NDSS spent $447,513 in its Public Policy efforts and helped secure the passage of the Able Act.
National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS)
NDSS Mission: The mission of the National Down Syndrome Society is to be the national advocate for the value, acceptance and inclusion of people with Down syndrome.
NDSS Vision: The National Down Syndrome Society envisions a world in which all people with Down syndrome have the opportunity to enhance their quality of life, realize their life aspirations and become valued members of welcoming communities. It is to this end that NDSS is focused on four areas of programming.
NDSS Community Support Programs: The National Down Syndrome Society leads a national network of 300 affiliate groups across the country, consisting of local parent support groups and other organizations, that provide services to the Down syndrome community. Through its Goodwin Family Information and Referral Center, NDSS operates a toll-free helpline and email service, which responds to constituent inquiries in over 150 languages. NDSS publishes new and expectant parent guides, Aging and Down syndrome, a health and well-being guidebook, and informational brochures, and boasts the web's most comprehensive and up-to-date resource for families, professionals and affiliates in both English and Spanish.
NDSS National Policy Center: The National Policy Center in Washington, D.C. strives to protect the rights of and help remove the barriers for all individuals with Down syndrome by working with Congress and federal agencies, as well as educating parents and self-advocates to advocate on the local, state and national levels. The work of the Policy Center is guided by its dynamic legislative agenda which includes a wide range of issues and touches every stage of life. These issues include education, healthcare, research, employment and independent living.
NDSS Public Awareness Initiatives: NDSS proactively reaches out to national media outlets including television, print, online media and radio to secure editorial content on issues within the Down syndrome community, as well as secure positive and inspirational news stories. NDSS' "My Great Story" public awareness campaign honors and celebrates the 400,000 Americans with Down syndrome by showcasing inspirational stories in a beautiful online story book on the NDSS website. The stories are written by people with Down syndrome, their family members, friends, co-workers, teachers and others. NDSS monitors all forms of media on a daily basis, 365 days a year and responds to any inappropriate comments in an ongoing effort to educate and to promote accurate and positive messaging about Down syndrome.
National Buddy Walk Program: The Buddy Walk(R) was established by NDSS in 1995 and has grown to be the world's largest and most recognizable Down syndrome awareness program, with 275 Walks taking place in 49 states and 7 countries this year. Every year 250,000 walkers collectively raise approximately $10 million which is used to support local programs and services as well as national initiatives.