Our vision is to see people with Down syndrome living meaningful lives as productive members of their communities throughout all stages of life by increasing awareness, promoting acceptance and advancing advocacy.

Section 1 Our Vision


  • The Beginning

    Down Syndrome Alabama started in June of 1987 as a group of dedicated parents who wanted to advocate for their children who had Down syndrome. They incorporated under the name PADS (Parent Advocates Down Syndrome) and started this organization.

  • April 23, 2013

    In August of 2012, the Board of Directors made and seconded a motion that the name of the organization be permanently changed to Down Syndrome Alabama. And on April 23, 2013 the amendment was filed and the organization officially changed it's name.

  • The Present

    In the new year of 2020, Down Syndrome Alabama elected new board members and hired a new Executive Director in the hopes that we can move the organization forward to become a leading champion in our state for those living with Down syndrome.


Kelly Peoples

Kelly Peoples

Executive Director

Kelly Peoples has worked in non-profit in the Birmingham area since 2001 and brings knowledge of development, marketing, and management. She was excited to join Down Syndrome Alabama in January 2020 as DSA builds on past successes to implement a plan of strategic growth in programs, outreach, development, and membership. Peoples received her degree in Public Relations from Auburn University. She and her husband Greg live in Hoover, AL with their three children.


Stephanie Langford-min

Stephanie Langford

Board of Directors, President

Stephanie joined the Board of Directors in January 2020. She provides 15 years of experience in business along with 8 years of working in marketing and communications. Her involvement and volunteer work with Down Syndrome Alabama started in 2012 when her son was born and diagnosed with Down syndrome. Her passion to help others on their DS journey is what lead her to take on a leadership role. She and her husband Rob live in Trussville with their son Zac.

Katherine Gorham

Board of Directors, Vice President

Katherine Gorham got involved with DSA through the Learning Program in 2013. Two years later, she helped develop and administer a two day, statewide education conference. After the sucess of the conference, she worked to implement an Education division for DSA to provide resources to educators in our area. She is actively involved in her local PTO and currently sits on the Vestavia Hills Parks and Recreation Foundation Board and the Help the Hills Coalition Board. She joined the DSA Board in January of 2020 as the Treasurer. She lives in Vestavia Hills with her husband, Bob, and is mother to five children. Her youngest, Nate, who has Down syndrome, is the inspiration and drive for her advocacy through DSA.

Corrie Merchant

Corrie Merchant

Board of Directors, Secretary

Corrie and her husband, Jason, have been members of DSA since 2009 when their son George was born. In 2013, Corrie worked alongside other members to bring the Down Syndrome Foundation of Orange County’s Learning Program to DSA. She also serves on the state’s Special Education Advocacy Panel (SEAP), Protection & Advocacy for Individuals with Developmental Disabilities (PADD) and the Stanford University Down Syndrome Research Center's Advisory Board.  Corrie joined the DSA board in the hope that her advocacy will encourage others on their journey. She has a deep appreciation for the many DSA mentors who inspired and supported her. Corrie is an alum of Auburn University and Troy University.  She lives with her family in Trussville.

Kathy Olive

Board of Directors, Treasurer

Kathy and her husband Lynn joined DSA IN 1987 when they became parents to their third child, Elizabeth Joy. Over the years, Kathy has served on various committees and in leadership positions, seeing the organization move from a loose group of parents seeking more inclusive practices in school settings to incorporating under the name P.A.D.S. (Parent Advocates - Down Syndrome) and then to refocusing our goals and accomplishments to become Down Syndrome Alabama. Kathy says advocacy is her passion, and it has been her recent joy to serve as a mentor to the C.H.A.M.P.S. group of young adult self-advocates. Kathy is a retired literacy educator with a B.A. from the University of Montevallo, an M.A. from UAB  and added certifications in several specialized reading programs.




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Directors Emeritus

Dr. John Cortopassi, MD

Betty Bell


Allison Crawford

Dr. Snehal Khatri, MD

Mary Meadows Livingston

Dr. Christina Norman

Beth Olive

Marcella Roberts, Esq., Past President

Jennifer Rucker

Scott Shunnarah

Ted Strong, Esq.

Lauren Woolley


joe lawhorn

Joseph Lawhorn

Junior Board, President

Jennyfer Goodnight

Junior Board, Vice President

Jennyfer Goodnight, headshot
Hannah Echols, headshot

Hannah Echols

Junior Board, Secretary

Lewis (LC) May

Junior Board, Event Coordinator

LC May, headshot


Caroline Dozier

Mary Kate Gorham

Lara Self


Down Syndrome Alabama is a proud member of these national organizations

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