The 2018 NDSC Convention will take place July 12-15, at the Sheraton Dallas Hotel in Dallas, TX.
The Convention Planning Committee is seeking proposals for the general convention workshop cycles geared for parents, family members, and professionals.
The Youth & Adult Conference Team is looking for engaging self-advocates (individuals with DS age 15 and older) to share their talents, experiences and perspectives with their peers, as well as, other individuals interested in presenting workshops to self-advocates on topics relevant to teens and adults with DS.
See below for more information and proposal submission. The deadline for all proposals is Friday, January 5, 2018.
- General Convention Workshop Speakers
Are you an expert in inclusion, speech pathology, technology or employment for people with Down syndrome? Are you highly engaging and motivating? Do you have proven strategies that will bridge the gap between parents and professionals in the Down syndrome community? Do you have solid presentation skills? If so than the NDSC wants to hear from you.
- Workshop Topics Requested
• Advocacy – Legislative and other
• Speech & Language Development – Sign Language, Oral Motor, Feeding
• Behavior (across all ages)
• Medical – All Ages, Aging
• Health & Fitness
• Inclusion – IEP Tips, Modifications, Accommodations
• Pre K – 12 Education – Math, Reading
• Post Secondary Education
• Independent Living
• Research – Medical, Science, Education
• OT – Sensory, Handwriting
• Community Inclusion – Spirituality, Friendships, Volunteerism
• Future Planning – Financial, Trusts, Guardianship
• Adult Sibling Support and Resources
• Co-Occurring DS-ASD Specific Workshops
- General Guidelines for Submissions
- Proposals will only be accepted via the online form from the NDSC website.
- Speakers will not be paid an honorarium or reimbursed for travel expenses. However, speakers will receive a complimentary registration to the general convention.
- One individual may submit multiple proposals for consideration. Each topic must be submitted separately and include all of the required fields.
- If there are multiple speakers for one workshop, the lead speaker should complete the “Workshop Proposal Form” and list additional speakers and their information in the fields provided.
- Incomplete, late, or incorrectly submitted proposals will not be considered.
- Please be prepared to provide the following information when submitting a proposal:
• Workshop title
• Workshop abstract
• 3 Learning Objectives
• Workshop Outline
• Speaker name, title, company, full address, phone, email
• Speaker photo and short introduction
• Audio Visual requests
• Target audience
- Review ProcessAll proposals are downloaded, sorted by topic and audience, and then distributed to the Convention Planning Committee (CPC) for review. The CPC is made up of more than a dozen current and previous NDSC Board Members and Staff. Every member of the CPC has a family member with Down syndrome or another intellectual disability and represent all ages of the lifespan. The CPC will meet via conference call to discuss each and every proposal received. It typically takes several weeks for the CPC to complete the review process. During the review process, the CPC will compare proposals received in each category and rank them in order of preference. Just having the highest rated workshop doesn’t mean you will be selected. Available space and topic balance will determine the number of proposals accepted for each category. We typically received more than 120 proposals for approximately 70 workshops. If your workshop is not accepted it doesn’t mean that it wasn’t an amazing proposal! It just means that we couldn’t fit it into our schedule this year. Any proposals submitted after the deadline will not be accepted.
All speakers will be notified of their proposal status by Mid-February. If you are selected, we will request you accept the invitation immediately so the workshop schedule can be created and posted.
- Tips for getting acceptedThere are a few ‘tricks of the trade’ that many regularly accepted speakers follow. We want to share these so everyone has an equal chance of getting accepted.
- People First Language is a must. If the copy in your proposal does not follow the people first language guidelines, than your proposal will likely not be selected.
- Include an outline of your workshop. It is helpful for the CPC to have an outline to reference when comparing workshops in each topic. Be realistic with the time you are allowing for each portion of your presentation. Be sure to leave at least 15 minutes for Q&A.
- Be creative with your workshop title and abstract. Abstracts that are more than 10 sentences will likely get chopped in half if accepted and do not include words that parents cannot pronounce or understand. Your primary audience will be moms and dads, so draft copy that they can relate to.
- Workshops that provide attendees with “How To’s” and “Proven Strategies” parents can take back and try at home will be given priority over workshops that do not.
