NDSC E-News The Down Syndrome Awareness Month Edition

Mission Moment
with NDSC Executive Director David Tolleson

David Tolleson, NDSC Executive DirectorOctober is wonderful for many reasons – the arrival of sweater weather, apple picking, and trick-or-treating. But one of the very best things about October is that it’s Down Syndrome Awareness Month! NDSC families led the successful effort to convince President Ronald Reagan to establish the yearly observance in 1984.

There are many different ways you can have a meaningful impact this month, including –

  • Becoming an active advocate, by joining NDSC’s National Down Syndrome Advocacy Coalition (NDAC)
  • Helping to improve the length and quality of life for individuals with Down syndrome by supporting research funding and by signing up for DS-Connect®, the Down Syndrome Registry
  • Making a difference in your community by attending your local Down syndrome organization’s Walk or fundraiser either in-person or virtually
  • Attending and supporting NDSC’s Soiree of Stars Virtual Gala, Thursday, October 21st. There’s no charge to attend this fun family event!

It would take only 2 or 3 hours out of the whole month to do everything on this list. However, if you don’t have time to do everything, make sure to do something. Together, we can create meaningful change for people with Down syndrome and families like yours!

Happy Down Syndrome Awareness Month!

David C Tolleson signature


It’s Down Syndrome Awareness Month – Let’s Celebrate our History!

You know that October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month, but do you know how it came to be?

Pres Reagan DS Awareness Month

President Ronald Reagan signing the proclamation of October as Down Syndrome Awareness Month
In attendance (left to right) Senator Richard Lugar of Indiana (who introduced the resolution in the Senate); Madeleine Will, Assistant Secretary of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services; George Will, parent of a child with Down syndrome; Diane Crutcher, NDSC Executive Director; and Tom O’Neill, President of the NDSC.

In 1984, President Ronald Reagan signed a resolution proclaiming October as National Down Syndrome Month.  In President Reagan’s proclamation speech, he cites the National Down Syndrome Congress as an organization leading the way to “increase of public awareness of this condition and of the capabilities of those with Down Syndrome.”  Long before the monumental day of President Reagan’s proclamation, the NDSC  began its mission to provide information and support for individuals and families touched by Down syndrome and advocate for the rights of individuals with Down syndrome as they pertain to all aspects of life.

We hope you will join us all month on our social pages to celebrate Down Syndrome Awareness Month.  This month at the 2nd Soiree of Stars Virtual Gala we will also officially kick off our celebration of 50 years of NDSC!

Soiree of Stars Long Banner

On October 21, 2021, NDSC will host the 2nd Annual Soiree of Stars Virtual Gala. An evening to shine a light on individuals, organizations, and corporations making an impact in the Down syndrome community.  The highlight of the evening will be the introduction of the 2021 NDSC Everyday Heroes.  These are individuals with Down syndrome who are role models and have made positive impacts to better their own lives, the lives of others with Down syndrome,  and their community.  This year’s Everyday Heroes continued their education through postsecondary colligate or vocational trade programs.

The revenue raised from this event will allow us to continue to help people with Down syndrome by providing resources, programs, and advocacy as we seek to fulfill our vision of a world with equal rights and opportunities for people with Down syndrome.

We hope that you will join us for this celebration. The event is free to attend,  but you must RSVP to save your seat.  We also hope that we can count on you to support this fundraising event.  Donating is easy! Simply text NDSC to 26989 or click below.



2021 Call for Speakers

Each year, thousands of people from across the globe attend the NDSC Annual Convention. For most, it’s to hear the latest information from world-renowned experts. We have opened the 2022 Convention portal for speaker proposals.

Please note the deadline for submissions is earlier than in prior years, GENERAL CONFERENCE PROPOSALS ARE DUE NOVEMBER 1, 2021

If you would like more information or would like to submit a workshop proposal for consideration visit our website

Updated COVID-19 & Down Syndrome Resource for individuals with Down syndrome

COVID-19 Resource update NDSC has again joined forces with other national organizations to update our valuable, free COVID-19 & Down Syndrome Resource for individuals with Down syndrome.  This resource focuses on new and updated information specific to variants, boosters, and school safety.  It also includes notes about testing, vaccines, mental health, ways to stay safe, and advocacy in hospital settings and for appropriate care (released 9/10/2021).

To view or download the updated document visit the NDSC COVID-19 Resource Library on our website



TIES webinar 11.14.21Join us on October 14 from 2:30-4 PM ET

For a collaborative webinar of NDSC and the TIES Center entitled How Do You Create Comprehensive Inclusive  Education Programs and IEPs That Focus on General Education Membership, Active Participation, and Learning?

You will hear from five dynamic speakers who will cover a parent brief on developing inclusive IEPS as well as a comprehensive resource for families and educators on planning for inclusive education programs that focus on General Education Membership, Active Participation, and Learning.

Presenters include:

RIcki Sabia, JD, NDSC Senior Education Policy Advisor, TIES Parent Liaison
Terri Vandercook, Ph.D., TIES Research Associate
Gail Ghere, Ph.D., TIES Research Associate
Jessica Bowman, Ph.D., TIES Research Associate
Jennifer Sommerness, Ed.S, TIES Research Associate

Save your seat at this webinar by registering today


NTG webinar NTG Webinar

NDSC is a proud sponsor of the NTG event bringing together a national panel of expert researchers and practitioners in the field of Down syndrome and Alzheimer’s disease who will engage in a realistic and thoughtful discussion of both current and future therapeutics, matters related to diagnostics, and the emerging research on biomarkers.

This webinar will be useful to parents and families, providers, advocates, clinicians, practitioners, and others invested in the future for persons with Down syndrome.

Register to attend

The webinar will be recorded and a link to the recording will be sent to all registered participants