Down Syndrome Advocacy Conference FAQ 

Interested in learning more about the annual NDSS Down Syndrome Advocacy Conference? Read along for some Frequently Asked Questions. 

Registration for the 2024 Down Syndrome Advocacy Conference has closed and the hotel block is full. For questions about late registration, please email

When is the conference?

This year we are excited to spend World Down Syndrome Day, March 21, advocating for the Down syndrome community on Capitol Hill! Advocacy trainings for all participants will take place beginning at 9 AM on Wednesday, March 20, and Congressional meetings will be scheduled for attendees throughout the day on Thursday, March 21.

When should I plan to arrive and depart Washington, D.C.?  

Please plan to arrive in Washington, DC in time to attend the training session that begins at 9 AM on Wednesday, March 20. Meetings and conference programming will be scheduled into the early evening on March 21. Therefore, participants are strongly encouraged to plan the latest possible departure on March 21 or plan to depart anytime on March 22.  

Where is the conference?

The training portion of the conference will take place at the Renaissance Arlington Capital View Hotel right outside of Washington, D.C. There will be a room block available at the hotel and all participants are strongly encouraged to book their hotel room at the Renaissance Arlington Capital View. The second day of the conference will take place in the House and Senate office buildings on Capitol Hill in downtown Washington, D.C.

Who will be attending the conference?

Individuals with Down syndrome and their families, caregivers, loved ones, related professionals, and anyone with a passion for advocating for the rights of the Down syndrome community are invited to attend!

Is there a group discount?

Yes! Many local affiliate groups, parent groups, etc. are encouraged to attend the conference together. We offer discounted tickets for groups of 10 or more and strongly encourage participants to reach out to local groups about attending. For customized large group options, please reach out to You do not need to know the names of all 10 people before purchasing. Many groups also choose to book travel together to save on travel costs, and our hotel block has plenty of room to accommodate groups.

Are there any opportunities for financial assistance? 

NDSS has a limited number of scholarships to award participants who require financial assistance to attend the conference. These limited scholarships are intended for participants who face significant financial barriers to attending the conference and are unable to secure support or group discounts from their local Down syndrome group. Keep an eye on our webpage here for more information on scholarships.  

Is NDSS advocating on partisan issues?

No. The National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) is a nonpartisan organization that works across political parties and at all levels of government to advocate for and support individuals with Down syndrome, their families, and their caregivers. We pursue our advocacy and policy priorities by working with legislators and other decision-makers regardless of political affiliation.

Do you need to have any prior advocacy or policy experience to attend?

No! We offer a full day of policy and advocacy trainings to educate advocates on our policy priorities and how to effectively advocate.

Do I need to schedule my own meetings on Capitol Hill?

No! NDSS works with a consultant, Soapbox, that will handle all meeting scheduling. Meetings will be scheduled between 8 AM and 6 PM on Thursday, March 21. Therefore, we strongly encourage attendees to make themselves available for the entirety of the day and plan departure from Washington, D.C. accordingly. Due to the very busy nature of Congressional schedules, we cannot guarantee that meetings can be scheduled around travel plans or other commitments.

What is the dress code for this event?

Casual to business casual attire is appropriate for the first day of the conference (March 20). The Hill Day (March 21) is a professional event and business professional attire is required. We recommend wearing comfortable walking shoes as participants will be walking between office buildings. On the evening of March 20, NDSS will be hosting a dessert reception and dance party. Many participants choose to dress up for this reception.

What happens if I register and then can’t attend?

Please note that tickets to the Down Syndrome Advocacy Conference are nonrefundable. If you are unable to attend, your registration will become a fully tax-deductible donation. You may also transfer it to another attendee. Transfer of hotel rooms will be made at the decision of the hotel.