What are the NDAC membership types?
We offer three NDAC membership types: Members, State Leaders and Group Members.
NDAC Members are advocates of all abilities and levels of advocacy experience. Anyone can become an NDAC Member by filling out the application and agreeing to the terms of membership. NDAC State Leaders are NDAC Members who have advanced advocacy experience and will serve as NDSC’s main grassroots organizers for their states. State Leaders will be selected by NDSC staff through a rolling application process. NDAC Group Members are local, statewide or national groups that are Down syndrome-specific, cross-disability, other disability-specific or other allies who are interested in working together with NDAC on outreach, messaging and sharing information.
What is the application process?
Please submit an application by clicking HERE. You will be notified by a member of our Policy and Advocacy Team regarding your application after submission.
What are the benefits of being an NDAC member?
The NDSC Policy & Advocacy Team will provide training opportunities and resources for all NDAC Members. These include: quarterly business calls to provide legislative updates, webinars, an NDAC-specific Facebook group, training opportunities and a meet-up at the annual NDSC Convention. In addition, NDAC will provide Members timely information on the latest policy topics so Members can stay up-to-date on the latest legislative issues.
What are the membership fees?
There are no membership fees for the NDAC Members or NDAC State Leaders. However, individuals must be members of NDSC. The fee to be an NDSC member is $50 per year, which supports the NDSC organizations’ efforts across all areas. This fee is mandatory for all people who attend the NDSC Convention, so chances are that you have already become a member if you attended the Convention. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you are unsure of your membership status, or if this poses a financial hardship.
Groups must pay a $20 NDAC Group Membership fee yearly. This fee is waived for NDSC Affiliate Program subscribers. NDAC Group Membership Application can be found HERE.
What are the benefits of being an NDSC Member?
- Member pricing for the NDSC Annual Convention
- Mailed Quarterly Newsletter, Down Syndrome News
- Mailed Annual Report
- NDSC Monthly E-News
- “Ages & Stages” E-News (targeted information sent via email throughout the year)
- NDSC National Advocacy Efforts and Resources
- Eligibility for membership in the National Down Syndrome Advocacy Coalition (NDAC) (note: must fill out NDAC Member application)
As an NDAC Member, what are the expectations of me?
NDSC expects all NDAC Members, State Leaders and Group Member Representatives to be courteous, professional and respectful to each other, legislators and their staffs, and the broader community in all communications, whether on social media, calls, in-person meetings or otherwise. We want all NDAC Members to be actively involved and have a passion for the mission of NDSC. As NDSC represents a diverse constituency, we expect all NDAC Members to advocate in a bipartisan manner.
NDAC State Leaders
When can I apply to be a State Leader?
We will be opening up NDAC State Leader applications in January 2018. In the meantime, please apply to become an NDAC Member, as all State Leaders are required to be NDAC Members first.
What makes someone a good candidate to be a NDAC State Leader?
We value individuals who have previous advocacy experience or expertise in particular policy areas and are willing to serve as grassroots organizers on the state level. Applications by individuals with Down syndrome and their immediate family members will be prioritized, though anyone is welcome to apply.
How many NDAC State Leaders are there per state?
We anticipate that 3-5 NDAC State Leaders will be selected per state and will work together a group.
NDAC Group Members
What are NDAC Group Members?
NDAC Group Members are local, statewide or national groups that are Down syndrome-specific, cross-disability, other disability-specific or other allies who are interested in working together with NDAC on outreach, messaging and sharing information.
Can my group become an NDAC Group Member if we are not Down syndrome-specific?
Yes, any existing groups, coalitions or organizations, local, statewide or national are welcome to join our mission. We welcome you!
Who should be our group’s NDAC Group Member Representative?
It is best to select someone who has a passion for policy and advocacy, who checks Facebook frequently and will be a strong voice for your group. This person should also be reliable enough to share topics with your group on a timely basis- as the policy process moves quickly often!
My group is a nonprofit organization under IRS Section 501(c)(3). Will joining NDAC jeopardize my group’s nonprofit status?
There are many actions that your nonprofit organization can take to influence policy and legislation that would not jeopardize its tax-exempt status. (See https://apps.americanbar.org/buslaw/blt/2009-03-04/mehta.shtml) Advocacy activities that are informational in nature (as opposed to supporting or opposing a particular piece of legislation) are permitted, and all communications with executive, judicial and administrative agencies are not considered to be “lobbying.” (See https://www.irs.gov/charities-non-profits/lobbying) A certain amount of lobbying is permitted but individual groups must make sure that lobbying is not a “substantial part” of its activities or, if the group uses an “expenditure test,” that the amount of funds spent on lobbying activities does not exceed a certain permissible level. For more information, see https://www.leadingagepa.org/Portals/0/Documents/AdvocacyGuide.pdf).
What are the specific requirements, obligations and expectations of an NDAC Group Member?
Please click HERE for the Terms of Membership for NDAC Group Members.
Can I receive the monthly NDSC Policy & Advocacy Newsline emails without being an NDAC Member?
Yes, click HERE to sign up.
Can I receive Action Alerts from NDSC without being an NDAC Member?
Yes, click HERE to sign up.
Who can join the NDAC Facebook group?
NDAC Members, NDAC State Leaders and NDAC Group Member Representatives will be sent an email invitation to the Facebook group. No one else is allowed access to the group. The group will remain closed, not private or secret. The closed nature of the Facebook group will enable NDAC participants to communicate directly with each other and with the NDSC Policy & Advocacy Team in a private, confidential manner.
Why don’t self-advocates have a separate membership type or application?
At NDSC we believe self-advocates are the strongest voices for advocating and making policy changes! We do not want to separate these individuals into a different membership type. We highly encourage self-advocates to become NDAC Members and NDAC State Leaders.
What is the minimum age to become an NDAC Member?
Individuals must be 16 or older in order to become an NDAC member.
Is travel to the NDSC Convention required?
No, but we would love to have you join us! There will be an NDAC Meet-Up as well as a wealth of policy and advocacy-related workshops and resources provided at the NDSC Convention.
What if I would like to no longer be an NDAC Member?
Members may resign from NDAC at any time and for any reason by providing written notice to Heather Sachs, NDSC Policy & Advocacy Director, email@example.com.
Who can I contact if I have more questions?
Lauren Camp, our Policy & Advocacy Associate, would be happy to assist you. Please email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.