Annual Convention

Call for Speakers

The 2021 NDSC Annual Convention will be a virtual event, June 21-26

The Youth & Adults (Y&A) Conference Team is seeking proposals from anyone wishing to present a workshop or spotlight at the 2021 NDSC Convention.  We are looking for presenters who can create an educational, empowering, and inspiring program for the more than 350 self-advocates (individuals 15 and older with DS) attending the Y&A Conference.

Do you have a special skill that you could teach others?  Would you like to lead a group in a craft, activity, or game?  Do you have an accomplishment that you could share that would be inspirational to your peers?  If so, we encourage you to submit a proposal to present a workshop or spotlight.

Two types of Y&A Conference presentations:

  • Workshop (45 minutes) – Speakers will present (1-3 times) a 45-minute session to a small group of approximately 40 self-advocate attendees. Workshops should be educational, a hands-on craft, or a movement piece. Each workshop should include an activity. A support person should be identified who will assist both in preparing and presenting the workshop. Presenters should plan to provide handouts to attendees as additional resources at the conclusion of the conference.
  • Spotlight Presentation with Q&A (5 minutes) – Speakers will present a 5-minute session to an audience ranging between 40-400 individuals with DS. Each presentation will be followed by a questions and answers session. Support Team members will be on hand to help during the Q&A session. PowerPoint or other visual aids as part of the presentation are encouraged.

The Y&A Conference Team has identified workshop topics that we believe will be of interest to conference attendees. Other educational topic proposals will be considered, so be creative. Identified workshop topics include:

  • Dating and Marriage
  • Aging
  • Healthy Habits including cooking and exercise
  • Stress Relief/Mental Health
  • Self-Protection /Safety
  • Career Advice – professionalism and interviewing skills
  • Independence
  • Voting & Advocacy
  • Cell Phone Use – Learning how to use social media and scheduling tools

Y&A Conference Speaker proposals are being accepted now. Incomplete, late, or incorrectly submitted proposals will not be considered.

2021 Speaker Expectations

All speakers will present during our virtual event, the week of June 21-26. Your flexibility in scheduling is essential to building a dynamic conference program. You must be available to present during any workshop cycle.  Those who cannot meet this requirement should not submit proposals. Audio Visual equipment will be provided as needed (LCD projector and screen, PC laptop, microphone.) The presenter should provide all other supplies. The Y&A Team’s expectation is that all self-advocate speakers register for and participate in the Y&A Conference.

All Y&A proposals will be reviewed by the Y&A Conference Team for consideration.  All those submitting proposals will be notified of proposal acceptance status or how their submission may be included in the conference.

If you have additional questions about Youth & Adult Conference proposals, please contact NDSC Convention Coordinator, Emily Cullars Carswell –

Submit Your Y&A Proposal Here

2021 Y&A Call for Speaker Proposals

  • If selected, this description will appear online and in print (250 words or less please).
  • Drop files here or
  • Accepted file types: jpg, png, gif.
    Recent photo for use online and/or in print. 300x300 resolution preferred.
    If selected, workshops are audio- and/or video-recorded and offered to attendees to view presentations through online access.
  • We do our best to honor requests for our presenters' audio-visual needs. Please answer the following so that we can be prepared should your proposal be selected.

    All workshop rooms will have a laptop connected to a projector. Some presenters prefer to bring their own computer, especially if using embedded videos in their presentation. Please indicate your preference.
    All rooms will have one additional handheld microphone, for audience members to ask questions.
  • Support Person Contact Information

General Conference Workshops

General Conference workshops for 2021 have already been selected.