Remembering June Downing

The great personal and professional loss we have shared as a community with the passing of our friend, mentor and teacher, June Downing, has been a catalyst for many members to step forward with offers of memorials and awards in June’s name. To respond to the request of many members and June’s stated desire for donations to be made to TASH in her name, we offer the following options for TASH members to consider:

1. The June Downing Breakthroughs in Inclusive Education Awards will be presented at the TASH Conference in Atlanta. June was part of developing this program and served as chair of the review panel each year. She was passionate about these awards, and felt a need to honor the important and courageous work that teachers and administrators do every day on behalf of students with significant disabilities. Five categories of awards are available – teacher, administrator, advocate (someone other than a public school employee), school and district.  Through the awards program, there are two ways to honor June’s memory:

Submit a nomination for one or more categories. Submissions must be received by the TASH office by October 1.  Nomination forms and instructions are available online.

Make a contribution in June’s name specifically for the awards program. Funds will be used to offer transportation to the TASH Conference for honorees. Contributions can be made by check (note “Awards Program” in the memo line) or online. Please use the General Donation option is submitting online and type “June Downing Breakthroughs in Inclusive Education Awards” in the field.

2. Contributing to TASH – June contributed very generously each year to TASH because she knew that many families and young professionals relied on reduced dues and conference registration fees to participate and learn. A contribution in June’s name will help support $120,000 in reduced registrations and memberships that TASH underwrites each year. News of those memorial gifts will be shared with June’s family, listed in the conference program and in Connections. To contribute, please donate at, select “store” and “June Downing Memorial Fund.”

3. Joining the TASH Legacy Society – June was a founding member of the TASH Legacy Society and a frequent and generous contributor to TASH. Legacy Society members have named TASH as a beneficiary in their wills. To find out how to join, please contact Barb at

Future plans for a permanent memorial will be shared later this fall.

In the words of June’s loved ones: “She leaves behind this community that represents the same beauty and strength she demonstrated throughout her life. Although her life has ended, her love, heart, passion, advocacy and grace continues to shine on through each of us.”


Barbara R. Trader
Executive Director