NDSC E-News ~ October 2023

NDSC Welcomes New Interim Executive Director and Board Officers
and Thanks Dedicated Outgoing Officers

NDSC is pleased to announce our Interim Executive Director and new Board Officers. Together they bring a wealth of knowledge, experience, passion, and momentum to NDSC!

Please welcome:
Interim Executive Director – Stephanie Smith Lee
President – Sean J. Smith
Vice President #1 – Tony Zanfordino
Vice President #2 – Beau Brooks
Vice President #3 – Dana Halle
Vice President #4 – Jill Reffett
Secretary – David Chaplin
Immediate Past President – Marilyn Tolbert

woman in red standing at podium with young man We thank the outgoing board officers for their service and dedication to our families, self-advocates, and staff. Kate Dougherty, President; Zachary Carroll, 1st VP; Mitchel Rothholz, Treasurer; Nicole Baumer, Secretary, who all contributed many hours of service to lead the NDSC. We appreciate your hard work in helping the vision of NDSC become a continued reality.

We extend a special thanks to former President Kate Dougherty (pictured with her son Elliot) for her exceptional work paving the way to make a difference for our community, her many years of service on the NDSC Board and Executive Board, her exceptional efforts to further build the NDSC convention as an innovative and particularly unique experience for all our attendees, and her tireless efforts to make the world a better place for individuals with Down syndrome and their families.

Upcoming Educators Conferences Save the Dates
NDSC is pleased to announce two upcoming Educators Conferences!

Block of text with information about a Nashville Educators Conference Nov. 4, 2023
Educators Conference is coming to Nashville, TN, on Saturday, November 4, 2023.
Registration is open

An Educators Conference is also coming to Tulsa, Oklahoma, in February 2024.

If you would like to bring an Educator’s Conference to your community, Please complete the following application.

Block with Call for Speakers and desert logo Call for Speakers Convention Workshop Proposals

We have a call for speakers to submit Convention workshop proposals through October 31, 2023.

Learn More

Save the Date 2024!

We’re excited to announce that the 52nd Annual NDSC Convention will be held in Phoenix, Arizona, from July 25-28, 2024! Get ready to experience another impactful convention with informative workshops, interactive activities, and the chance to create more meaningful connections.

Now Accepting Award NominationsRecognize an individual or organization whose work and contributions have advanced the mission of NDSC and the lives of individuals with Down syndrome! Nominations are due by January 15, 2024 

NDAC Membership

This year, the NDSC National Down Syndrome Advocacy Coalition (NDAC) has grown to 850 members including 105 self-advocates. We value the commitment and collective volunteer efforts of all 850 NDAC members. NDAC is NDSC’s Grassroots Advocacy program. NDAC allows us to bring together advocates of all abilities from across the country. As constituents, NDAC members are an essential link to federally elected officials. National Down Syndrome Awareness Month is a great time to make a lasting impact by joining NDAC!


Employment Spotlight: Annalynn McWhorter 
Annalynn’s Advocacy Results in the Career of Her Dreams

young lady holding a certificate and Employment Spotlight bannerBack in 2021, Annalynn McWhorter, 19, of Bentonville, Arkansas, and her parents, Jennifer and Mark, led the efforts to pass Annalynn’s Law.  Annalynn, who has Down Syndrome, dreamt of owning her own salon someday. However, there was an Arkansas law that would have made it very difficult for her to reach this goal. Building on the knowledge the family had from years of attending advocacy training, the family then set out to change the law. They were successful, and Annalynn’s Law was signed into law into law on April 27, 2021. Since then, Annalynn has graduated high school, completed some training, and started working at Shear Madness Salon in Bentonville. Stories like this prove that one person can make a difference and advocacy does work!
#NDEAM #Downsyndrome #DSAM

Watch Annalynn Living Her Dream

NDSC Action Alerts

The National Down Syndrome Congress (NDSC) provides easy and accessible ways to engage your elected officials. When new and important legislation is introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives or the U.S. Senate, we will send you a notice to take action. All of our past and recent Action Alerts can be found at NDSC Action Alerts.

This allows the Down syndrome community to be directly informed on the details of federal policy while also providing a way to directly email your elected officials. Please sign up for Action Alerts today and take action to raise the voices of those in our community.

Upcoming Events

October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month! How will you be celebrating?

Nov. 4th – Educators Conference – Nashville, Tennessee

Feb. 2024 – Educators ConferenceTulsa, Oklahoma – Registration info coming soon!


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