The National Advocate for People with Down Syndrome Since 1979

National Down Syndrome Society
666 Broadway, 8th Floor
New York New York 10012

Craig's World
Craig's World
Craig's World
Craig's World

My name is Craig Blackburn. I am a peer/self-advocate and motivational speaker. My education started at three months of age at the ARC of New Orleans. When I was three years old, I entered the public school system and stayed in Special Ed until I was eight years old. At 8 years old, I was enrolled in a regular curriculum and I started working toward a regular high school diploma. My goal was to finish High School in 2000 with my classmates. I was in the band and played the saxophone. I was in ROTC in all 4 years of high school. I was a manager of the football team in middle school and high school. I earned my letter jacket as a senior. I played regular sports including baseball and basketball and also Special Olympics. I am active in my church as a 4th Degree in the Knights of Columbus. I earned my black belt in karate. One of my greatest honors at 14 was being selected as a foreign exchange student to Italy and there I had the lifetime experience of an audience with Pope John Paul II. In 1996, I carried the Olympic Torch as it passed through Louisiana on the way to Atlanta. My first experience acting as a self advocate was in 1998 when I was selected to participate in the President's Council on Mental Retardation Symposium in Washington, DC. In my senior year of high school I was voted by my classmates as the Male with the Most Spirit. One of the happiest moments of my life was the day I walked across the stage and received my regular high school diploma that I earned. I work at Winn Dixie and I have been there for 12 years. My hobbies include attending country music concerts, attending sporting events, traveling and meeting new friends. I am honored to be the godfather of my niece, Olivia. I am on the Board of Directors for People First of Louisiana. I am on the Board of Directors for Down Syndrome Association of Greater New Orleans. I graduated from an eight month training program called Partners in Policymaking that teaches individuals how to advocate for themselves or others with special needs and contribute in making a difference. My final project at Partners was to begin a career as a motivational speaker spreading the messages of ability, inclusion and participation in life for ALL! My first international speaking engagement was in 2009 in the Middle East. Through the program, A Home of My Own, I purchased a condo. I will soon celebrate my second anniversary in my own home' pretty awesome! I have been engaged to my girlfriend, Heather for over 5 years now and someday we hope to marry and begin our life together as Mr. and Mrs. Blackburn. If YOU asked ME what I believe made a difference in my life, I would say: God, family and friends, inclusion, and a belief that WE ALL CAN!

Vote for your favorite story! Each month, the two stories with the most votes will be featured in the NDSS E-Newsletter.*


Your email address will be used for voter tracking only, and will not be used for future NDSS emails.
Click here to become a fan on Facebook.
Click here to follow us on Twitter.

*Votes will be reset at the end of each month.

Full Name
Comments (1,000 character limit)

LaSonya Green, United States, LA
10/15/2014 10:25:08 AM
You go Craig! You are truly BLESSED!

Heather Hancock, United States, OK
7/15/2014 7:45:26 PM
I love you!

Kristin Bowles, United States, OK
7/15/2014 10:23:01 AM
You rock, Craig! I am blessed to have you as a friend.

  • Buddy Walk
  • NDSS Yourway
  • My Great Story
  • NDSS DS-Ambassadors