Our Organization


The Down Syndrome Association of West Michigan (DSAWM) was formed in 1985 by six couples who had children with Down syndrome. Their original aim was to provide support and share knowledge with other families.  Through the years, the goals of the Association have broadened to encompass advocacy, public awareness and the distribution of information relevant to Down syndrome.


The mission of the Association is to be a resource and advocacy organization promoting public awareness and supporting lifelong opportunities for individuals with Down syndrome and their families.

Who We Serve

The DSAWM serves twelve counties in West Michigan: Allegan, Barry, Ionia, Kalamazoo, Kent, Mecosta, Montcalm, Muskegon, Newaygo, Oceana, Ottawa and Van Buren. Our membership is comprised of nearly 300 individuals with Down syndrome and their families. We also service community partners, e.g., medical professionals, educators, therapists, disability organizations, etc.

Anyone who wishes to join the Association may become a member; however, only those living in the aforementioned counties receive full access to DSAWM programs and services.


Empowerment – We provide resources, opportunities and knowledge in order to empower our members to realize their potential in life.

Service – We communicate with, and on behalf of, our members to provide resources and information based on individual needs.

Healthy Lifestyle – We promote healthy life choices and lifelong learning.

Inclusion – We strive to treat all people fairly and look for ways to connect our members with the community-at-large.

Continuous Improvement – We recognize that as times change, so do the needs of our members.  We never stop asking, “How can we be better?”



Executive Director
April Sawhill

Program Director
Katherine Key Griswold, MPA

Meredith Thumbnail
Community Relations
Meredith Lange


board of directors

Maggie McPhee, SHRM-CP, PHR

Vice President
Tom Hackett, JD, MBA

Sean Igoe, CPA

Bobbie Blanton, MBA

Bob Boylen
Jill Fouch
Maureen O’Brien, JD
Roshelle Paul
James Reinhardt
Brad Rivard, MBA, RRT
Nancy Spanski
Michael Wolff, PSYD, ABPDN


Traductora de español

Diane Estrella
Monica Matomoros


Dads Co-coordinators

Jim Leach & Aaron Weisenborn


Tax Information

The DSAWM will make available for public inspection the last three years of its tax documents, including Internal Revenue Service Forms 990 and 990-T (if applicable). Copies will be provided within 30 days of the request. The requestor may be charged a reasonable fee for the cost of copying and postage.