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National Down Syndrome Society

Your gift of $100 to the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) helps us continue to advocate for the rights of those with Down syndrome and provide adult caregiver services and resources to the individuals currently caring for an adult with Down syndrome.

National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS)

 

NDSS Mission: The mission of the National Down Syndrome Society is to be the leading human rights organization for all individuals 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.   

NDSS Community Support Programs: Provides the best, most comprehensive and accurate information and resources on Down syndrome in the world, available in over 150 languages. Through the Goodwin Information & Referral Center, NDSS receives more than 10,000 requests a year for information on Down syndrome through its toll-free helpline and e-mail services. NDSS responds to questions from parents, professionals, self-advocates and other interested individuals. Throughout the year, NDSS publishes and disseminates new and expectant parent guides, a booklet for caregivers of older adults with Down syndrome and informational brochures, all available in both English and Spanish. Web-based content for new and expectant parents is available in four translated languages and a poster/teacher's guide for elementary school students is available and disseminated to schools, educators and parents. NDSS is proud to offer various annual scholarships and grants for self-advocates, including, the O’Neill Tabani Enrichment Fund, the #DSWORKS® Blake Pyron Entrepreneurship Scholarship and the Ethan Saylor Memorial Scholarship. Each scholarship provides individuals with the opportunity to enhance their lives whether it be through education, business or getting started on their lifelong dream. Additionally, NDSS conducts monthly informational webinars, hosts a conference on issues related to aging and Down syndrome and participates in Down syndrome research roadshows with its affiliate network.

NDSS National Policy Center: Creates systemic change through legislative advocacy and focuses on issues across the lifespan of an individual with Down syndrome. Our comprehensive legislative agenda is centered around five important areas: Healthcare & Research, Education, Economic Self-Sufficiency, Community Integration and Employment. These priorities have been shaped by self-advocates, families, affiliate leaders and others under the direction of the NDSS Board of Directors. After the passage of the ABLE Act at the Federal level in December 2014, NDSS led a cross-disability initiative to pass 48 state ABLE laws to facilitate state ABLE programs. At the state level, NDSS worked to pass Down syndrome pro-information bills, nondiscrimination in organ transplantation bills and a bill to establish the Ethan Saylor Alliance to train self-advocates as educators in police training. NDSS recently launched a campaign called “Law Syndrome”, which seeks to address the outdated legislation that prevents those with disabilities from pursuing a career or living independently without risking Medicaid benefits. For more information, please visit www.lawsyndrome.org.

NDSS Public Awareness Initiatives:  Brings positive presentations of Down syndrome to the public by combating stereotypes and igniting a new way for the public to think about people with Down syndrome. NDSS proactively works through television, radio, print, newspaper, online, as well as various forms of social media to promote awareness, acceptance and inclusion of people with Down syndrome. NDSS manages a monthly e-newsletter that is dissimilated to 35,000 supporters, and NDSS' website (www.ndss.org) receives roughly 30 million page views per year. The NDSS website, is the most comprehensive and up-to-date resource for families, professionals, 380 NDSS affiliates and others, providing information on healthcare & research, education, economic self-sufficiency, community integration and employment.

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.

Inclusive Health and Sports Program: Features the National Buddy Walk® Program, Athlete Ambassador Team, Premier Charity Racing Teams and Our Healthy Community.  The National Buddy Walk® Program is the world’s most widely recognized public awareness program for the Down syndrome community and includes more than 250 walks across the US and Internationally. Last year, 330,000 people participated in a Buddy Walk® event and raised more than $14 million to benefit local programs and services as well as support NDSS' Federal, State and Local Advocacy efforts on behalf of all individuals with Down syndrome.

DSWORKS®: This campaign was established in 2016 to break down legislative barriers to allow all individuals with Down syndrome to pursue meaningful employment in an inclusive workplace. #DSWORKS® is comprised of three key components; employment resources, Federal & State Legislative agenda, and Employer Roundtable partnerships. With these three key components, The National Down Syndrome Society, the leading human rights organization for all individuals with Down syndrome are partnering with like-minded organizations in all shapes and sizes from Main Street to Wall Street to aide in educating, marketing, and employing individuals with Down syndrome.