Hi there,

October is Down Syndrome Awareness Month, and it's coming up quickly! We value our blogger friends and would love to connect with you about your plans for the coming weeks. Whether you have your posts planned out or you're looking for new ideas, we hope you'll check out our Down Syndrome Awareness Month Blogger Guide to learn about NDSS initiatives and happenings. Please join us in raising awareness this October!


Please feel free to reach out with any questions or ideas you have, and keep us in the loop with your posts. If you have other ideas for blogging this Down Syndrome Awareness Month, we'd love to hear those too!


Jordana Stern

National Down Syndrome Society

Communications & Social Media Manager

212-763-4362/[email protected]


Get the Word Out


As a blogger, you have a captive audience open to hearing what you have to say. You may have an active Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest following as well. Let them know that October is National Down Syndrome Awareness Month, what you're celebrating, for whom and why. We recently relaunched our website, NDSS.org, making our content easier to navigate and share. We invite you to check it out and include what is meaningful to you. Here are some ideas:

  • Back to Basics: The Down syndrome section offers helpful pages that cover the basics about Down syndrome. The preferred language guide is especially helpful for teaching your followers the correct way to speak about Down syndrome and those who have it.
  • Dig Deeper: The resources section covers everything from new and expectant parents to health care to recreation and friendship, and so much more. The topics in this section might be helpful tools in covering issues you've wanted to discuss on your blog. 
  • Make Your Voice Heard: NDSS makes it easy to advocate for positive legislative change for people with Down syndrome. Visit the advocacy section and sign up to receive our advocacy alert emails so you can take action and encourage your followers to do the same.
  • Do it Your Way: NDSS Your Way invites you to compete, celebrate and create with us through our online fundraising program that is geared towards independent fundraisers interested in raising money on behalf of NDSS. October is a great time to start a campaign and rally the support of your followers.

Do Something Local


NDSS established the Buddy Walk� in 1995 to celebrate National Down Syndrome AwarenessMonth and to promote acceptance and inclusion of people with Down syndrome in their own cities. The program has grown from 17 Walks its first year to over 250 Walks expected in 2012. Find a Buddy Walk in your area and invite your followers to join your team! If your followers don't live near you, encourage them to attend the local Buddy Walks in their areas. If there is no Walk near you, consider starting one! You can also implement some smaller scale community initiatives and activities to raise awareness this October. Here are some ideas:

  • Down syndrome awareness pins are easy to put together and make a statement to all who see them! Blue and yellow are the official Down syndrome colors (and Buddy Walk colors!) so get some blue and yellow ribbons and pin them together. Ask local shops and markets if they would keep them by the register throughout October with a sign that explains what they are. You can also give them out at your kid's school and to other people you see often.
  • Organize a bake sale or ice cream social in your neighborhood. Include blue and yellow M&Ms, sprinkles or icing. You can raise awareness and funds for Down syndrome!
  • Plan an awareness night at a restaurant in your area. Ask that the staff wear blue and yellow or Down syndrome awareness pins. Arrange for a portion of the proceeds to be donated to a Down syndrome-related cause.
  • Get creative with a craft night at which participants can make their own blue and yellow awareness jewelry or decorate a picture frame. The jewelry can be worn to a Buddy Walk or another event and the frame can hold a photo from the event.
  • Hold a car wash and hand out a Down syndrome awareness pin and fact sheet to each customer. Donate a portion of the proceeds to a related cause.
  • Team up with a local high school or college and plan a recreational or educational activity, such as a fashion show, speakers' panel or dance party. Give out blue and yellow awareness pins or bracelets to further raise awareness.

Share Your Story  


When you blog you probably share stories about yourself and your family each time you post. The My Great Story campaign seeks to ignite a new way of thinking about people with Down syndrome by sharing stories written by and about them. Those who submit a story can choose from several sections, including one devoted exclusively to Buddy Walk� stories. If you're attending a Buddy Walk this fall, we'd love to hear all about it. This year, for the first time, we will be adding a special Down Syndrome Awareness Month section in October. Whether or not you're attending a Buddy Walk, keep an eye out for that section to share your Down Syndrome Awareness Month plans!


Once your story is added to the collection, you'll be sent a unique link so you can easily find it within the online storybook. All participants are encouraged to share the link with their family and friends and invite them to vote and comment on their stories. The My Great Story of the Month Contest awards a prize to the top voted story each month. The story is also featured on our My Great Story of the Month Winners Pinterest board. The top two stories are highlighted in our monthly e-newsletter.


Click the submit bookmark in the online storybook to share your story!


Watch a Video


Every year, NDSS reminds the world in a big way about the gifts that people with Down syndrome bring to their communities through a special video presentation on a jumbo screen in the heart of Times Square in New York City. The Times Square Video presentation kicks off Down Syndrome Awareness Month on the morning of the New York City Buddy Walk.  


This year, our third-party volunteers chose over 200 photos from over 1,000 amazing submissions to be a part of the video presentation. The 2012 Times Square Video will be posted on the NDSS YouTube channel on October 1. We encourage you to share the video with your followers. The contest will reopen on May 1, 2013. 


The National Buddy Walk PSA stars some great talent, including TV Hosts Nancy O'Dell and Meredith Vieira, Actor John C. McGinley, Actor and NDSS Goodwill Ambassador Chris Burke, and Actress and Self-Advocate Andrea Friedman. This year, the National Buddy Walk PSA will return to all Regal Entertainment Group theaters from October 1 - 14 in celebration of Down Syndrome Awareness Month. This includes over 6,500 screens at over 500 theaters across the country! Find a Regal theater near you to see the PSA air during these dates, and encourage your followers to do the same.


Emmy-award winning children's TV stars, the Imagination Movers, have participated in a new Buddy Walk video for the 2012 season. (It is also available in a  30-second version.) Check it out and share it with your followers!