The leading human rights organization for all individuals with Down syndrome.

National Down Syndrome Society
8 E 41st Street, 8th Floor
New York New York 10017
800-221-4602
[email protected] 

Advocacy Resources for Your Buddy Walk®

The Buddy Walk® provides a wonderful opportunity to raise awareness and engage participants in advocacy efforts. NDSS encourages affiliates to set up an advocacy table at the Buddy Walk®, and we offer the following ideas and resources. 

share information about NDSS' advocacy efforts

This sheet provides information about the NDSS National Advocacy & Public Policy Center, our advocacy programs and ways to get involved. 

In addition to sharing the above, consider offering Buddy Walk® participants the opportunity to sign up for NDSS Advocacy Alerts onsite. You could have a tablet, computer or even a phone offering access to the NDSS Advocacy Alert sign up page

GET vipS involved with the BUDDY wALK®

Buddy Walk® organizers are encouraged to get federal, state and local officials involved in their Buddy Walks®. Ideas include inviting elected officials to make a proclamation (see below) and/or to attend the Buddy Walk®.  In addition to federal officials, consider reaching out to the state senators and representatives, the mayor, city council members, school superintendents and school board members. NDSS offers the following templates to help with getting officials involved with Buddy Walks®.

GET SELF-ADVOCATES INVOLVED WITH THE BUDDY WALK®

For a list of ways to meaningfully include self-advocates in all aspects of the Buddy Walk®, please click here.

complete postcards to Invite Members of Congress to Join the Congressional Task Force on Down Syndrome 

Established in May 2015, the Congressional Task Force on Down Syndrome, an expansion of the Congressional Down Syndrome Caucus originally formed in 2008, is made up of US Representatives and US Senators. NDSS works with the Task Force to educate Members of Congress and their staff about Down syndrome, and to promote legislative activities and public policies that would enhance the quality of life for those with Down syndrome. Advocates are encouraged to invite their Members of Congress to join the Task Force. (Current Task Force members are listed here.) NDSS has prepared the following postcards that can be completed by participants at Buddy Walks® and sent to their Members of Congress. 

  • Postcard #1 (Microsoft Word file): Download/save this file to your computer. The postcard may then be printed and handwritten by participants at your Buddy Walk®. A sample of a completed postcard is available here (Microsoft Word file). 
  • Postcard #2 (Microsoft Publisher file): This template may be modified to provide affiliate-specific information and then printed. 

HELP GATHER INFORMATION ABOUT NONINVASIVE PRENATAL TESTING (NIPTS)

NDSS is a pro-information organization, and one of our key priorities is ensuring that all women and families across the country receive the most accurate, up-to-date, evidence-based information available about Down syndrome and screening and diagnostic tests related to Down syndrome. We are currently gathering information about women’s experiences with the newer Noninvasive Prenatal Tests (NIPTs) via an online survey to guide our legislative efforts. We encourage Buddy Walk® organizers to share information about the survey by distributing this postcard during the Buddy Walk®:

If you need assistance accessing these files, please contact Advocacy & Public Policy Associate, Julie Ryan-Silva, at [email protected].   

For more ideas and information

In August 2016, NDSS held a webinar titled, "Making Buddy Walk® Advocacy Fun". Click below to listen to the full recording of the webinar or to view the PowerPoint slides only:

For additional information and ideas about incorporating advocacy into your Buddy Walk®, contact NDSS Manager of Grassroots Advocacy, Jawanda Mast, at [email protected]

Page last updated: February 10, 2017

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