NDSC E-News ~ July 2019 Edition

Mission Moment

With NDSC Executive Director, David Tolleson

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.

I especially want to thank the speakers who volunteered their time and expertise – and who even paid their own way to Pittsburgh – to ensure families have access to the most up-to-date information regarding best practices for our community. Planning is already underway for next year’s event, June 25-28, in New Orleans.  We hope you’ll join us there!

Of course, as much as we love the convention experience, the NDSC is so much more than a four-day event.  Throughout the year, we offer conferences for parents and educators around the country.  We also have a series of free webinars that you can attend live, or listen to at your convenience.  And, we still answer resource calls at the NDSC Center, sharing the caring, personalized support that our family organization is known for.

Whether it’s in person, online, or over the phone, I hope you will take advantage of all that the NDSC has to offer!

Best wishes,



Thank you, Pittsburgh, for an Incredible 47th Annual Convention

Pittsburgh recap

 2019 321 Dance

Pittsburgh recap 2

NDSC Elects New Board Members

New Board members were elected Friday, June 27 at the Annual General Membership Meeting. Please help us in congratulating Maggie Erickson from Apple Valley, MN, who was nominated by her self-advocate peers; Dr. Nicole Baumer, a sibling and Director of the Boston Children’s Hospital Down Syndrome Program; and, Daniel Chaplin, a member of NDSC’s Self-Advocate Council, from Homewood, AL.

 New 2019 BOD Members

2019 Awards Winner Banner

National Down Syndrome Congress announced the 2019 NDSC Award winners at ceremonies held during the 2019 NDSC 47th Annual Convention. NDSC recognized the following organizations and individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to research, advocacy, and awareness of the Down syndrome community.

2019 NDSC President’s Convention Support Award – The 2019 Pittsburgh Host Committee – Pittsburgh, PA.
2019 NDSC President’s Award – Global Down Syndrome Foundation – Denver, CO.
2019 NDSC President’s Award – Down Syndrome Center of Western Pennsylvania at UPMC Children’s Hospital – Pittsburgh, PA
2019 NDSC Exceptional Meritorious Service Award – Sheila Cannon – Co-founder of the Down Syndrome Center at UPMC Children’s Hospital – Pittsburgh, PA
2019 NDSC Employer of the Year Award – Giant Eagle – Pittsburgh, PA
2019 Outstanding Affiliate Organization – Down Syndrome Connection of the Bay Area – Danville, CA
2019 Sig Pueschel Service Award – Madeleine Will – Washington, D.C.
2019 Pueschel-Tjossem Memorial Research Award – LuMind IDSC Foundation – Burlington, MA
2019 Christian Pueschel Memorial Citizen Award – Todd Eisinger – Akron, OH
2019 NDSC Award for Media – “Intelligent Lives” – Dan Habib, Film Maker
2019 NDSC Education Award – Endrew F. and Parents
NDSC Board Service Awards were presented to – Kathleen Forney, Minneapolis, MN; Chandra Torry – Ocala, FL; and self-advocate, Katie Kremer, Las Vegas, NV.  Also receiving recognition for their service but not in attendance were Julie Harmon, Andy Bean, and Jeannie Visootsak.

Take the 2019 NDSC Convention Anywhere

Did you miss the 47th Annual NDSC Convention in Pittsburgh? Did you attend but couldn’t get to all the sessions that you wanted to?  It’s not too late – you can still learn from our amazing panel of experts.

Access to all recorded sessions was included in the 2019 Convention Attendee Registration. All registered attendee should have received an email with instructions to access their free account and to stream each recorded session.   If you could not attend #NDSC2019 or would like to upgrade to a downloadable or flash drive subscription visit www.playbackndsc.com.  Recording packages starting at just $129.

PlayBack Now Banner for Enews


In the middle of July, most kids are deep into summer break.  However, in just a few weeks parents and students will be hustling to get school supplies and take that last family trip of the summer, so now is the time for parents to begin preparing for the 2019-2020 school year, especially if preparing for the coming school year involves reviewing a student’s IEP.

It is important that families have access to resources that support inclusive education when working to formulate their child’s IEP. We have compiled a list of resources, although not exhaustive, which is a good blend of policy and research, as well as practical tips. While all this information can be very helpful, it is important to remember that the most successful inclusive experiences are usually based on building strong and positive relationships with administrators, educators, and other school personnel, to the greatest extent possible. We structured these resources around understanding the background for inclusion (Inclusion Policy and Research), tools for advocacy (the IEP), and tools for application to further facilitate an inclusive experience (Technology, Blogs/Social Media). We also provide a number of resources on the Universal Design for Learning (UDL) Framework which is often cited as a primary way to plan and design for an inclusionary experience.

We hope this list of resources will assist you in your overall understanding and facilitate further planning for an inclusive outcome.  Should you need further assistance please feel free to contact us at 770-604-9500.

Online FUNd-raising!

The NDSC Online Challenge engages participants in raising funds and awareness online. Participants who use the Facebook Fundraising platform to raise $321 will be awarded some really cool prizes for their efforts.  We are challenging YOU to help raise awareness and funds to support the projects and programs of the NDSC such as Rural Outreach and Educator Conferences.

Summer online challenge banner

Through July 31st host a Facebook Fundraiser for the NDSC, raise $321 and receive an NDSC limited edition cooler.  For more information about hosting a Facebook Fundraiser and how to get started visit the Current Campaigns page of our website under the Support, Join, Be Involved tab or email NDSC Community Engagement and Events Manager at rhonda@ndsccenter.org.

Survey graphic  Comfees™ Marketing Research Survey

Our corporate partner, Comfees™, is conducting marketing research to better identify where parents with children with disabilities are purchasing their child’s diapers. The purpose of this survey is to help expand their knowledge and mission to serve the needs of the community that NDSC serves, as well as those of other special needs organizations, with Comfees™ products.

Participants will have the chance to win a free case of product for answering the survey.


More information about Comfees™ and their products can be found online at mycomfees.com.

Many Thanks to all of our 2019 Convention SponsorsSponsors