Tri-State Woman Elected President of National Down Syndrome Congress

TAYLOR, Mo. (WGEM) — In June, Kate Dougherty was elected president of the National Down Syndrome Congress.

After she and her husband founded the educational nonprofit “Down Country” and sailed after her son, Elliot, was diagnosed with Down syndrome, Kate Dougherty discovered the National Down Syndrome Congress .

Two years later, his family attended their first NDSC conference.

“Unfortunately the reason we finally attended our first conference was because we had a situation here in the Tri-State where we realized, unfortunately, that there are still people who are afraid of people with disabilities and/ or Down syndrome,” Daugherty said.

After that experience, Daugherty said she wanted to make a difference.

“And so that was kind of the prompt that we were like okay, we’re going to change that, we’re going to do something about it. We didn’t know where this would end over a decade later” , Daugherty said.

Daugherty was confirmed as president of the National Down Syndrome Conference on June 24.

She said she noticed a difference in services for people with Down syndrome in rural areas compared to cities.

Daugherty said she looks forward to shedding light on the tri-state needs at the national level.

“It has to matter nationally because I’m tired of being left out of these conversations because my people here in the tri-state, we matter too, so the fact that I can have these conversations on behalf of people in rural and undeserved populations for the next three years, you bet I’ll bring it,” Daugherty said.

As for Elliot, he said he appreciates his family’s dedication to understanding what his mother considers “his very special chromosome.”

“My mother is a good and beautiful woman. She’s a pretty great woman,” Elliot Daugherty said.

Elliot got to test his reporting skills while speaking with WGEM.

Elliot’s daughter(WGEM)

Information on how to navigate a wide range of special needs can be found on the The Netherlands and National Down Syndrome Congress websites.

Through them, you can find health care providers, information regarding the specific condition you are looking to navigate, and other supports.

Down Country will host a country music charity concert on September 3 at the Marion County Fairgrounds.

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