By Deanna Tharpe, DSAIA Executive Director
I’m headed out tomorrow to one of the most exciting events in the Down syndrome community…the National Down Syndrome Congress Convention. Yes, I’m going there to work but that doesn’t mean that I am not looking forward to this trip with great excitement. (It’s one of the most fun parts of my job!)
The first NDSC Convention I attended was in 2006 and I have only missed one since. I laugh because I have friends from that first convention that I KNOW I’ll see there this year (and every year) plus all the wonderful new friends I’ve made since that first trip. They are right…it is like a big family reunion (lots of cousins you don’t know but once you start talking you realize you’re family). The greatest experiences I have had have been when we took a self-advocate with us. Some have been humorous, other enlightening and still some a little emotional. But you know I wouldn’t trade one of them.
These days, you’ll find me in the exhibit hall during the convention….manning the DSAIA booth. I love that I will get to talk to representatives from groups all over the world. I love to hear about their organization, their challenges, and their successes and then be able to tell them about Down Syndrome Affiliates in Action. Most are parents so they either have their child/adult with them or have a great pic in the back of their name badge. (Oh, yes, I’ll have mine in there as well. I mean, my kid is super awesome, come on!)
So, if you are attending the NDSC Convention in DC this week, come by and see me in the exhibit hall. We’ll be talking about Gaps in the Map and give you an opportunity to fill out the survey if you haven’t already plus win some great prizes!
And now, I have to cut this blog short. Ok, so I’m not completely packed… Come see me in DC!