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Annual Conference

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Save the Date

With the New Year upon us, we are proud to announce our new theme for 2019 – Shaping the Future.

The world is changing fast - new technologies, new treatments, and new research are on the horizon for people with Down syndrome and their families. It can be daunting for families to access and understand how this may impact their lives and that of their loved ones with Down syndrome. 
With all that in mind, on March 23 at our 35th AnnualConference, we will delve deep into the promising developments in Down syndrome research and the exciting potential it has for the future.

With the help of the National Down Syndrome Society, our Presenting Sponsor, we will not only help make sense of what's to come, we will help families feel confident and empowered to navigate the research world in 2019 and beyond.
Our workshops will highlight innovative clinical trials and explore the studies underway nationwide that have promise to make a difference in people’s lives. We will cover the latest research on sleep apnea, nutrition and obesity, education, clinical care, and Alzheimer’s disease, to name a few. There will be information on the latest groundbreaking research into "silencing the extra chromosome." And, families will learn how to participate in Down syndrome-specific research studies on many of these topics, including through the National Institute for Health's DS Connect platform.
Theme: Shaping the Future
Focus: The State of Research in Down Syndrome
Date: March 23
Time: 8am-4pm
Location: DCU Center, Worcester

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. 

WHAT TO EXPECT

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!