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      'Down Country' raising awareness for the differently-abled

      Down Country helps provide resources to all families in the Tri-States.

      There's a great new resource for Tri-State families living with someone who's "differently-abled."

      From children with Down Syndrome or Autism to exceptionally gifted people, you'll want to look into a new organization called, Down Country. The group is bringing awareness to the people with differences in our community by helping to find them educational and medical resources.

      Down Country's mission hopes to ease the burden on rural communities that don't have privately funded organizations to assist them with their needs.

      The group's founder and president, Kate Dougherty says you can find all the learning tools you need including teachers and therapists, to doctors and even support groups across the nation. You can also listen in on dozens of workshops online pertaining to your issue.

      "We're a private organization, so we aren't bound by some of the red tape. So this enables us to get to our families and professionals, whether that's medical or educational quicker as they need the need, and that is the goal.It stays in the Tri-States, we bring people into the Tri-States or send people out, but it's all about getting those national resources here," said Dougherty.

      Dougherty came up with Down Country after having a son with Down Syndrome. Together with the community's help, she's been able to link a variety of support groups together including Blessing Hospital's Down Syndrome Support Group and Quincy Medical Group's Autism Support Group.

      To become a part of the Down Country community, you must live within the Tri-States. Once you gain the knowledge from Down Country's learning tools, you're asked to pass it on. At that point, you can apply for funds for your cause through the organization.

      You can find everything on Down Country's Website here: www.upatdowncountry.com.

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