Featured Story

Support NDSS this Holiday Season

Choose to make a donation to NDSS this holiday season in support of our mission to be the national advocate for the value, acceptance and inclusion of people with Down syndrome.  


Here are ways in which your contribution will benefit programs and activities that are set to take place in 2013. 

  • NDSS will provide scholarships for a DS-Ambassadors meeting that will be held in Washington, DC in advance of the Buddy Walk® on Washington. NDSS DS-Ambassadors are volunteer advocates committed to taking part in the democratic process and serving as liaisons between NDSS and their respective congressional delegations.
  • NDSS will host a symposium to highlight developments in the area of Down syndrome research and identify missing gaps.

  • A brand new public service announcement will be created to promote the NDSS National Buddy Walk® program and a customizable version will be made for each participating Walk (including a Spanish version).
  • An exciting addition to the NDSS My Great Story campaign will bring several stories to life to raise more awareness about people with Down syndrome.
  • Continued improvements will be made to our recently re-launched website with new tools and information for parents, teachers and doctors.

Donations made to NDSS are completely tax-deductible. Gifts made through December 31 count as 2012 contributions.


Make an online donation.

Download a printable donation form.



Call for Photos: Adults with Down Syndrome

NDSS is in need of pictures of adults with Down syndrome, age 30+, for an upcoming NDSS publication. High resolution photos are best. We are looking for photos of individuals or groups in their everyday lives: at work, with family, with friends, engaging in sports, hobbies, etc. Please email your photos to info@ndss.org.

Scholar Spotlight

Since 2005, NDSS has provided financial assistance to young adults with Down syndrome who choose to take classes or enroll in postsecondary educational programs, through the O'Neill Tabani Enrichment Fund. Congratulations to this year's O'Neill Tabani Enrichment Fund recipients! Eleven outstanding students who have Down syndrome were awarded scholarships to help cover the cost of their postsecondary or enrichment courses, including Melina Bucci of Midland, MI. Here's what Melina had to say about how she applied her grant towards training to become a Zumba instructor. 

Webinar Series
Each month, NDSS provides a free educational webinar to anyone who is interested in learning more about various topics relating to Down syndrome, including health, education, advocacy, family life, research and more.

On Thursday, December 20 at 1:00 PM ET, NDSS will present a webinar on NDSS Your Way, our independent fundraising program. Learn how to turn your fundraising idea into a real campaign that raises money for NDSS and brings greater awareness to your community.

Ways to Give
Fundraiser Focus

The Sharon Family

NDSS is energized by motivated people who contact us about wanting to make a difference in their community and on a national level. Each month, this section features an individual, family or group who has donated time and energy to creating exciting ways to support the value, acceptance and inclusion of people with Down syndrome by raising awareness and money for NDSS. 

Just as NDSS makes it a priority to share stories of the many unique abilities and talents of individuals with Down syndrome, we also enjoy highlighting the families that make up the Down syndrome community because each has their own story and their own approach to making life meaningful for their loved one. The Sharon Family is one of the many families we have met that embody the NDSS mission in their home and community, and is committed to enhancing the quality of life for their son and brother, Jesse.

Flagship Events
NDSS hosts several annual events in the New York Metro Area. Our events are growing and we are pleased to welcome people from across the country as our guests. Please consider joining us at one of our upcoming events. 


NDSS Gala & Auction
Thursday, January 31, 2013

6:30 - 10:30 PM

Cipriani 42nd Street

110 East 42nd Street

New York, NY

$500 per person; sponsorship packages available 

Honoring: Dolores Cortes USA

Featuring: Savannah Guthrie (NBC Today) as Master of Ceremonies

Visit the 2013 Gala website.

View an electronic invitation.

My Great Story
My Great Story is the largest NDSS public awareness campaign, which seeks to ignite a new way of thinking about people with Down syndrome by sharing stories written by and about them. Self-advocates and their family members, friends, coworkers, teachers, coaches, therapists and everyone with a connection to someone with Down syndrome are encouraged to share their stories!


Tis the Season! How are You Celebrating?
Are you doing something fun this Holiday Season? Whether you're making memories with your family or spending time with friends, we want to hear how you're celebrating. Self-advocates, we especially want to hear your holiday plans!
Check out the My Great Story campaign and share yours!
My Great Story of the Month Contest
Congratulations to Kari Reeves of Chattanooga, TN on winning the My Great Story of the Month Contest! Kari's story received the most votes in November and she will be receiving two items from the DC Kids Summer 2013 catalog!
The next My Great Story of the Month Contest prize is sponsored by National Buddy Walk® Partner Rachel Coleman of Signing Time! The author of the story with the most votes in December will win an autographed DVD/CD combo of the exciting new educational series Rachel & the TreeSchoolers, along with a Potty Time DVD/CD combo and a Baby Hopkins Plush. Share your story and spread the word throughout the month to win this prize! 

My Great Story: Stories of the Month
Each month, the two stories with the most votes in the My Great Story collection are featured in this section. The votes are reset at the end of each month.


Visit www.ndss.org/stories to check out the campaign and click the submit bookmark to share your story!

