Since our founding nearly 50 years ago, the NDSC has fought for inclusion and promoted easier access to needed services. In that spirit, our Board recently decided that we will no longer charge for membership. It’s important to us that no one feels excluded from our family because they can’t afford the annual membership fee. Supporting that decision is the fact that the NDSC Annual Convention has truly become a gathering place for the world Down syndrome community – an opportunity for our fellow organizations and the families and professionals we all support to come together. The more we can do to remove barriers to participation, the more it helps our community. After all, we’re better all together!
Election Season is Upon Us: Stay Informed – Stay Engaged
As a 501(c)(3) organization, NDSC does not endorse nor recommend any candidates in any political race. Under the Internal Revenue Code, all section 501(c)(3) organizations are absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign or endorsing any candidate for elective public office. Our job is to encourage everyone to stay informed and participate in the political process, particularly as it relates to issues impacting the disability community. Below are a few resources that you can reference to learn about policy issues as they pertain to disabilities and engage with other disability community advocates.
This year is rapidly winding down. Are you someone who makes New Year’s resolutions? If so, please put participation in the 2020 Census near the top of your list. Why?
1. Not being counted could hurt your family member with Down syndrome. The census is used to determine funding for supports for people with disabilities, as well as how those funds are distributed to your state and community. Historically, people with disabilities have been under counted, meaning less money for the programs their family member need – or will need – to live and work in the community.
Please Give A Little Something Extra to the
NDSC for the New Year
As we step into the hustle and bustle of the Holiday Season, and we prepare for the New Year, the National Down Syndrome Congress is hoping for “A little something extra” from you, our generous donors, for 2020!
I do love autumn. The changing of the leaves, the crisp sunny days, football games, and the beginning of the holiday season with the choirs and carols, food, lights, and decorations. Those once a year television specials and memories of holidays past with loved ones, some still here and some who have moved on.
Unfortunately, it always seems that we rush through fall to get to December (or at least the retailers’ rush to get us there), and sometimes Thanksgiving gets short shrift. It’s not nearly as flashy as other holidays. It’s quiet and reflective. However, I think that now – perhaps more than ever – it’s wise to stop and think about what we’re thankful for.
NDSC has been linked to Down Syndrome Awareness Month literally since the day it was established. In 1984, when President Reagan signed the proclamation creating Down Syndrome Awareness Month, NDSC’s Executive Director and President were in the Oval Office. Both before and since, NDSC has worked to educate the general public, healthcare professionals, educators, and elected officials about what it really means to have Down syndrome in contemporary America.
Recently, our staff traveled to New Orleans to begin preparations for next year’s NDSC Convention, June 25-28. Hosted in one of America’s most unique locations, this year’s event looks to be one of our most memorable “family reunions” with a New Orleans second line parade; free admission to The Aquarium of the Americas, Audubon Zoo, and the Insectarium for all children ages 2-12, with half-price admission for guests age 13 and over; and, free admission to New Orleans City Park and Storyland Theme Park, with unlimited ride wristbands for the first 3,000 guests!
Mission Moment With NDSC Executive Director, David Tolleson
For most of the country, August means back to school. Because of that, it’s natural to focus on why inclusion is so important. Regardless of how many chromosomes we have, we all do better when we’re included – in school, work, faith communities, and social settings. And it’s not just individuals who benefit. Our society becomes stronger when everyone is included, when everyone can contribute based on their gifts, and when we can all celebrate both our commonalities and differences.
What a great time we had in Pittsburgh! It was fantastic to meet so many of you – our team made some wonderful memories with the families in attendance.
Speaking of our team, I’d be remiss if I didn’t give a HUGE shout-out to my NDSC colleagues, our Board of Directors, Convention Planning Committee, the Pittsburgh Host Committee, and the hundreds of volunteers who made our 47th annual convention successful.