Join us in Washington, D.C., for the Down Syndrome Advocacy Conference, April 17-19, 2023!
Join us in Washington, D.C. for the NDSS Down Syndrome Advocacy Conference, April 17-19, 2023! Similar to our past Buddy Walk® on Washington, this two-day event (with optional pre-conference learning sessions on April 17) will bring our community together to advocate for legislative priorities that impact the Down syndrome community. NDSS is thrilled to be holding this conference in partnership with other national Down syndrome organizations, including our Advocacy Partners, the National Down Syndrome Congress, and the Global Down Syndrome Foundation.
During the optional pre-conference learning sessions, attendees will take a deep dive with the NDSS team and other national groups about policy topics that affect the Down syndrome community. On the first full day of the conference, April 18, attendees will have the opportunity to take part in advocacy training, learn more about our legislative priorities for the 19th, and hear from guest speakers such as Heather Avis of The Lucky Few and Matthew Schwab of Matthew Schwab Speaks. Finally, the conference culminates with the opportunity to advocate to Members of Congress on Capitol Hill!
A full-day youth advocacy training will be offered on the 18th for advocates ages 6+. This exciting training will get our young advocates ready for their meetings on Capitol Hill including an age-appropriate understanding of the topics we’ll be discussing with members of Congress on Wednesday.
Registration closes March 24, 2023, at 5 PM ET. A hotel block is available.
Monday, April 17, 2023 (Pre-Conference Learning)
12:00 PM – 5:00 PM: Registration is open
1:00 PM – 5:00 PM: Learning Sessions – Take a deep dive with the NDSS team and other national groups about additional policy priorities and how you can take the advocacy tools you learn back to your community. These sessions will focus on legislative priorities that we will not be advocating for on our Hill Day.
1:00 PM – 2:00 PM: Education (in collaboration with the National Down Syndrome Congress)
2:15 PM – 3:15 PM: Employment
3:30 PM – 4:30 PM: Aging/Alzheimer’s (in collaboration with Global Down Syndrome Foundation)
Tuesday, April 18, 2023 (Legislative Training Day)
7:00 AM – 9:00 AM: Breakfast and registration
9:00 AM – 10:00 AM: Welcome & opening plenary session
10:00 AM – 12:00 PM: Conference session – legislative priorities
12:00 PM – 1:00 PM: Lunch session with guest speaker Heather Avis of the Lucky Few
1:30 PM – 5:00 PM: Conference session – preparing for Capitol Hill
5:00 PM – 6:30 PM: Dinner on your own
6:30 PM – 8:00 PM: Celebration and dessert reception – Join the NDSS team to celebrate and honor members of the Down syndrome community who exemplify outstanding advocacy.
8:00 PM – 9:00 PM: Dance party
Wednesday, April 19, 2023 (Hill Day)
6:30 AM – 8:00 AM: Breakfast
8:00 AM – 9:00 AM: Travel to Capitol Hill
9:00 AM: Group photo at the Capitol (meet on the House side)
9:30 AM – 5:00 PM: Hill meetings
The National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) has a limited number of scholarships to award to participants who require financial support in order to attend the 2023 Down Syndrome Advocacy Conference (DSAC). Participants may also be able to secure support or group discounts from their local Down syndrome group. Learn more and apply here by January 27th, 2023.