Voices at the Table for Advocacy (VATTA)

A group of adults with Down syndrome who believe that through their differences and advocacy efforts, opportunities will be available for all Canadians.


About Vatta

This exciting project has created a valuable Canadian resource that helps out the Canadian Down Syndrome Society because these adults are able to share their voices. VATTA speaks for all Canadians with Down syndrome, especially self-advocates who aren’t able to use their voice.

Since starting in 2005, VATTA has celebrated some great things:

  • Presenting at conferences all across Canada and in other countries
  • Creation of VOICES magazine, North America’s only magazine written by and for people with Down syndrome
  • Speaking in their communities and with the media, as well as in front of municipal, provincial and federal governments
  • Completion of the award winning 2008 DVD documentary “Then and Now” which details the advocacy movement as seen through the eyes of people with Down syndrome
  • Working with national and international like-minded organizations to advocate on behalf of people with disabilities
  • Completion of “What Prenatal Testing Means to Me“
  • Release of a short movie “Picture the Possibilities“
  • VATTA also helps the Canadian Down Syndrome Society (CDSS) make decisions about issues important to adults with Down syndrome.


All people use their abilities to participate in their community.


To help all Canadians see the ability. VATTA helps self-advocates use their voice and stand up for what they believe in.


Inclusion: Everyone is involved.

Acceptance: Everyone is valued, regardless of their differences or abilities.

Education: First educate yourself, and then all people.

Community: Lots of “parts” working together.

Diversity: All abilities, life experiences, cultures, and backgrounds.

Support: Be the best you can be, but have help when you need it.

Interested in Joining VATTA?

Thank you for your interest in applying to join VATTA. We will be looking for new VATTA members this summer. You can apply now and we will keep your application information until we are ready to set up interviews. Please follow these five (5) steps to apply to join VATTA. Thank you!

  1. Read the VATTA Position Posting
  2. Read the VATTA FAQ Section for more information about VATTA.
  3. Decide if you want to apply. If yes, fill out our application form  and make a resume.
  4. Send us the application form and your resume by email or by mail:

VATTA c/o Canadian Down Syndrome Society
Suite 202, 1001 1st St SE
Calgary, Alberta T2G 5G3

Thank You KPMG!

Thank you to KPMG for their ongoing support of VATTA! CDSS and VATTA would like to thank KPMG for believing in the work of VATTA and their impact on the citizens of Canada.

“On behalf of VATTA, thank you KPMG, for your support. You have given me the opportunity to share my story. I am proud to have become a role model for other people with Down syndrome in Canada and around the world.” – Janet Charchuk

Contact VATTA

Do you have any questions for VATTA? Send us a question and they may write a blog about it!