Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Self Advocate Jon Anton's Message about the Buddy Walk on Washington

Dear Buddy Walk® on Washington Self-Advocates:

Greetings! My name is John Anton. I am a self-advocate from Haverhill, Massachusetts. I am currently working on Capitol Hill for Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Washington).

As fellow self-advocates, I am glad you will be participating in the 2013 Buddy Walk® on Washington on March 13-14th because our voice counts! Members of Congress and their staff need to hear from us on the legislative issues that really matter to people with Down syndrome.

The Buddy Walk® on Washington webpage will tell you everything you need to know about the upcoming event but I want to share with you a few exciting things specifically for self-advocates that will happen at the Buddy Walk® on Washington this year:

NDSS Self-Advocates Speak Out

All self-advocate participants are invited to join the NDSS Self-Advocate Advisory Board (SAAB) for an exclusive event just for self-advocates, NDSS Self-Advocates Speak Out. This event will take place from 2:00 – 3:00 pm on March 13th (before our advocacy training).The Board will share their expertise as seasoned self-advocates in this presentation for self-advocates by self-advocates. For more information and to RSVP, please contact NDSS Manager of Education & Programs Vanessa Quick at

Self-Advocate Bios

Each self-advocate should make a brief one-page bio (see template) to be left at all your congressional visits, so bring at least 5 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. 

Pre-Training for Buddy Walk® on Washington

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. The next webinar, Buddy Walk® on Washington 201 – Ins & Outs of the NDSS 2013 Legislative Agenda/Asks, will be held on February 26 at 3:00 PM ET. You can register for the webinar here.

You can always contact NDSS VP of Advocacy and Affiliate Relations, Sara Weir at with any questions.

See you in Washington!

John Anton
NDSS DS-Ambassador

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