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Annual Conference

Zack Gottsagen STD


Each spring, hundreds of people with Down syndrome, their family members, health care professionals and educators from across New England attend our Annual Conference. Participants gather to hear the latest research findings and important information from national and local experts on a range of topics related to Down syndrome. They also share stories, celebrate victories, advocate for acceptance and inclusion, and reunite with other MDSC families. 


Customized Tracks

  • General Session Workshops – Parents, family member and professionals will learn from expert speakers about how to help individuals with Down syndrome acquire the necessary skills to lead fuller, healthier, more independent lives.
  • Self-Advocate Workshops– Young adults with Down syndrome will have an opportunity to network and share experiences, strengthen their self-advocacy skills, and learn about the importance of leading a healthy life and building meaningful relationships. More...
  • Brothers and Sisters Workshops– Siblings of people with Down syndrome will hear how other brothers and sisters deal with the joys and challenges inherent in being a sibling. Creates a forum for sharing stories and learning the importance of advocacy. More...
  • Education Workshops– Educators and parents will learn best practices for educating students with Down syndrome in an inclusive classroom, as well as the benefits of inclusion for all learners.

Awards Luncheon/ Self Advocate Extravaganza
At the Awards Luncheon portion of our Annual Conference, we are proud honor those individuals who have made a significant impact on the Down syndrome community. The MDSC presents four awards during the luncheon:

  • Media Award
  • Educator of the Year Award
    Leadership Awards
  • Allen Crocker Award of Excellence 
  • Employer Award

Our luncheon has also become the perfect forum to highlight the individuality and determination of MDSC self-advocates. We do this through our MDSC Self Advocate Extravaganza presentation and the unveiling of our Annual Conference Video Montage, featuring MDSC member-submitted photos.

Annual Meeting
Every year, the morning of our Annual Conference, the MDSC holds our Annual Meeting, where members get an overview of our work over the last year and the latest updates of what we have in store. The Annual Meeting is at 8 a.m. in Room A of the DCU Center. All are welcome to attend, and a special breakfast is included. 

Diversity Breakfast
MDSC will host a Diversity Breakfast that morning for culturally diverse families from 7:45 - 8:45am in the 2nd floor lounge area of the DCU Center. 

What people had to say about our Annual Conference:

"Always heartwarming and magnificent. This year did not disappoint. Enjoyed the loving authenticity of the keynote and award winners."

“There is a great feeling of empowerment and education throughout the day.”

"The info that I got was invaluable, incredible amount and value of content! time flew by. I thoroughly enjoyed listening and learning."

"Awesome speaker, always love the slide show and hearing our stories. Humbling and amazing to see the accomplishments and dedication of this community."

“[It was] very inspiring to spend the day within such a tight knit community!”

“We gained helpful insight for fielding potential medical issues we may face, resources for staying current on cognitive development research, introductions to wonderful new parents who inspired us by their courage, a glimpse of the broader MDSC organization at the awards luncheon, encouragement by the honorees' community awareness and involvement, personal connection with DADS and so much more!