Featured Story


At NDSS, we share your pride when someone with Down syndrome reaches a milestone. We know that every moment is worth celebrating! As the new year begins we invite you to tweet @NDSS and include #MyGreatMoment so we can all celebrate together. Here are some examples:


@NDSS Kindergartener Malea loves sight words and started writing her first name! #MyGreatMoment


@NDSS Self-Advocate & College Student Kayla got an A- in Speech, B in Sign Language & an 87 on her Math final this semester! #MyGreatMoment 


@NDSS 6 month old Jackson smiled at his daddy! #MyGreatStory 


@NDSS Self-Advocate and High Schooler Joey took part in the local American Legion Tree Lighting in his ROTC uniform. #MyGreatMoment


@NDSS Brody, age 4, can recite the entire Pledge of Allegiance by himself. #MyGreatMoment


@NDSS Self-Advocate Ian Amsterdam served as a sign language interpreter during a Hanukkah service in NJ. #MyGreatMoment


@NDSS Nina just said "I close the door" - 4 word sentence for my 4 year old! #MyGreatMoment


Join the conversation on Twitter and share your great moments!



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 Ishan Munshi of Chapel Hill, NC. Here's what Ishan had to say about why he wanted to pursue postsecondary education.  

2013 O'Neill Tabani Enrichment Fund Applications Available!

The O'Neill Tabani Enrichment Fund offers financial assistance to adults - 18 and older - who have Down syndrome and wish to continue to enhance their lives by taking classes or enrolling in postsecondary educational programs.


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.

The next NDSS webinar will feature a presentation on the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), which seeks to ensure that countries across the globe provide people with disabilities the same rights as everyone else in order to live full, satisfying and productive lives. NDSS supports the US ratification of the CRPD along with 300 national organizations. At this webinar we will provide more information about the CRPD and its importance to the Down syndrome community. Stay tuned for more information about the date and time of this webinar. 

Ways to Give

Have You Checked Out the Signature NDSS Sweatshirts?

This past year, NDSS partner Rhyme & Reason created a signature line of NDSS t-shirts, featuring 3:21 on the front - symbolic of a third copy of chromosome 21 in Down syndrome - and the NDSS logo on the back. We are so pleased that Rhyme & Reason has expanded the line to include adult sweatshirts with a baseball-style design on the front and the NDSS logo on the sleeve. For both the t-shirts and the sweatshirts, $5 from each item purchased will be donated to NDSS.
Visit the Rhyme & Reason website to view the collection and make a purchase.
Already bought the signature sweatshirt? We'd love to see how it looks! Please send photos of yourself, your family and friends wearing the NDSS signature line to info@ndss.org.  

Fundraiser Focus

Sprout Restaurant

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. 

In the spirit of the holidays, Sprout Restaurant in Chicago, IL held a charity-themed Sunday Dinner on December 16. Sprout donated a portion of all sales from the evening to NDSS and the majority of the guests who dined with them that evening also chose to make a donation, totaling over $1,000.

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, the largest NDSS public awareness campaign, 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!


How Did You Celebrate the Holiday Season?
Did you do something fun this Holiday Season? Whether you made memories with your family or spent time with friends, we want to hear how you celebrated and see your photos! Self-advocates, we especially want to hear your holiday plans.
Check out the My Great Story campaign and share your story!
My Great Story of the Month Contest
Congratulations to Lisa Magoto of Russia, OH on winning the My Great Story of the Month Contest! Lisa's story received the most votes in December and she will be receiving a Rachel & the TreeSchoolers DVD/CD combo, autographed by Rachel Coleman, along with a Potty Time DVD/CD combo and a Baby Hopkins Plush from Signing Time!
NDSS is proud to announce that Rhyme & Reason clothing will be the My Great Story of the Month Sponsor throughout 2013! The author of the story with the most votes each month will win a $75 gift certificate to Rhyme & Reason. For every NDSS signature item purchased, Rhyme & Reason will donate $5.00 to NDSS. For every regular item purchased, they'll donate 10% of the price to the charity of the buyers' choice. 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!

Determination vs. Limitations
By Lisa Magoto, Russia, OH

Three years ago, our beautiful daughter was in the middle of what would be an almost six-month hospital stay. She was born with Down syndrome, and what seemed like an ever growing list of other medical issues. Saying her health was unstable, hardly paints the picture of her first few months. However, our Caroline Catherine not only moved mountains as she defied the odds of survival, she took all of us on a journey. It was a journey that we will not soon forget, continues to this day, and forever changes how we view our day to day lives.  

To My Daughter - Miss Harper Taj
By Brittany Pettit, Laguna Niguel, CA

When we found out that you had Down syndrome, I wondered how that extra 21st chromosome was going to affect you? The more I watch you grow into the little girl you are already, the more I can't wait to see the person you become and the only thing I need to know about that extra chromosome is that it's a part of what's made you who you are and I wouldn't change a thing about you if I could. I love you and am so proud of you Harper. Thank you for reminding me how important it is to stop and dance even in the hardest of times.


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! 
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! 

Buddy Walk® News
Buddy Walk® T-Shirt Design Contest - Deadline Approaching!
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! The deadline to submit entries is January 18.

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.  

2013 Buddy Walk® Conference

Plans are underway for the 5th Annual Buddy Walk® Conference! Since the conference began in 2009, we have visited four different regions of the country. In an effort to make the conference accessible to all Walk organizers, in 2013 we will host the entire conference online. In 2014, the Buddy Walk® Conference will be in person again.  We are putting the final touches on the schedule of events and encourage you submit topics to include in virtual breakout sessions.  


Email your suggestions to NDSS National Buddy Walk® Director Rebecca Switalski. Interested in being a presenter? Let us know that too! 

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

Join fellow Down syndrome advocates on March 13-14 for the Buddy Walk® on Washington, held on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. All are invited to participate in our annual two-day advocacy conference that unites the Down syndrome community to meet with members of Congress. 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 encourage 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 Hosts Postsecondary Education Conference for Students with Intellectual Disabilities at George Mason University 
NDSS Staff & Postsecondary Conference
Scholarship Winners
NDSS was pleased to sponsor the 2012 State of the Art Conference with George Mason University and other cosponsors. The conference was a huge success with over 300 parents, self-advocates, researchers, faculty and program staff participating. All conference presentations and plenary session videos will be available on the conference website in mid-January.
About NDSS
Straight Talk with Chris Burke

Happy Holidays

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 New Year's Resolutions.
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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