- Remember who your audience is! While there are some professionals, most of our attendees are parents, siblings, grandparents and other caregivers.
- If you are using the same PPT, Handouts and Materials created more than a few years ago – it’s time to refresh. Nearly 40% of our attendees are repeat customers.
- Important Dates• Proposal Submission opens – Monday, October 2, 2017
• Proposal Deadline – Friday, January 5, 2018
• Speaker notification of acceptance – Mid-February
• Workshop List Posted Online – Thursday, March 1, 2018
• Convention Registration and Hotel Block Opens – Monday, April 16, 2018
• PPT’s and Handouts Due – Friday, June 8, 2018
The NDSC Convention is the largest event of its kind attracting more than 3,500 participants worldwide. It will take place July 12 – 15, 2018 at the Sheraton Dallas Hotel in Dallas, TX. Workshops will take place Friday, July 13, Saturday, July 14 and Sunday, July 15. Only speakers who are available to present on all three days should apply. Special consideration will be given to professionals attending the DSMIG Annual Symposium on Friday, July 13.
For General Convention Workshop Submission questions please contact:
- Workshop Topics Requested
- Youth & Adult Conference Speakers
- Proposals from Individuals with DSThe Youth & Adult Conference Team is looking for engaging self-advocates (individuals with DS age 15 and older) to share their talents, experiences and perspectives with their peers. This could be you!
- Do you have a special skill you have learned or want to learn that you could share?
- Maybe you have a new dance move you have learned or perfected?
- How about leading a group in a craft, activity or game?
- Do you have an accomplishment that would be inspirational for your peers to hear about?
The conference needs the following types of presentations:
- 45-minute Workshop – This is a 45-minute session that will be presented three times each to a small group of about 40 self-advocates. This could also be a hands-on craft or movement activity that could engage a larger group of self-advocates. A person will need to be identified that will provide support both in preparing and presenting the workshop.
- 5 minute Spotlight Presentation with Q&A – This is a roughly 5 minute presentation given to an audience of individuals with DS followed by a period of time for questions and answers. Support Team members will be on hand to help both with understanding the question being ask and formulating an answer as needed. The audience size will range from 30 to 400. Powerpoints or other visual aids as part of the presentation are encouraged.
- Explore ideas by reviewing the list of presentation titles from the past.
- Other Proposals
- The conference is seeking workshop proposals from others who have an interest in presenting to individuals with DS. Proposals should be on topics relevant to teens and adults with DS and include activities that are engaging and interactive. Ideally workshops would be 45-minutes in duration and presented three times each to a small group of about 40 self-advocates. There is also the possibility of presenting a longer workshop of 90-minutes depending on the topic, activities involved and the targeted age group. Shorter presentations that are very dynamic and engaging to larger groups of self-advocates (75-200) may also be proposed.
The Y&A Conference Team is seeking proposals to create an engaging, educational and enlightening program for self-advocates attending the Y&A Conference. The Y&A Conference will convene 400 individuals with DS during the NDSC Annual Convention that takes place July 12 – 15, 2018 at the Sheraton Dallas Hotel in Dallas, TX.
Proposals will primarily be accepted from individuals with DS. However, there are opportunities for others interested in presenting to teens and adults with DS. All presentations will be given on Saturday, July 14th between 9am and 5pm. Your flexibility in presentation time is essential to building a dynamic conference program. Audio Visual equipment will be provided as needed (LCD projector and screen, PC laptop, microphone.) All other supplies are the responsibility of the presenter. It is the expectation of the Y&A Conference Team that all self-advocate speakers with register for and participate in the Y & A Conference. All presenters are responsible for their travel and hotel expenses.
All proposals must be received no later than Friday, Janaury 5, 2018, for full consideration of the Y&A Conference Team. The team will review all proposals and slot presentations as they best fit within the program. Everyone who submits a proposal will be contacted by mid-February as to how their proposal can be included in the conference.
For Youth & Adult Conference Speaker questions please contact:
- Proposals from Individuals with DS
Thank you to our 2018 convention sponsors!
The Ashford Rise School of Dallas
Down Syndrome Association of Central Texas
Down Syndrome Diagnosis Network
Reece’s Rainbow Down Syndrome Adoption Grant Foundation