The NDSS National Policy Center was founded in 2005 as the NDSS advocacy arm to support our mission to be the national advocate for the value, acceptance and inclusion of people with Down syndrome. Our National Policy Center facilitates and mobilizes advocacy efforts for federal, state, and local policies that positively impact people with Down syndrome across the country.
The Buddy Walk® was established in 1995 by the National Down Syndrome Society to celebrate Down Syndrome Awareness Month in October and to promote acceptance and inclusion of people with Down syndrome.
The My Great Story campaign is the largest NDSS public awareness initiative. The goal of the campaign is to ignite a new way of thinking about people with Down syndrome by sharing stories written by and about them. All are welcome to participate in the campaign, by sharing a story or voting and commenting on the stories already in the collection. The stories are written by self-advocates, their family members, friends, teachers, coworkers, coaches and anyone else who has a positive story to share about someone with Down syndrome.
World Down Syndrome Day was established in 2006 by Down Syndrome International, with the goal of raising awareness and mobilizing support and recognition of the dignity, rights and well-being of people with Down syndrome across the world. March 21, the 21st day of the third month of the year, was chosen to symbolize the third copy of chromosome 21 present in Trisomy 21, the most common form of Down syndrome. March 21, 2012 was especially significant as it was the first time that the day was officially observed by the United Nations.
Every year, NDSS reminds the world in a big way about the gifts that people with Down syndrome bring to their communities through a special video presentation on a jumbo screen in the heart of the Times Square.
The Times Square Video presentation kicks off Down Syndrome Awareness Month on the morning of the New York City Flagship Buddy Walk®. NDSS receives over a thousand photo submissions for the Times Square Video contest and the featured photographs highlight children, teens and adults with Down syndrome working, playing and learning alongside friends and family. These collective images promote acceptance and inclusion, which is the foundation of NDSS and the National Buddy Walk® Program.