Self Advocate Opportunities

Get Involved/Volunteer

If you have Down syndrome, you are a self advocate and we have many ways for you to volunteer and get involved. If any of the areas listed below are of interest to you and you would like to help, just fill out our Volunteer form and we will contact you. Go to the Volunteer Form

Be A Reporter

Be a Reporter for ”Down Syndrome News”! Down Syndrome News, the print newsletter of the NDSC is always looking for stories written by self advocates. If you have a story that you would like to see in print, send it to:

Down Syndrome News
30 Mansell Court,  Suite 108
Roswell, GA 30076 or
Wondering what you could write about? Think about your hopes and dreams and write about them. Maybe you would like to write about your school, your job or your volunteer position. There might be someone you would like to interview. Think about what you are good at. If you have a foolproof way to stay on top of your laundry, you could share your tips. DSN readers are interested in the same things that interest you, such as work, family, home, food, sports, pets, leadership, hobbies, travel, art, cinema, friendships, & much more.
Everybody has his or her own story, share yours! If you have Down syndrome, you qualify to be a reporter. If you need support to express your thoughts, dictate your article to a friend. You can do it! Don’t forget to include your name, address, and phone number and a photo to go with your articles.


There are many ways to help raise money for the NDSC. If you are going to be in a race, or hike the Appalachian Trail, or bike across the state, creating a fundraising page using Fundly is easy. You could host a 3…2…1…Dance! at your school; you could even ask people to make a donation to the NDSC instead of giving you a birthday present!

Letter Writing – Thank You

From time to time we need to write thank you notes to businesses or people who donate to the NDSC. We always send thank you notes, but it would mean more coming from a self advocate. If you have good handwriting and like to write this would be the volunteer opportunity for you!

Book Project

The Self Advocate Book Project
This project began in 2003 when self-advocate, Tracy Hile, introduced the idea of self advocates presenting books on Down syndrome to the NDSC convention host community. The project is simple. Self advocates (people with Down syndrome) donate money for books that positively portray individuals with Down syndrome. They present these books to school libraries in the NDSC Convention host city. The project accomplishes several goals set by self advocates:

  • The public sees self advocates as productive and as giving back to the community
  • Self advocates increase disability awareness for students K-12
  • Self advocates increase leadership opportunities as they implement the project
  • Schools and communities become more inclusive places for people with Down syndrome

We are always looking for books that positively portray people with Down syndrome. Please let the NDSC know when you find one! Books submitted will be evaluated as to appropriateness of appearance, age level, content and quality of writing.
How can you help?

  • During on-line convention registration, check the box to have $1 or more added to your registration fee to be donated to the Self Advocate Book Project.
  • Assist your self-advocate in generously donating to the project by sending a check to NDSC. This will enable us to purchase more books.
  • Your local organization can donate a “bundle” of all the books listed below for a donation of $100. You might do this by having a special fundraiser to honor a self advocate or educator in your community and donating this bundle in their name.

Send check (made payable to NDSC) to NDSC Center 30 Mansell Court, Suite 108, Roswell, GA 30076. Please put “Book Project” on the memo line. If you wish to make your donation in honor or memory of someone, please include instructions so that we can insert a book plate.

2014 Book Project List

  • Why Are You Looking At Me?  by Lisa Tompkins – This story is about the life of a child with Down syndrome that wants to be your friend. Lynn may look different than most children, but has many of the same likes and dislikes. Help your child discover what it means to accept and embrace a relationship with people who are different.
  • Adults With Down Syndrome by Siegfried Pueschel – This edited text gathers many highly respected experts – including individuals with Down syndrome themselves – to discuss the experiences and needs of adults with Down syndrome. The book contains a good mixture of clinical, social, legal, and personal information.
  • The Little King and His Marshmallow Kingdom by Louis Rotella III – This beautiful book encourages children to be themselves, at school and at home, with confidence, and to challenge social pressures to conform.
  • Fasten Your Seatbelt by Brian Skotko and Sue Levine – This is a crash course on Down syndrome for brothers and sisters by a brother of a person with Down syndrome.
  • Donovan and the Big Hole by Nancy Lambert Davenport – This delightful fiction Texas adventure is narrated by fourteen year old Donovan who happens to have Down syndrome. He and his neighborhood friends don’t ask for trouble, but manage to find it at every turn.
3…2…1… Dance!

Thank you for your interest in NDSC’s 3…2…1… Dance! The primary purpose of this event is to promote awareness of the value of individuals with Down syndrome, though it can also be used as a fundraiser. To learn more, please visit our 3…2…1… Dance! pages.

Speaker’s Bureau

The NDSC Self advocate Speakers Bureau has been established to connect self-advocate speakers to public forums in which they can offer a positive voice of continuing education, motivation, inspiration and disability awareness. Each member of the Speakers Bureau tells a unique story, sharing their experiences and wisdom. If you are interested in having a self advocate speak to your group or organization, please preview the videos available below, select a speaker and, when you have made a selection, contact the speaker directly via the email address provided.

View more information on our speakers.
Austin – Dallas, TX  Chris – Brick, NJ  Christi – Walnut Creek, CA  Jenny – Columbus, OH  Jeremy – N. Myrtle Beach, SC  Laurie – Memphis, TN  Lee – Kansas City, MO  Lindsey Rose – Colorado Springs, CO Melissa – Owings Mills, MD  Meredith – Neligh, NE Tracy – Murfreesboro, AR  Tony – New Iberia, LA  Karen – Portland, OR  Craig – Luling, LA  Mark – Orange Park, FL  Heather – Oklahoma City, OK  Dusty – San Rafael CA  Christopher – Napa, CA Emmanuel – Grafton, IL  Rebecca – Nampa, ID

Interested in being a speaker? 

Send an email to with your biography and link to video (if available). 

The NDSC shares this list of self-advocate speakers for informational purposes only. Interested parties should contact self-advocates directly via the link provided regarding any proposed engagement. Moreover, it should be emphasized that the views expressed by a self-advocate are his or her personal views and not necessarily the views of the NDSC. The NDSC disclaims any responsibility for, or association with, the views expressed by a self-advocate.

Friendship Club

The Friendship Club meets at the Annual Convention. The Friendship Club is a way for self advocates to meet new friends and connect with old friends. To see what some of our self advocates and families are sharing, go to the NDSC Facebook page.