Youth & Adults
The Youth & Adults Conference really is the heart and soul of the weekend! It is designed to be a fun, empowering, enriching and safe experience for self-advocates (individuals with Down syndrome) age 15 and older. With the support of NDSC’s Y&A Support Team, this conference is planned and presented by self-advocates, for self-advocates.
To attend self-advocates must register specifically for the Y&A Conference. Registered Y&A attendees are assigned to a table with 7-9 other self-advocates and 1-3 volunteers (depending on the support needs at that table.) Individuals at these tables move together with the volunteer(s) through the various programming pieces during the weekend providing the proper support for all attendees.
The Y&A Conference begins Friday afternoon with a high energy Kick-off Party. This is an opportunity for self-advocates to reunite with good friends and make new acquaintances. The afternoon includes entertainment and music, as well as introductions to the Y&A Support Team, the Self-Advocate Council (SAC) and nominees running for the NDSC Board of Directors.
Saturday is filled with opportunities for self-advocates to learn, share, and participate. The day begins at 8:00am and ends at 5:15pm. There is a break at noon for attendees to meet up with their families for lunch (lunch is not included.) The day includes NDSC Board of Director Elections, Workshops, Presentations, Empower Hour, and Open Mic Sessions.
Sunday boasts the Talent Show Extravaganza! an annual celebration where self-advocates showcase their talents and interests. Attendees are not required to perform, but if they wish to do so, they must submit a participation form after completing their general conference registration. The day begins at 8:00am and ends at 12:15pm. A mid morning brunch is provided to all attendees and volunteers.
New this year, we will offer a special workshop on Sunday – Coding for All. The workshop will be held Sunday morning during the talent show. The option must be selected during Y&A registration. Space is limited. See Special Workshop Information for more details.
Proper support of all self-advocates is of utmost importance to us, both for their safety and enjoyment. This requires much time and planning prior to the conference itself. We ask for necessary information at the time of registration. This gives us ample time to appropriately match volunteer staff with our attendees. For this reason, we do not accept any on-site registrations for the Y&A Conference.
It’s also important to note that we often reach our capacity for Y&A attendance prior to the registration deadline, and must close registration at that time.