National Down Syndrome Society

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National Down Syndrome Society
NDSS logo.jpg
PurposeDisability Advocate
HeadquartersManhattan, New York City, New York, USA
Official language
English, Spanish
President & CEO
Kandi Pickard
WebsiteNDSS Official Website

The National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) is an American organization that offers support to people with Down syndrome, their families, friends, teachers, and coworkers, and educates the general public about Down syndrome. The mission of the NDSS is to be the leading human rights organization for all individuals with Down syndrome.[1]


The NDSS was founded by Betsy Goodwin and Arden Moulton. Goodwin's daughter Carson was born in 1978 with Down Syndrome. The parents soon discovered that the support and resources available to parents with Down syndrome children were very limited. Goodwin and Arden decided to create the NDSS, which gained official nonprofit status in 1979.

Areas of programming[edit]

NDSS focuses on four items of programming to enhance the quality of life for those with Down syndrome.

  • The National Policy Center creates systematic change through legislative policy.
  • The National Buddy Walk Program honors and celebrates individuals with Down syndrome in their communities.
  • The Public Awareness Initiatives bring new and positive presentations of Down syndrome to the public.
  • The Community Programs provide information and resources about Down syndrome.

Other initiatives[edit]

In January 2019, it was reported in Skeptical Inquirer that the NDSS had just offered a free public webinar on facilitated communication. This is reportedly a thoroughly discredited communication method based on the theory that many people that are unable to speak are not cognitively impaired, but are simply suffering from an inability to produce the sounds for speech. A helper or “facilitator” assists by guiding the non-speaking person’s hand over a keyboard. However, empirical tests have revealed that the facilitator is actually the one doing the typing, and not the person with the disability. Stuart Vyse, reporting for Skeptical Inquirer, commented that “it is unfortunate that a leading Down syndrome advocacy group is promoting a belief system over evidence-based methods that work.”[2]


  1. ^ "Mission & Vision - National Down Syndrome Society". Retrieved 2017-01-11.
  2. ^ Vyse, Stuart. "National Down Syndrome Society Promotes Communication Pseudoscience". CSI. Retrieved 17 January 2019.

External links[edit]