Wow – what a week! We opened registration for our annual convention on Monday morning, and already, we are at capacity for the Youth and Adults Conference and three of the Kids’ Camp sessions. The Grande Lakes Resort is taking a waiting list for sleeping rooms, and we’ve posted information aboutnearby hotel options on our website.We are humbled by your enthusiasm for this event.
While we love this response,we know it’s beyond frustratingfor those of you trying to make a room reservation or just trying to register your child for Kids’ Camp. We are truly surprised to have had this huge response in such a short amount of time. Our space limitations are just that –we are limited by physical space.
Keep in mind, our ideal convention venue is a single hotel, with more than 1,000 sleeping rooms and 100,000 square feet of meeting space.When we have to use a convention center or multiple hotels, it drives up the cost and makes it more difficult for families to navigate.
For the first time this year, we tied your convention registration to your hotel reservation. We hoped this would keep the hotel from filling up before people had a chance to register for the convention. Historically, the hotel would run out of rooms in our block very quickly, then many people would cancel their rooms close to the event date, essentially shutting out families who wanted to come to the convention and stay at the convention hotel.No fair!(Not to mention these late cancellations put the NDSC at financial risk of not meeting our room contract.)
We appreciate your patience and your commitment to our Giant Family Reunion.We learn from our experience each year, and work to make improvements to the process for the next time.
Imagine The Possibilities
While those highly sought after spots in the Youth & Adults Conference and Kids’ Camp may have already been filled, we do have room in other areas of the convention. In your rush to complete your registrations this week, you may have overlooked a few things.
Did you order your convention t-shirts? Several hundred of you did — but if you forgot, let us know so we can add them to your registration.
Did you register for a Pre-Conference session? For those of you who want to spend a significant amount of time (4 hours!) on one topic, this is for you! Don’t miss out on this opportunity to really go in depth onone of 9 different topics.
How about the Meal Plan? The Grande Lakes Resort is beautiful and has amazing restaurants, but when you are trying to grab something for breakfast or lunch at the same time as everyone else, it might make sense for you to eat a pre-selected meal.Read more here.
Give us a call next weekat 770-604-9500 or 800-232-6372 to make any additions to your completed registration.
Just In: Group Travel Discount Offer for NDSC Convention Attendees
2 – 5% Discount based on Fare Purchased
10% Discount on First Class Tickets
Reservations and ticketing are available via www.delta.com/meeting. Select Book Your Flight and this will bring you to the Book A Flight page. Enter the meeting code: NMNHU in the box provided.
Reservations may also be made by calling Delta Meeting reservations at 800-328-1111 Mon-Fri, 7am – 7pm CDT. A service fee will be applied for reservations made via phone.
In Washington, DC…
NDSC Executive DirectorDavid Tollesonjoined hundreds of advocates on Capitol Hill earlier this week in conjunction with the NDSS Buddy Walk on Washington. He is pictured here with Georgia Senator Johnny Isakson, along with parent advocates, Bob and Angela Moses.
Our Senior Education Policy Advisor,Ricki Sabia, is advising the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) rulemaking committee members who represent students with disabilities and other civil rights groups, on issues affecting students with Down syndrome. ESSA is the new law covering K-12 education for all students, including those with disabilities, which replaces the No Child Left Behind Act. The implementation if ESSA will have a significant impact on how IDEA is implemented and eventually reauthorized (amended).
For example, we believe this definition regarding who should take an alternate assessment is way too broad and advised committee members to oppose it. We are also providing the committee members with edits to the draft regulation language as it is being developed.
Check out this article fromSpecial Education Today, quoting Ricki on our concerns about the definition of “students with the most significant cognitive disabilities”.