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Founded: 1979

Mission: The leading human rights organization for all individuals with Down syndrome.

Vision: The National Down Syndrome Society envisions a world in which all people with Down syndrome have the opportunity to enhance their quality of life, realize their life aspirations and become valued members of welcoming communities.

How: NDSS has four areas of programing to provide the highest quality of resources and opportunities for all individuals with Down syndrome.

  • National Advocacy & Public Policy Center creates systemic change through legislative advocacy
  • The National Buddy Walk® program honors and celebrates individuals in their communities
  • Public Awareness initiatives bring new and positive presentations of Down syndrome to the public
  • Community outreach programs provide comprehensive and accurate information and resources on Down syndrome

Reach: NDSS has more than 375 local affiliates across the United States that provide an array of benefits to help better service the Down syndrome community in their local area.  We view our local affiliates as equal partners working on behalf of individuals with Down syndrome, their families, and the professionals involved with their overall welfare.

You should know:

  • Individuals with Down syndrome are willing, ready and able to work. NDSS’ #DSWORKS® is a new employment initiative whose goal is to encourage corporations and businesses to invest in hiring people with Down syndrome; and increase the number of opportunities for individuals with Down syndrome to work in meaningful and competitive employment settings.
  • Since 1995, the Buddy Walk® has become the premier advocacy event for Down syndrome in the United States. It is also the world's most widely recognized public awareness program for the Down syndrome community. Over 250 Buddy Walk® events occur throughout the world each year.
  • NDSS provides the most accurate information on individuals with Down syndrome across the lifespan, from birth through adulthood.