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NDSC E-News The Down Syndrome Awareness Month Edition

Mission Moment
with NDSC Executive Director David Tolleson

David Tolleson, NDSC Executive DirectorOctober is wonderful for many reasons – the arrival of sweater weather, apple picking, and trick-or-treating. But one of the very best things about October is that it’s Down Syndrome Awareness Month! NDSC families led the successful effort to convince President Ronald Reagan to establish the yearly observance in 1984.

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Policy & Advocacy Newsline ~ September 2021

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Update on the Build Back Better Reconciliation Bills

President Biden’s Build Back Better agenda contains many provisions designed to increase the inclusion of people with disabilities in every aspect of society. The plan includes expanding Medicare and Medicaid with unprecedented investments in Medicaid home and community-based services (HCBS).  It also calls for better pay and benefits for caregivers, increasing competitive integrated employment opportunities for disabled workers, and eliminating the payment of subminimum wage under Section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

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NDSC E-News ~ August 2021

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Mission Moment

with NDSC Executive Director David Tolleson

David Tolleson, NDSC Executive DirectorTo me, back-to-school time has always felt more like the beginning of a new year than has the first of January. Whether as a child or as a parent, the start of a new school year has always signaled a time to wrap up the summer and start something new (and, hopefully, exciting!).

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NDSC E-News ~ July 2021

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Mission Moment

With NDSC Executive Director David Tolleson

David Tolleson, NDSC Executive DirectorIt’s almost back-to-school time, and for some kids that means a trip to the doctor. Now, no one likes getting shot, but a moment of discomfort can have a lifetime of benefit for ourselves and for society. Never had smallpox? Thank vaccines! In fact, add polio, tetanus, and a host of other diseases to that list of diseases you haven’t contracted, thanks to vaccines.

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Policy & Advocacy Newsline ~ July 2021

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Convention Recap

Thank you to everyone who attended the 49th Annual NDSC Convention! The Policy Team was busy with our Annual Advocacy Training Boot Camp as well as two other workshop sessions:

What’s Happening in D.C. & What You Can Do, was presented by  Stephanie Smith Lee and  Ricki Sabia.  Stephanie Smith Lee, Debra Hart of Think College, Destination Dawgs graduate Marina Martinez and her Mother Zoila Martinez presented the session  Introduction to Inclusive Higher Education

The Advocacy Training Boot Camp had over 350 live participants from all over the country! Topics included: Untangling the Legislative Process, Engaging with Elected Officials, A One-Pager Demo, Mock Legislator Meeting, Social Media Tips, and more!

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NDSC E-NEWS Post Convention

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Mission Moment

with Executive Director, David Tolleson

David Tolleson, NDSC Executive DirectorAnd just like that, half the year is gone. But what a way to finish out the second quarter – this year’s NDSC Virtual Convention was outstanding! This was the world’s largest online presentation of workshops, Deep Dives, social engagement, and interaction for self-advocates, their families, and the professionals who work with them. If you missed it, you missed a lot. Fortunately, if you are a registered attendee, you still have nearly 3 months to watch recordings at your leisure.

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Policy & Advocacy Newsline ~ June 2021

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Kick-off the NDSC Convention with the 4th Annual Advocacy Training Boot CampThe NDSC 49th Annual Convention will kick off with the 4th NDSC Advocacy Training Boot Camp.  Whether you are a beginner, intermediate, or advanced in your advocacy journey, this three-hour boot camp will give you the tools you need to be an effective advocate. Designed to be an advocacy mini-course with a focus on legislative advocacy, participants will leave energized and with new tools for their advocacy toolbox.  The virtual NDSC Advocacy Training Boot Camp is included with all General Conference and Youth & Adults Conference registrations, with no additional registration or RSVP required.  The boot camp will feature self-advocates who are making a difference through their personal advocacy efforts, sibling advocates, parent advocates, a State Representative, a State Senator, and the expert NDSC Policy & Advocacy Team.

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NDSC E-News ~ May 2021

Mission Moment

David Tolleson, NDSC Executive Directorwith Executive Director David Tolleson

Now is the time to take a moment and register for next month’s NDSC Virtual Convention! We are presenting a carefully curated selection of workshop and Deep Dive sessions and an unparalleled collection of nationally and internationally known speakers throughout a robust six days of programming for the whole family.

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Important Announcement 5.21.2021

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Dear Friends of the National Down Syndrome Congress:

Margaret Mead wrote, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.  Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”  For almost 20 years, David Tolleson has served honorably and unwaveringly as the Executive Director of the National Down Syndrome Congress (NDSC).  I am writing to inform you that David’s last day of service with the organization will be October 31, 2021. We want to thank David for the gifts of his time, talent, and passion to the NDSC and to the disability community. David will be missed at the NDSC and we extend our very best wishes to him.    

The Board of Directors has initiated a search process to find the next Executive Director for the NDSC. The Search will begin June 1, and we invite you to follow the process at www.ndsccenter.org and/or NDSC social media for more details.  The Executive Search Firm of Spencer Stuart is working to coordinate and find our new Executive Director. It is the goal of the NDSC to have our new Executive Director in place by late fall. The board and staff remain committed to mission excellence and increasing our impacts on the communities, organizations, and individuals we serve.

Thank you so much for your unending support of the mission of the NDSC. 

Shauntel Neal-Howe, President
National Down Syndrome Congress
Board of Directors

Policy & Advocacy Newsline ~ May 2021

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NDSC 4th Advocacy Training Boot Camp Included with NDSC Convention Registration

This NDSC 49th Annual Convention will again include the NDSC Advocacy Training Boot Camp.  This 3-hour session is designed to be an advocacy mini-course with a focus on legislative advocacy. Whether you are a beginner to advocacy or are an experienced advocate, you will walk away with something new and be energized after this session.

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