2019 Buddy Walk® on Washington Registration, Hotel and Schedule
The 2019 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 healthcare opportunities for people with Down syndrome.
The 2019 Annual Buddy Walk® on Washington will be held on Tuesday and Wednesday, March 5-6, 2019 at the Sheraton Pentagon City hotel in Arlington, Virginia and on Capitol Hill. The advocacy training on March 5 will provide an opportunity to learn from NDSS about our key priorities for the 2019 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.
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, March 5, 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 protected].
In addition, each self-advocate who attends the 2019 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 2019 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:
Donovan has loved doing physical activities since he was very young. His older siblings are close to him in age and treated him no differently than they would anyone else, especially when it came to physical activities. At a young age, his parents realized how strong and coordinated he was and enrolled him in as many activities as possible. Donovan participated in your typical town sports such as peewee football, soccer and T-ball. As he has gotten older, Donovan has become aware of the importance of staying in shape, so he became conscientious of his eating habits and decided he needed to improve his daily eating habits. Therefore, on his own Donovan has decided to increase his proteins and he cut way back on empty carbohydrates; facts he learned in Health class at his school in Chatham, New Jersey: ECLC of New Jersey. Donovan is proud to represent NDSS as an athlete ambassador.