To explore the possibility of participating in the NDSS DS-AMBASSADOR® Program, the first step is to submit an online application by filling out the form below. You will be contacted soon after you submit the application. If you have questions about the application process or would prefer a hard copy of the application, please contact the NDSS Advocacy and Public Policy Team at policy@ndss.org.

DS Ambassador Program Application

  • NDSS DS-AMBASSADOR® Program Job Description and Expectations

  • Please read the following and answer the question below.   NDSS DS-AMBASSADOR® Program participants are volunteer advocates of all abilities committed to taking part in the democratic process and serving as liaisons between NDSS and their congressional delegations. The overarching goal of the program is to build long-lasting relationships with US Senators and US Representatives to continually raise awareness, educate and advocate for public policy solutions that benefit the Down syndrome community at the federal level.
  • The estimated minimum time commitment is 2-4 hours per month. Participants in the NDSS DS-AMBASSADOR® Program are valued volunteers, yet shall not receive compensation for their services.
  • Expectations of participants in the NDSS DS AMBASSADOR® Program:
    • Establish positive relationships with Senators and Representatives (and their staff) who represent their state in the US Congress
    • Build a network of grassroots advocates within their state and local context
    • Encourage local affiliates and advocates to support national legislative efforts that are beneficial to the Down syndrome community by making calls, sending e-mails and meeting with elected officials at critical points in time
    • Gather input from local affiliates and advocates regarding NDSS’ advocacy efforts, programs and key initiatives
    • Partner with NDSS on special assignments to advance the organization’s advocacy efforts
    • Make all efforts to attend the annual Buddy Walk® on Washington (a limited number of scholarships are available)
    • Consider participating in or supporting the development of a Down syndrome policy network in your state
    • Help to expand the number of participants in the NDSS DS-AMBASSADOR® Program in their state by sharing information and inviting qualified advocates to join the program
    • Demonstrate support for NDSS in dealings with legislators, advocates, the public and on social media
    • Conduct all Ambassadorial responsibilities and communications with professionalism and respect for all parties involved
    • Participants in the NDSS DS-AMBASSADOR® Program are solely volunteers of NDSS, and shall not use the NDSS DS-AMBASSADOR® title on emails and social media, or otherwise represent themselves as speaking on behalf of NDSS unless authorized by NDSS to do so
  • Expectations of NDSS:
    • Organize quarterly business phone calls to provide legislative and program updates
    • Offer tools needed for successful advocacy including talking points and templates for meeting requests, press releases and letters to the editor
    • Host the annual two-day Buddy Walk® on Washington conference and advocacy training
    • Issue Advocacy Alerts to provide information on priority issues
    • Provide e-newsletters every other month featuring important information and happenings at NDSS and in the Down syndrome community
    • Provide free educational webinars conducted by NDSS and other national experts on topics related to Down syndrome such as health, education, research and family life
    • Facilitate relationships with other advocates for information sharing and support
    • Respond to requests via e-mail and phone for guidance and advice on pursuing legislative initiatives
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