E-NEWSLETTER | World Down Syndrome Day
 Edition- March, 21
Featured Story

NDSS Named 2014 Brand of the Year by Harris Poll

The National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) has been recognized as the Brand of the Year by Harris Poll EquiTrend in the Disability Non-Profit category. The award is given out based on the Brand Equity Index which measures an organizations reach in Familiarity, Quality and Intention (intention to purchase/use/watch/own/donate).


"NDSS is deeply honored to be recognized by the Harris Poll as the brand of the year" said NDSS President Jon Colman.  "This award is truly a high compliment demonstrating to all of us at NDSS and the Down syndrome community that we are making strides towards fulfilling our mission to be the national advocate for the value, acceptance and inclusion of people with Down syndrome."


The poll looks at more than 1,500 brands across 27 different categories when giving out the award.  NDSS was named Brand of the Year in the "Disability Non-Profit" Category. NDSS joins two other organizations in receiving this award as Goodwill was recognized in 2012 and The Wounded Warrior Project was recognized in 2013.  Other organizations that were honored in 2014 include Verizon Wireless, Amazon.com, Tiffany & Co., and the National Football League.


NDSS is the largest nonprofit dedicated to serving individuals with Down syndrome and their families in the United States. NDSS leads a cutting-edge advocacy and policy operation in Washington, D.C., a world-class public relations program, the National Buddy Walk® program, and provides community relations and support to over 400,000 individuals and their families in the country.



2014 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. Since 2005, The O'Neill Tabani Enrichment Fund has awarded over 75 grants for postsecondary education to students with Down syndrome. We look forward to a wonderful new set of applicants this year. 



Scholar Spotlight

Jeffrey Cove

Congratulations to the O'Neill Tabani Enrichment Fund recipients! In 2013, sixteen outstanding students who have Down syndrome were awarded scholarships to help cover the cost of their postsecondary or enrichment courses, including Jeffrey Cove of Waterbury, VT.  Read what Jeffery had to say about going to college.  



Ways to Give
Fundraiser Focus

Shopping for a Cause

NDSS is energized by motivated people who reach out to our organization wanting to make a difference in their local community or 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 resources for NDSS.  


Elizabeth Manresa and Teddy Eynon had to deal with heartbreak a few years ago when they lost their 3-month old daughter Mamie Grace. To honor the memory of their daughter Elizabeth and Teddy have created Mamie's Mile, which holds two events a year to raise money for NDSS. Last week they hosted a shopping night at Bloomingdale's in Washington, DC. and have their second event, an annual walk, Mamie's Mile, coming up on May 17th,2014 


National Events
NDSS hosts several national events. Our events are growing and we are pleased to welcome people from across the country as our attendees. Please consider joining us at one of our upcoming events.
24th Annual NDSS Spring Luncheon
This Flagship Event will once again be presented by Barnes & Noble and will feature the Melissa Riggio Voices Award. More information and date coming soon!


18th Annual NDSS Golf Outing
Monday, June 16, 2014
Baltusrol Golf Club, Springfield, NJ
20th Annual NDSS Buddy Walk® in New York City
Saturday, September 20, 2014
The Great Hill at Central Park, New York, NY


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!


My Great Story of the Month Contest
Congratulations to Olivia Brosseau, and NDSS DS-Ambassador from Glover, VT on winning the My Great Story of the Month Contest! Olivia's story received the most votes in February so she will receive a $50 gift certificate to Cathy's Creations. Thank you, Olivia, for sharing your story!
The author of the story with the most votes in February will win a gift certificate to AshleybyDesign.com. Share your story and spread the word throughout the month to win this great 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!

By Olivia Brosseau, Glover, VT

I have Down syndrome and this is my great story. My name is Olivia Rachelle Brosseau and I am nineteen years old. I live in a small town named Glover, Vermont. Last year, I graduated high school from Lake Region Union High School in Barton, Vermont. If I could tell you one thing about myself it would be that I am human and I should feel loved and treated as any equal human being.


Our Daughter's Name is Hope

By Rosalie Forster, Worcester, Ma
We chose our daughter's name before we know that she had Down syndrome. She's the youngest of four girls and quite honestly, my husband and I were bored with our recycled list of girl's names, but not so bored that we'd agree to name her Cinderella or Shortcake like her sisters recommended. 


Buddy Walk®
Join over 295,000 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
The Buddy Walk® Program Ranks Nationally 

NDSS is proud to be recognized by the Peer-To-Peer Professional Forum (formerly the Run-Walk-Ride Fundraising Council) as one of the Top 30 fundraising events nationwide. Once again, NDSS is ranked alongside the nation's leading charitable organizations in number of events, funds raised and number of participants.  The Buddy Walk® is pleased to have made the list yearly since 2008.


                                          READ MORE >>                                                              

National Buddy Walk® Preferred Vendors


We are pleased to announce the preferred vendors for the 2014 Buddy Walk® season:

  • Will Enterprises is the preferred provider for Buddy Walk® t-shirts
  • Turnkey Promotions has been selected as the preferred promotional items vendor



2014 Buddy Walk® Organizers: Registration is Open

We are excited that registration for the 2014 Buddy Walk® season is 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.  


Are you a new organizer? Get started!       


