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National Legislative Platform

Katherine Clark shake

For the 7th consecutive year, the MDSC will send a delegation of advocates to Washington D.C. to lobby for progressive disability public policy at the NDSS Buddy Walk on Washington. MDSC representatives from our community will once again fan out across Capitol Hill to personally meet with the Bay State's 11 congressional leaders and advocate for key policies to enhance the lives of people with Down syndrome. 

While there, our team of advocates will send a strong message of advocacy from the Down syndrome community about important national policy priorities. We are tasked with establishing and building relationships with policy makers, connecting with other Down syndrome advocates from around the country, and educating elected officials about the strengths and needs of their constituents with Down syndrome. 

Having been a national leader in passing the landmark ABLE Act in 2014 (our lobbying led to the entire Massachusetts congressional delegation sponsoring the bill), implementation of the ABLE Act remains a top national priority. In fall 2015, the MDSC submitted comments to the federal government advocating for provisions to enhance the flexibility of ABLE accounts for self-advocates and their families. Soon after, the IRS issued interim guidance that will make it easier for state administrators to establish and administer ABLE programs in an expedient and efficient manner. 

If you are interested in joining our Buddy walk on Washington in April or would like to join our statewide advocacy efforts, we welcome your participation regardless of your past experience. Contact us at timetospeakout@mdsc.org.

Elizabeth WarrenMDSC Advocates at the 2014 Buddy Walk on Washington

The MDSC adopts its federal legislative platform from its national partner, the National Down Syndrome Society. The NDSS/MDSC legislative agenda spans the life experience of individuals with Down syndrome from birth through adulthood and range in issue from healthcare to asset development. These priorities have been shaped by self-advocates, families, affiliate leaders and others.

Improving Health Outcomes & Quality of Life for People with Down Syndrome

Improving Health Outcomes & Quality of Life for People with Down SyndromeWhen it comes to improving the health and quality of life for people with Down syndrome, there are two important aspects that NDSS strives to address legislatively, creating and maximizing research opportunities for Down syndrome, and improving the quality of healthcare provided to people with Down syndrome.

Improving Education Opportunities for People with Down Syndrome

Improving Education Opportunities for People with Down SyndromeThe first years of life are an important time in a child’s development. All young children go through the most rapid and developmentally significant changes from birth to age five. Children with Down syndrome typically face delays in certain areas of development, so quality early intervention (beginning any time after birth) and pre-school experiences are critical to the development of children with Down syndrome.

Increasing Opportunities for Adults with Down Syndrome

Increasing Opportunities for Adults with Down SyndromeNDSS recognizes that after high school, and even postsecondary education, the opportunities for adults with Down syndrome are limited. NDSS has always focused on creating opportunities for adults with Down syndrome through federal legislation, programs, and other key initiatives.

Creating an Economic Future for Individuals with Down Syndrome

Creating an Economic Future for Individuals with Down SyndromePeople with Down syndrome face several challenges that prevent them for gaining access to meaningful employment opportunities, economic and financial planning, and independent living. As people with Down syndrome are living longer, it’s important for individuals with Down syndrome and their families to have access to meaningful employment, financial freedom, and a living environment of their choosing.

Buddy Walk on Washington

Each year, the MDSC assembles a delegation of advocates to represent the MDSC at the Annual Buddy Walk on Washington, a two day advocacy event in Washington, DC. The MDSC is joined by hundreds of other Down syndrome advocates from across the country to visit the Congressional leaders on Capitol Hill.

If you would like to learn more about attending the Buddy Walk on Washington click here