To read on National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS):
The NDSS Buddy Walk® on Washington is an annual two-day advocacy conference that brings the Down syndrome community together to advocate for legislative priorities that impact the lives of people with Down syndrome and their families.
During the NDSS Buddy Walk® on Washington, advocates meet with members of Congress and their staff on Capitol Hill to advance education, research and healthcare for people with Down syndrome. The experience is perfectly suited for self-advocates, family members, professionals, affiliate leaders and members and anyone else who wants to make a difference for people with Down syndrome. In 2012, 340 advocates from 42 states participated in the Buddy Walk® on Washington.
NDSS trains and prepares all advocates by hosting a series of educational webinars and issues electronic training materials for all attendees in advance of the Buddy Walk® on Washington. At the Buddy Walk® on Washington, NDSS hosts an interactive advocacy training session andpresents its annual Champion of Change awards at an annual advocacy awards dinner.
The 2013 Buddy Walk® on Washington will be held on March 13 & 14 in Washington, DC.
Buddy Walk® on Washington schedule
Wednesday, March 13, L’Enfant Plaza Hotel
1:00 PM – 3:00 PM – Registration
2:00 PM – 3:00 PM Self-Advocates Speak Out – an exclusive event for all self-advocates hosted by NDSS Self-Advocate Advisory Board
3:00 PM – 6:00 PM – Buddy Walk® on Washington Advocacy Training
- NDSS Host Welcome Address
- Overview of 2012 Legislative Agenda & Asks
- Advocate Role Playing
- State Practice session
- Q&A session
7:00 PM – 9:00 PM – NDSS Awards Dinner & Celebration (Renoit/Monet Ballrooms)
Thursday, March 14, Capitol Hill
7:30 AM – 8:00 AM Depart Hotel (via Metro) for Capitol Hill (NDSS will provide metro cards)
8:30 AM – 10:00 AM – NDSS Capitol Members of Congress Breakfast Reception
9:00 AM – 5:00 PM Capitol Hill Visits (Meetings will be scheduled for each advocate)
Buddy Walk® on Washington & Self-Advocates
Self-advocate participants of the Buddy Walk® on Washington are invited to join the NDSS Self-Advocate Advisory Board for a panel discussion and Q&A at 2:00 pm on March 13 (before our advocacy training). The Board will share their expertise as seasoned self-advocates in this presentation for self-advocates by self-advocates. Please note, this event is for self-advocates only.
Each self-advocate should make a brief one-page bio (see template) to be left at all your congressional visits, so bring at least five copies with you. This is a great way to leave an impression – even on people you don’t meet in person! 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 Buddy Walk® on Washington, how the ABLE Act will impact you and your family, and an ask to cosponsor.
For more information, please contact NDSS Director of Educational Programming Vanessa Quick at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Advocacy Training Webinars
NDSS facilitates several advocacy training webinars to help prepare you for your advocacy experience, what to expect on Capitol Hill, and discuss the 2013 key legislative priorities. You can find the slides from the first webinar, Buddy Walk® on Washington 101 – Everything You Need to Know, here.
You can find the slides from the second webinar, Buddy Walk® on Washington 201 – Ins & Outs of the NDSS 2013 Legislative Agenda/Asks, here.