National Policy Center News
2014 NDSS Buddy Walk® on Washington is a Huge Success! 
Over 320 advocates, from the Down syndrome community, from more than 35 states across the country joined together, for NDSS' two-day advocacy event on February 26-27, 2014, to storm Capitol Hill. We advocated for legislative priorities that positively impact the lives of people with Down syndrome and their families including the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act (H.R. 647/S. 313).

NDSS leadership also had in-person meetings with House and Senate Leadership, including: Speaker Boehner, Majority Leader Harry Reid, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer, and Leader Eric Cantor. Our advocates met with over 350 Hill offices on Thursday, and the feedback we are receiving is extremely positive. The ABLE Act has the support of more than 400 members of Congress and our advocates met with their members to share their stories to urge Congressional leaders to bring the ABLE Act for a vote as soon as possible.

At an awards dinner on the 26th, we honored some of our advocates, ambassadors, self-advocates and organizations that have been great representation for us over the last year. Those receiving awards include Angie Cain, David Egan, Stefanie Caldwell, Brad Pitzele, Vince Randazzo, Patti Saylor, Up With Downs, Fargo, North Dakota and Think College ICI at UMass-Boston.

On February 27th, NDSS honored several leaders and members of Congress as our 2014 "Champions of Change" for their outstanding commitment to the Down syndrome community at the NDSS Champions of Change Congressional Breakfast Reception.You can check out our Congressional breakfast pictures here

Check out the latest press release about from the Buddy Walk® on Washington!

Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act has Reached a Historic Level  Support

The Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act (H.R. 647/S. 313) has reached historical support in Congress. The ABLE Act has more than 400 cosponsors in Congress with 345 in the House and 66 in the Senate.  NDSS Board Member and Self-Advocate Sara Wolff started a change.org petition to urge Congress to pass the ABLE Act by sharing her powerful story.  The petition currently has support of over 240,000 signatures.  Recently, Senator Robert Casey spoke on the Senator Floor about the ABLE Act expressing the importance of the legislation for individuals with Down syndrome and their families to save for the future.  


Today, we need your help! Our Congressional Champions are circulating sign on letters to House and Senate leadership urging the ABLE Act be brought to the floor for a vote as quickly as possible - we need you to contact your members of Congress and urge them to sign on to this letter. 


NDSS DS-Ambassador Program - 220 Ambassadors and Growing - We Want You!
NDSS DS-Ambassadors are advocate volunteers who build long-lasting relationships with US Senators and US Representatives to continually raise awareness, educate and advocate for public policy solutions that benefit the Down syndrome community. Each DS-Ambassador's efforts are crucial to the success of NDSS and our legislative efforts in Washington, DC on behalf of the Down syndrome community. We invite all interested advocates from across the country to become an NDSS DS-Ambassador today!



Senator Jerry Moran (R-Kansas) Helps Us Raise Awareness of Down Syndrome and Alzheimer's Disease Before the Senate L-HHS Appropriations Subcommittee and NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins


On Wednesday February 26th, Senator Jerry Moran (R-KS), Ranking Member of the Senator Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies (L-HHS), held a hearing on Alzheimer's research. The hearing examined current research initiatives and the impacts of Alzheimer's disease.  Watch Senator Moran ask NIH Director Francis Collins about the importance of Down syndrome and Alzheimer's research and the results here. Individuals with Down syndrome are at an increased risk of getting dementia at an early age and research of Alzheimer's disease in the Down syndrome community is vitally important.




Keeping Students Safe Act Introduced in the US Senate

On Wednesday, February 12th, NDSS joined Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) as he introduced the Senate version of the Keeping All Students Safe Act, S. 2036, which aims to restrict the use of restraint and seclusion and ensure effective implementation of positive behavorial interventions in our nation's schools. NDSS has been a long-standing supporter of the Keeping Students Safe Act and a member of the Alliance to Prevent Restraint, Aversive Interventions and Seclusion (APRAIS), a national coalition advocating for federal legislation to protect children from these dangerous techniques, a cultural shift toward preventative, positive intervention strategies and training for teachers on positive interventions. 



NDSS Inaugural Art competition
NDSS Inaugural Art Competition Winners

NDSS is proud to announce our winners of the Inaugural NDSS Art Competition! NDSS invited all individuals with Down syndrome in the United States to submit their artwork, new or old, in an expression of creativity and originality to the theme of Self Expression: A Day in the Life of You. We received amazing pieces of art and look forward to displaying the winners at the NDSS Headquarters (New York and Washington, DC), select DC businesses, and select Congressional Offices!


Winners 12 & under years old:

Sean Scott "Rainy Day Fun"

Nadege Hayes "A Day in the Life of Me"

David Kane "A Pumpkin Patch World"


Winners 13-18 years old:

Peter Escott "I Believe"

Caroline Brooks Dempsey "Happy Owl"

Timothy Roth "Me in Color"


Winners over 18 years old:

Kasia Puciata "Don't Forget About Me"

Crystal Lynn Wagner "Sunflower"

Christina Patterson "Bush Baby"

Peter Moisio "Wolf"


Straight Talk with Chris Burke

World Down Syndrome Day

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 talks about Black History Month and its important message for self-advocates. 


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