Are you a self-advocate who likes to present at the microphone? Do you feel like you would like to be a part of a national self-advocacy and self-determination movement? You may want to submit a workshop for the National Down Syndrome Congress Youth & Adult conference. The planning is already underway for the convention next summer, and you can be a part of it.
We hope that you will consider representing your state next year by submitting a workshop plan that you would be willing to present at the National Down Syndrome Congress Youth and Adults Conference. Remember you have good ideas and all you need to be successful is enthusiasm and support.
Listed below are a number of workshop topics that self advocates have requested in the past. Maybe you would like to design a workshop or panel discussion around one of them.
Creating an Active Social Life
Dating – Love – Marriage
Fashion and Appearance
How I Learned to Drive
Job Hunting – Resumes and Interviewing Techniques
Loss and Fear – Ways To Handle Grief and Anxiety
Moving Into Your Own Place
Nutrition and Weight Management
Self-Advocacy and Self-determination
Starting Your Own Business
Theater – Backstage
Serving Others at Your Place of Worship
Volunteering in your Community
Ways to Get Involved at Your High School
What to Expect When You Go Away to College
Writing for Publication
Don’t restrict your ideas to just those topics.
Think about your unique talents, skills and resources. Maybe you are a pianist, a model, or a skydiver and you can teach others how you got to where you are in your field of interest. Maybe you have a support person that has a talent that would be of interest to others. You could partner with them in creating a workshop around their expertise and your involvement with them. Maybe your support person or family member is a doctor, dentist, legislator, counselor, or fireman. Together you could create an interactive question and answer workshop entitled “Everything You Wanted to Ask About ______” fill it in with Medical Issues, Dental Care, Legislative Issues, Mental Health Issues, Fire Safety or many other topics. But remember you are leading the workshop, not your support person, they are there to support you as the presenter.
Okay, you have come up with what you want to present. What do you do next?
Discuss your idea for a workshop or panel discussion with someone you can work with. Every presenter must have a support person. It can be anyone who will help you with your presentation a friend, a coach, a teacher, a brother, sister, or a parent. Choose someone who will attend the conference with you and help make your presentation a success. Your workshop outline has to be submitted with the signature of a support person who has committed to help you at the conference.
- When you are creating your workshop plan, plan something you yourself would enjoy attending.
- Think about how to keep everyone with various skill levels and ages interested.
- Make your workshop interactive. People learn by doing, seeing, touching, role playing, and using all their senses. Workshops can be much more than just listening to a speaker. What can you do to keep people involved and interested in what you are presenting? Plan things that are visually interesting and make it FUN!
- Breakout workshops run 45 minutes and are presented three times.
- The number of workshops and size of our workshops have to fit the available hotel space and general convention schedule.
- Panel Discussion run approximately 3 to 5 minutes. Following the presentation the audience will have an opportunity to ask questions.
The convention planners will look over all workshop and panel discussion proposals that are submitted by self advocates and choose the presentations that will fit our space, needs and provide balance in content among the workshops. Everyone who submits a proposal will be contacted by mail or e-mail as to whether or not your presentation will be included in the upcoming convention program.