NDSS Buddy Walk on Washington

BWW 2016 Leave Behind FINAL 2

The three “asks” at BWW reflected the legislative agenda of NDSS beautifully. NDSS Staff was very careful to recognize that advocates have different priorities and passions. These asks reflected a “something for everyone” approach. The details are within the Leave Behind above.

  1. ABLE to Work (#DSWork)
  2. Accurate Education (HR 3771)
  3. Join the Congressional Task Force on Down Syndrome

 

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Why advocacy?

Some have wondered, “Why should I get involved? Does it matter?” It seems a reasonable question. Let’s think about how far we have come. In California, our institutions are on the way out. Our children with special needs are being educated in public schools (we can argue about quality later). Our community is increasingly earning wages for work. None of these things happened because the powers that be thought we should change. All of these happened because of advocacy. From the first accessible sidewalk, which many of us now take for granted, to supported employment, to least restrictive environment, all of these things happened because someone spoke up. Now the question is, will you speak up?

Updates and growth

CDAC is a re-envisioned, reinvigorated, and rejuvenated group of advocates within the California Down syndrome community. Years ago, there was an active California GAC (Government Affairs Committee). Our new CDAC is made up of some of those original members, as well as new members.

Most of us are affiliated with a local DSA and share perspectives, identify challenges, and work towards equality, access, and inclusion for individuals with Down syndrome. Many of us are parents of individuals with Down syndrome, and some of us are self-advocates. We embrace the idea of “nothing for us without us”, and encourage more self-advocates to join CDAC. If you are interested in joining us, send a note to Kelly at: californiadac@gmail.com

This week, we added links to federal and state representatives. The links are in “Quick Links”, and to find your representative, just fill in the ZIP code field, and submit.

 

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