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.
- Half sheet on ways to get involved with NDSS Grassroots Advocacy programs (pdf) – Print in color or black and white, on 8.5″ x 11″ white paper or cardstock and then cut in half
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®.
- Sample letter inviting VIPs to attend Buddy Walk® (Microsoft Word file)
- Sample proclamation (Microsoft Word file)
- Sample thank you to VIP for attending the Buddy Walk® (Microsoft Word file)
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).
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:
- Full recording of webinar (Click and then enter your name and e-mail address to view and hear the full recording.)
- Webinar PowerPoint slides
For additional information and ideas about incorporating advocacy into your Buddy Walk®, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.