NDSC E-News ~ April 2019

NDSC’s Mission Moment

with Executive Director David Tolleson 

Spring has sprung, which means we’re entering the homestretch leading to this year’s NDSC Annual Convention in family-friendly Pittsburgh!  For those of you who have attended before, you know that there’s nothing quite like the NDSC Convention. Nowhere else in the world can you access as many world-class speakers and as much information in person as you can at the NDSC Convention.  Included in your registration are additional free learning opportunities that you can only access this one weekend of the year: the Global Down Syndrome Foundation Research and Medical Roundtable; the LuMInd IDSC Foundation Research Rally; the NDSC Advocacy Training Boot Camp; the Film Festival; Exhibit Hall; and, this year’s inaugural College Fair.

Of course, if you said the best parts of the Convention are found in the hallways, at the dances, around dinner tables, and by the pool, you wouldn’t get an argument from me.  While social media is great for keeping us connected throughout the year, there’s no substitution for coming together in person as a community and there’s no larger gathering on Earth of men, women, and children with Down syndrome.

Pittsburgh is a wonderful host city and the David L. Lawrenceville Convention Center offers plenty of room for all that will be happening throughout the weekend. Conferences, workshops, and pre-conferences are filling quickly, but there is still time for you and your family to register to attend. Additionally, we still have available space in our Convention hotel – the breathtaking, historic and roomy Omni William Penn.

I hope you’ll join us this June in Pittsburgh.  With apologies to Walt Disney, the NDSC Convention really is the Happiest Place on Earth.

With best wishes,

World Down Syndrome Day 2019

2nd Annual NDSC Golf Classic

Thank you to all who participated in the 2nd Annual NDSC Golf Classic on World Down Syndrome Day. We can’t wait to do it again next year!

A Day to Celebrate and to be Celebrated

As part of a celebration for World Down Syndrome Day, the Down Syndrome Partnership of North Texas honored NDSC Immediate Past President, Dr. Marilyn Tolbert, with the Legacy Award in recognition of her dedication—both personally and professionally—for her service for the Down syndrome community.


NDSC Senior Policy Advisor, Stephanie Smith Lee, spoke in Trinidad and Tobago at the United Nations World Down Syndrome Day Conference hosted in part by NDAC Group members, Down Syndrome Family Network.

Get More at the 47th NDSC Convention

Mother/Daughter Team Talk Advocacy

Jawanda and Rachel Mast have been an advocate team for nearly 20 years. They will be featured presenters during the NDSC Advocacy Boot Camp in Pittsburgh, June 27, 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM.

Rachel is sending a special invitation to all self-advocates to the 4-hour workshop designed to be an advocacy 101 training. Self-advocates who attend will make friends and learn how to be effective advocates. They will learn from parent advocates, professionals, elected officials, and maybe most importantly, self-advocates.

Read Jawanda and Rachel’s blog about the NDSC Advocacy Boot Camp and find out why Rachel will be wearing her pink boots! If you have any questions about the event, email lauren@ndsccenter.org or call 800. 232.NDSC (6372)

College Fair – NEW This Year

College Fair graphic

Colleges from around the country will showcase their post-secondary education programs for individuals with intellectual disabilities at the NDSC 47th Annual Convention from 3:00 PM – 5:00 PM, Friday, June 28th.

The College Fair is hosted in collaboration with Think College, the national organization dedicated to developing, expanding, and improving higher education options for people with intellectual disabilities.

Visit our website for more information and a list of colleges that will be exhibiting during the College Fair.

Research & Medical Care Learning Opportunities

NDSC along with several partners have co-organized learning opportunities at the annual NDSC Convention. The sessions are free to all registered convention attendees. However, RSVP is REQUIRED.
Visit our website for more information on these opportunities at Research & Medical Care Learning Opportunities.

GDSF Research & Medical Care Roundtable Thursday, June 27

Global Down Syndrome Foundation Logo

LuMind IDSC Research Rally Saturday, June 29

LuMind IDSC Logo

Upcoming Webinars

If you cannot attend the live webinar, you may register to receive a link to the recorded presentation to view at your convenience.

April 24 – When Autism and Down Syndrome Co-Occur

Presented by NDSC and the Autism Society of America.
What does the science say? What are the benefits of knowing? Will this impact services for my child? Join us as we answer these questions and more, during a webinar presented with our friends from the Autism Society of America.

Register Here button

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May 14 – Decline in Skills

Presented by Brian Chicoine, MD
People with Down syndrome may have a decline in skills for a variety of reasons. Much of the focus has been on Alzheimer’s disease but there are many causes, most of which are potentially reversible. A thorough evaluation, with particular emphasis on conditions that are more common in people with Down syndrome, is essential. Treatment of these conditions will often lead to an improvement in symptoms.

Register here button

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For Your Viewing Pleasure

Hearts of Glass Film image View Hearts of Glass trailer
Hearts of Glass is a full-length film that tells the story of a cutting-edge vertical farm in Jackson Hole. It features nuanced portraits of community members with disabilities and touches on timely and important issues around meaningful, competitively-paid, community-based employment opportunities.

Thank you to our Sponsors

2019 Convention Sponsors logos