NDSC E-News ~ March 2021
with Executive Director David Tolleson
This month marks a year since we entered lockdown. While it’s too early to declare victory over the virus, as safe, effective vaccines are distributed, brighter days are in sight. Looking back, I’m proud of our work over the last year. NDSC’s Programs and Convention staff produced high-quality virtual educational and social programming in English and Spanish. We have hosted three Town Hall meetings on race relations in our community, most recently to discuss how both NDSC and our local and regional affiliates can do a better job of engaging families who haven’t traditionally felt welcome in our organizations.
Our Policy Team have been powerful advocates on your family’s behalf – from issues related to COVID-19 hospitalization, visitation, and vaccine prioritization protocols to virtual and in-person education issues to employment supports and beyond. And, along with our national partners, we have provided fact-based, medically researched COVID-19 and immunization information updated throughout the year to keep you and your family informed.
Of course, our work continues. If you haven’t done so already, I encourage you to sign up for our Ages & Stages webinars and, in the coming months, for our bigger, better virtual convention. Not only are these programs chock full of great information from the top experts in their fields, they also support our free programs and information, as well as our Washington, D.C.-based Policy work.
We’re looking forward to being together in person for next summer’s NDSC Convention in New Orleans, but in the meantime, let’s all hunker down, continue to mask, maintain social distancing recommendations when in public, and get vaccinated. The end – and, more importantly, a brand new day – is near!
The National Down Syndrome Congress exists to support individuals with Down syndrome, their families, caregivers, and the medical & educational professionals who serve them – across the lifespan. Our most recent program, Ages & Stages, serves as our most comprehensive package of resources to support individuals, families, and professionals through whatever age or stage of life they are navigating. Whether it be expectant parents or those caring for someone experiencing symptoms of Alzheimer’s, we have accurate and up-to-date information available for all.
Resources of many types are included in the Ages & Stages package. Each age or stage has a Resource Library arranged with documents and articles. We have collaborated with experts from across the country to bring you webinars with content relevant to each age or stage. Each Age & Stages group includes one free webinar with Premium Access subscribers receiving access to two additional webinars plus opportunities to share and network with peers in a group session – ALL FOR JUST $21!
The 4th Annual NDSC Golf Classic was a huge success!
Thank you to the 148 golfers, the amazing volunteers, and the sponsors who supported the event. Plans are already in the works for a bigger tournament in 2022!
Look for information coming soon about the NDSC ally for advocacy campaign. This monthly giving program will support NDSC’s policy and advocacy efforts. Your ongoing monthly contributions will support NDSC engagement with policymakers on a bipartisan basis and educate and empower stakeholders to speak up for policies that will improve the lives of individuals with Down syndrome and their families.
NDSC is proud to be a host partner of the 2021 (virtual) Disability Policy Seminar (DPS), to be held April 19 – 22, 2021. NDSC along with eight other national disability organizations: The Arc, AUCD, AAIDD, NACDD, SABE, TASH, the Autism Society of America, and UCP, the DPS will once again bring a high-quality informative event led by policy experts and offer opportunities for participants to virtually network with other participants from around the country. DPS will culminate in a Virtual Hill Day, where attendees can meet with Members of Congress and their staff from the convenience of their own computers to speak about the high-priority issues that affect them most.
Save the date for the 49th Annual NDSC Annual Convention! Bringing resources to families has always been our top priority. We are excited to bring you and your family a bigger, brighter 2021 Virtual Event.
The success of our first virtual multi-week convention hosted on multiple platforms provided an experience for many who had never attended an NDSC Convention. It also opened our eyes to the possibilities of what we could bring to more families. This year’s event will be even more robust, interactive, and engaging, offering even more learning opportunities and social opportunities.
With a NEW event software that will provide attendees access to all workshops, Deep Dives, Advocacy Boot Camp, Research & Medical Roundtable, Sharing Sessions, College Fair, Interactive Virtual Exhibit Hall, Virtual Happy Hour, Membership Meeting, Plenary, and the 321 Dance party through one dashboard.
More information is coming soon about registration and all that the 49th Annual Convention has in store. To view sponsor opportunities and learn more about the interactive Exhibitor Hall, click below.
The Heart & Soul of the NDSC Convention – The Youth & Adults Conference
The Youth & Adults Conference has always been the “heart & soul” of the NDSC Convention. Now, you can be a featured presenter at the Y&A Conference! The Y&A Team is looking for individuals who would like to present a workshop or spotlight at the 2021 NDSC Convention. We are looking for presenters who can provide an educational, empowering, and inspiring program for the more than 350 self-advocates attending the Y&A Conference.
We will be accepting proposals through April 18th, so don’t wait – get your proposal in soon!