One Year
By Kari Reeves, Chattanooga, TN

One year has passed since I learned the fateful news about my unborn baby. On November 1, 2011, I learned my son's heart had not formed properly, and he would require heart surgery as an infant. Two weeks later, I learned why: my child had Down syndrome. Learning about the heart problem was hard; I felt such guilt, that perhaps somehow I had caused this. I grieved over knowing my poor baby was not going to feel well for a while. I scoured the internet searching for answers. Learning about the Down syndrome was a weight lifted off my shoulders. 

Homecoming Queen 2012
By Jessica Neves, Neves, TX

There is nothing more sacred in Texas on an autumn Friday night than a high school football game. And there is no other Friday that means more to the people of Texas than Homecoming. Being nominated for Homecoming Court is an honor for the high school seniors of Rotan High School, but the amazing students at this high school feel the honor should be shared with Brittany, my little sister and a special senior with Down syndrome. The student body of about 120 kids chose four boys and four girls to represent them on the Homecoming Court but there was only room for one king and queen.


Buddy Walk®
Join over 285,000 people at one of over 250 Buddy Walks® to promote the value, acceptance and inclusion of people with Down syndrome in their own communities. Learn more about the National Buddy Walk® Program and find a local Walk in your area! 
Buddy Walk® News
As the 2012 Buddy Walk® season comes to a close, we would like to thank all of our affiliates, sponsoring organizations, families and supporters for their role in making this one of the most successful years in Buddy Walk® history, despite the tough economic times. We are still gathering information from the Walks across the country and will provide a comprehensive recap of the year once the information is compiled.   

Buddy Walk® T-Shirt Design Contest
2011 Contest Winner, Created by Richie Hollins
NDSS and the National Buddy Walk® Committee are proud to hold a contest for a new t-shirt design for the 2013 Buddy Walk® season. The selected design will be featured on the t-shirt at the Flagship Buddy Walk® in New York City and will be available to all other Walks in 2013. Designers submitting their artwork can be individuals with Down syndrome, family members or friends. The winning artist will receive recognition on the NDSS Buddy Walk® site for the entire year!

2012 Buddy Walk® Organizers: Complete the Survey and Win a Prize!
We are excited to announce that our new NDSS partner, Nuby, will  provide 10 respondents to the 2012 Buddy Walk® Organizer's survey with 50 Nuby Easy Grip cups each. To be entered into the drawing for the cups, organizers must complete the survey by December 17, 2012 and "like" Nuby on Facebook.  


2013 Buddy Walk® Organizers: Registration is Now Open
We are excited to announce that registration for the 2013 Buddy Walk® season is now open. Please remember that a new registration must be completed each year in order for your group to remain a part of the national program. Once your Buddy Walk® registration is received by the NDSS office, a customized license agreement will be emailed to you. When the signed agreement is returned to the office (by email, fax or mail), your Walk registration will be processed.  

Stay Connected with the Buddy Walk®
NDSS has many ways to stay up to date on all the latest Buddy Walk® news: on  Facebook,  Twitter and the  Buddy Walk® Pinterest Board. Thank you to everyone who has shared photos and highlights and with us. We look forward to receiving more! 
We also encourage everyone to share their Buddy Walk® stories and photos with the My Great Story campaign, so we can all read about Walks across the country! 

National Policy Center News
Register for the 2013 NDSS Buddy Walk® on Washington

All are invited to participate in 2013 NDSS Buddy Walk® on Washington, which will be on March 13-14 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The Buddy Walk® on Washington is our annual two-day advocacy conference that unites the Down syndrome community to meet with Congress on Capitol Hill. 


Whether you are a new or seasoned advocate, we want you to join us and tell your story to the most important policymakers in our country - people who make decisions that affect people with Down syndrome. We need self-advocates, parents, affiliate leaders, and other members of the Down syndrome community to make their voices heard in Washington, DC at this year's Buddy Walk® on Washington. 


NDSS Meets with Congressional Leaders to Advocate for the Passage of the ABLE Act

NDSS meets with Speaker of the US House of Representatives John Boehner (R-OH) to discuss the ABLE Act.
On November 15, NDSS board members, staff and select leaders from the Down syndrome community met with senators and representatives on key committees on Capitol Hill to advocate for the passage of the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act. The ABLE Act is a bipartisan bill that would create a new financial planning tool for families that would allow individuals to save funds in new ABLE accounts without impacting their eligibility for means-tested federal programs like Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and Medicaid. NDSS is hopeful that the ABLE Act will pass before Congress adjourns this year.


NDSS later joined Senator Robert Casey (D-PA), Representative Ander Crenshaw (R-FL), and Representative Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) in recognition of the one-year anniversary of the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act's introduction and the overwhelming support for the bill. The ABLE Act now has 240 cosponsors in the US House and 38 cosponsors in the US Senate. NDSS Board Chair, Chip Gerhardt, and Self-Advocate, Jenny Cunningham-Fox, provided remarks on behalf of NDSS.

About NDSS
Straight Talk with Chris Burke

Happy Holidays

Chris Burke's 
First Christmas
NDSS Goodwill Ambassador Chris Burke is best known for his role as Corky Thacher on the hit ABC show "Life Goes On." Chris works in the NDSS office, where he is a member of the staff. In this monthly column, Chris offers advice and perspective to fellow self-advocates. This month, Chris reflects on the Holiday Season.
NDSS in the Media
NDSS is pleased to work with so many people across the country who help us further our mission of promoting the value, acceptance and inclusion of people with Down syndrome. We thank those who covered NDSS in the media this month. 
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