The National Advocate for People with Down Syndrome Since 1979

National Down Syndrome Society
666 Broadway, 8th Floor
New York New York 10012

NDSS Government Affairs Committee (GAC) Program

GAC Overview

The aim of the NDSS Government Affairs Committee (GAC) program is to help Down syndrome support organizations, parents and self-advocates across states to join forces with NDSS to achieve positive systems change for individuals with Down syndrome and other intellectual disabilities at state and local levels of government.

GACs work in collaboration with the NDSS to promote and pass state legislation and to influence the design of regulation and other policy. In recent years, many federal statutes have given an increasing amount of discretion to the states. In order to ensure that these statutes are implemented in the best interests of individuals with intellectual disabilities, these statewide Down syndrome coalitions are critical.

NDSS is focused on creating GACs united in their determination to work on key policy objectives across the lifespan of individuals with Down syndrome and other intellectual disabilities.

GAC History

 NDSS has established 18 statewide GACs in the following states: 

  • California
  • Colorado
  • Florida
  • Indiana
  • Kansas
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Missouri
  • Nebraska
  • New Jersey
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Virginia
  • Wisconsin

GAC Toolkit - Coming Soon!

When the NDSS GAC concept first started, NDSS sent teams to states and multi-day training conferences were conducted. With the ability to use online conferencing and social media to connect advocates, leaders, affiliates and statewide disability advocacy groups, NDSS has shifted the design. Now, statewide GACs organize and come together through online conferences and social media to address and act on policy needs. This is cost efficient and allows more flexibility for participation. NDSS is working to develop a GAC Toolkit and online training module for state groups to use, which will be posted on the website as soon as they are available. Please check back.

For More Information

For more information about GACs, please contact NDSS Manager of Grassroots Advocacy, Jawanda Mast, at  

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