NDSC E-News ~ January 2020

Mission Moment

With NDSC Executive Director, David Tolleson

 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!

Of course, we still appreciate and need your ongoing contributions.  Your giving ensures that Washington, DC’s best disability advocacy team can keep fighting for you and your family.  It also provides support and resources for all families, free webinars by leading professionals, training in best practices for educators, and outreach to underserved communities. When you give to the NDSC you help change lives.

Thank you for your continued support and for your membership in the NDSC.  We’re stronger together.  We’re stronger because of you.





NDSC Resources at Your Fingertips

NDSC Website ScreenNDSC is committed to providing support and information for anyone touched by or seeking to learn about Down syndrome, from the moment of diagnosis through adulthood. The NDSC offers programs for families and professionals, and we are always realizing new ways to support individuals with Down syndrome.  We provide resources on a wide array of topics, some that we have created at our center and others that we share from trusted sources.

The NDSC website is filled with information and resources for families and professionals whose lives have been touched by Down syndrome.  Included in these resources is an entire section dedicated to health care & medical resources including healthcare guidelines for individuals with Down syndrome and growth charts from the CDC under “Basics of Proper Health Care”.   We have also compiled and continue to update a list of Down syndrome clinics around the country sorted by state.  While individuals can be seen by pediatricians, internists, and family medical providers, families may wish to seek an appointment with one of the many providers who have significant experience with Down syndrome, if there is one located nearby.

Countdown to Convention

Parent Webinar:Convention 101 2020Are you making plans to attend the 48th annual NDSC Convention this June?  Not sure, or wondering if all the talk about the amazing event is really true?  Each year, thousands of people from across the globe attend the NDSC Annual Convention. For most, it is to hear the latest information from world-renowned experts. For others, it is to take their family on a great vacation. However, for nearly all, it is because of the one-of-a-kind NDSC “giant family reunion” feeling that permeates the convention weekend.

Join us Tuesday, February 11, at 2:00 PM EST to learn about this year’s 4-day event, which will be held in New Orleans, June 25-28, 2020. This webinar, hosted by NDSC staff will give you an overview of all things convention and an opportunity to ask questions.

Presented by:
David Tolleson – Executive Director
Sarah Hill – Convention Director
Tamara Pursley – Programs & Partnerships Director


Can’t make the webinar?  No problem, register for the event and you will receive a link to view the recording. All webinar recordings should be available within one week of a live broadcast.

Lagniappe in The Big Easy #NDSC2020

The NDSC staff and Board met earlier this month and will be revealing details about the 48th Annual Convention in the coming weeks.  One thing we can tell you now is that New Orleans promises to be an amazing host city and they are excited that we are coming.  The people of NOLA have been very welcoming, offering free admission to The Aquarium of the Americas, the 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!

Many events during this year’s convention will have a New Orleans Mardi Gras theme with a 321 Boogie & Beads Dance Friday night and a Masquerade Ball on Saturday evening.

To get the most up-to-date information about the NDSC Convention, as it is released, follow us on Facebook @thendsc

Back by Popular Demand!

We will host the 2nd NDSC College Fair, in collaboration with Think College.  This event offers an opportunity for colleges and universities to showcase post-secondary programs for students with intellectual disabilities and for self-advocates and families to see what the attending schools have to offer.  All registered convention attendees are welcome to visit the College Fair with no additional registration required.

For the 3rd year, we will be hosting the Advocacy Training Boot Camp! This free training, available to all NDSC Convention attendees, is designed for self-advocates, parents, and professionals. Attendees will leave equipped with advocacy skills to effect change in communities around the world.

Save the Date  – Thursday, June 25, 2020, 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM in New Orleans, Louisiana. Hope to see you there!

Call for SA SpeakersDo you have a special skill that you would like to share?  Maybe a new dance move you have perfected?  How about leading a group in a craft, activity or game?  Do you have something inspirational that you would like to share with your peers?   If you answered YES – then the NDSC Youth & Adult (Y&A) Conference Team is hoping that you will submit a proposal to present either a 5-minute or a 45-minute presentation at the Y&A Conference in June.   Proposals must be submitted no later than Friday, January 31, 2020.

Self-advocates interested in presenting during the 2020 NDSC Youth & Adult Conference should submit proposals by 5:00 PM, Friday, January 31, 2020.

Submit Proposal

FB Fundraiseres

Thank you to all who participated in Facebook Fundraisers in 2019. Together we have raised thousands of dollars through Facebook.  At NDSC we like to give a little “lagniappe”, or a little something extra, to our online challenge participants.  In the spirit of Mardi Gras and the 48th Annual Convention in New Orleans, all participants who raise $321 or more between now and March will receive a King Cake – the signature baked good of Mardi Gras season in New Orleans, as a token of our thanks for your support if NDSC.

FB Fundraiser

NDSC Policy & Advocacy logo

Are you looking to learn more about advocacy?  Join the National Down Syndrome Advocacy Coalition (NDAC)

NDAC is NDSC’s grassroots advocacy program that has members all over the country, but we always need more! We provide advocacy training, updates and networking with other advocates. Let us provide you with the tools to effectively advocate for change! Signing up is easy!

Membership will include a subscription to our monthly E-newsletter – NDSC Policy & Advocacy Newsline.  You will also be invited to participate in in-depth discussions on the policy issues that the NDSC Policy & Advocacy Team is working on in Washington, D.C.

Engage With Us on Social Media – LIKE us on Facebook: @dsadvocates FOLLOW us on Twitter: @NDSCPolicy.

2020 Golf Classic Banner

We invite you to join us for the 3rd Annual NDSC “All Kinds of Heroes” Golf Classic to be held on Monday, March 16th, 2020 at the fabulous Bear’s Best-Atlanta Golf Course in Suwanee, GA.  Proceeds from the tournament will support outreach and education programs for people with Down syndrome, their families, and the professionals who serve them, as well as provide free printed materials and resources for communities.

The 2020 event will include an amazing day of golf on one of Atlanta’s premier golf courses; a Yeti for unlimited drinks; and 4 hole-in-one contests, with a chance to win $50,000 in cash. The highlight of the day though will be the Fireball Drop.  Even if you do not live in the Atlanta area you can get in on the fun!  Purchase your Fireballs today, then watch when we stream live on Facebook as the Fireballs are hoisted up the aerial ladder of a fire truck, then dropped to the ground below.  The owner of the Fireball that lands first in the hole or closest to the hole will win a cash prize!

For more information and to register to play visit our website.