality certainly turns the chessboard of diversity into one that is multi-dimensional. Without intersectionality, diversity becomes a singular layer where people of that category of equality are myopically fighting for their own piece of discriminatory turf. The basis for intersectionality is how various portions of an individual’s makeup can be...
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Barry Books and Cooks Inspiration at 60!

At 60 years of age, Barry Burris is the oldest participant at GiGi’s Playhouse in Fort Meyers, Florida. A few years ago, Barry decided to improve his literacy skills. He was a level two reader at the time and had not received any formal literacy instruction since high school. With...