2018 Buddy Walk® on Washington Registration, Hotel and Schedule
The 2018 NDSS Annual Buddy Walk® on Washington is an annual two-day advocacy conference that brings the Down syndrome community together to advocate for legislative priorities that directly impact the lives of people with Down syndrome and their families.
The first day of the conference will consist of advocacy training. Our self-advocates will then head to Capitol Hill on the second day to meet with Members of Congress and their staff to discuss legislative issues that will advance education, research, and health care opportunities for people with Down syndrome.
The 2018 Annual Buddy Walk® on Washington will be held on Tuesday and Wednesday, April 10 and 11, 2018 at the Westin Arlington Gateway hotel in Arlington, Virginia and on Capitol Hill. The advocacy training on April 10 will provide an opportunity to learn from NDSS about our key priorities for the 2018 Annual Buddy Walk® on Washington. You will hear presentations on the key “asks,” meet your state delegations and network with affiliates and advocates from across the country. Attendance is encouraged for the advocacy training, beginning with advocacy at the state level in the morning and continuing with advocacy at the federal level in the afternoon.
In addition to our annual advocacy conference on Tuesday and Wednesday, April 10 and 11, 2018, NDSS is excited to announce its new (and annual) NDSS Down Syndrome Adult Summit, which will be held on Monday and Tuesday, April 9 and 10, 2018 leading up to our 2018 Annual Buddy Walk® on Washington.
Our 2018 NDSS Down Syndrome Adult Summit is a conference hosted by NDSS and its Self-Advocate Advisory Board (SAAB) in collaboration with the National Task Group on Intellectual Disabilities and Dementia Practices (the “NTG”) and the National Alliance for Caregiving (NAC) to discuss important and critical topics for all adults with Down syndrome. Speakers and topics will align with NDSS’ robust and comprehensive programs and pillars, including healthcare and research, inclusive education, community integration, economic self-sufficiency as well as employment and our NDSS #DSWORKS® Campaign. Aging-related changes and health issues, including Alzheimer’s disease, will also be covered.
As the life expectancy for individuals with Down syndrome continues to increase, NDSS is committed to ensuring our adults with Down syndrome, their families, caregivers and other key stakeholders have the best, most accurate information throughout adulthood. In 2019, NDSS will begin taking its Annual Down Syndrome Adult Summit on the road, partnering with the Down syndrome affiliate network to host the Summit in all areas of the United States.
This year, we are again working with Soapbox Consulting to schedule meetings with congressional offices. All participants will receive their final meeting schedule from Soapbox via email the first week of April.
Self-advocates (individuals with Down syndrome) are strongly encouraged to attend the 2018 Annual Buddy Walk® on Washington! It is wonderful for Members of Congress and their staff to have the opportunity to interact directly with self-advocates and their families, and it is empowering for self-advocates to directly participate in the process of urging policy changes to improve their lives.
Self-advocates will be briefed on the legislative issues and are invited to participate in all webinars and training sessions. Also, on the first day of the conference, April 10, self-advocates who are age 16 and older are invited to join the NDSS Self-Advocate Advisory Board (SAAB) for the Self-Advocates Speak Out Lunch and Panel Discussion. The Board will share their expertise as seasoned self-advocates in this presentation for self-advocates by self-advocates. Please note that this event is for self-advocates only. For more information about the luncheon, please contact email@example.com.
In addition, each self-advocate who attends the 2018 Annual Buddy Walk® on Washington should prepare a brief one-page bio to be left at all your congressional visits, so bring at least five copies with you. Bios should include a photo, contact information, a few sentences about yourself (where you work, go to school, interests), why you have come to the 2018 Annual Buddy Walk® on Washington, how current legislation will impact you and your family and a request for Members of Congress to co-sponsor this legislation. Here are three sample bios:
Kevin started running to demonstrate life-long health to his children. His hope is that both his son, who has Down syndrome, and his daughter, who does not, will join him. Kevin joined Team NDSS to support and bring awareness to advocating for people with Down syndrome. He runs to bring awareness to the fact that people with disabilities are the largest and most underrepresented minority group in our country.