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.

When considering whether or not to vaccinate your children (and yourself), please make sure you get your information from reputable, scientifically-based sources. Unfortunately, there is plenty of online misinformation about the COVID mRNA vaccines – that they can change your DNA (they can’t), were made with fetal tissue (they weren’t), and contain mind-controlling microchips (they don’t). What these vaccines do is save lives. If you still have questions, make sure to consult your child’s pediatrician (or your own doctor). Together, we can get back to normal at school and in the community while protecting ourselves and others!

Convention en Espanol

2021 Convention SPA Banner

On Friday, July 23, NDSC hosted the 49A Convencion Anual del NDSC! The event, presented for our Spanish speaking families and professionals, included:

  • 13 countries represented during the event!
  • 8 pre-recorded workshops
  • 4 live workshops
  • 3 live sharing sessions
  • 1 screening of a theatrical performance and Q&A with the director

It’s not too late to take advantage of the information provided in this unprecedented learning opportunity, but to receive links to all recorded sessions you must register by midnight Eastern Friday, July 30. Registered attendees will have 90 days, through October 31, to access the recordings.

2021 Convention Reminder 90 Daysr

Did you attend the 49th Annual NDSC Convention?  We want to remind attendees that you can access all recorded workshop sessions through September 26.

So that we may continue to provide content that is important to your family we ask that you please complete evaluations for workshops attended.  Your input will help us plan for future events and programs.

August is #ABLEtoSave Month!

Living with a disability is often associated with significant amounts of extra costs. That’s why individuals and families can now contribute to ABLE accounts.  ABLE Accounts, which are tax-advantaged savings accounts for individuals with disabilities and their families, were created as a result of the passage of the Stephen Beck Jr. Achieving a Better Life Experience Act of 2014 or better known as the ABLE Act. The beneficiary of the account is the account owner, income earned by the accounts will not be taxed and, most importantly, will not impact public benefits such as Medicaid and Supplemental Security Income. Contributions to the ABLE account, which can be made by any person (the account beneficiary, family, friends, Special Needs Trust or Pooled Trust), must be made using post-taxed dollars and will not be tax deductible for purposes of federal taxes; however, some states may allow for state income tax deductions for contributions made to an ABLE account.

NDSC has been involved in advocacy for ABLE for nearly two decades, frequently collaborates with the ABLE National Resource Center, and continues to be active in the effort to pass the ABLE Age Adjustment Act (S. 331/HR 1219) to broaden eligibility for accounts. Throughout August, the ABLE National Resource Center will host events and share ABLE tools, including panels with BIPOC Outreach Ambassadors, podcasts, informational videos, “Ask an ABLE Account Owner” forums, and more!

For more information about ABLE accounts and all that the ABLE National Resource Center has going on in August, visit their website at https://www.ablenrc.org/.  You can also follow NDSC’s social media pages for updates and new information each week throughout the month!

2nd Annual Soiree of Stars Gala Save the Date

2021 Soiree of Stars Gala Save the DateOn October 21, 2021, NDSC will host the 2nd NDSC Soiree of Stars Gala. The gala will be live-streamed to bring together thousands of guests to shine the light on individuals, organizations, and corporations making a difference in the lives of individuals with Down syndrome. Look for more information about this year’s honorees and special guests in your inbox and on our social pages.

Are you interested in helping us honor the STARS in the Down syndrome community and supporting new programs for our families?  You can see the benefits of sponsorship on our website or by clicking below.

2021 Sponsor Information can be found at




Our Search for a New Executive Director

The National Down Syndrome Congress’ Board of Directors is embarking on a search for a talented and qualified leader to serve as the organization’s next Executive Director. The Executive Director will report to the Board of Directors and will be responsible for providing strategic vision/leadership and executing/advancing objectives and programs based on this vision

The National Down Syndrome Congress has retained Spencer Stuart to assist in this recruitment. To nominate an individual, express personal interest in the position, or communicate comments, questions, or suggestions to the search committee, please feel free to use the confidential search mailbox ndsced@spencerstuart.com.

A complete position description will be sent on request or can be found at https://www.ndsccenter.org/wp-content/uploads/NSDC-ED-Search-Announcement.pdf.