Water’s Edge Resort and Spa

Westbrook, CT

1525 Boston Post Road

Westbrook, CT 06498

Resort: 860-399-5901

Reservations:  800–222-5901

Request for Proposals

The Connecticut Down Syndrome Congress is seeking proposals for presentations during the breakout sessions of our 30th Annual Convention.  Historically, this statewide event has drawn parents of children who live with Down syndrome and professionals who provide medical, educational and therapeutic services to them.

In celebration of the convention’s 30th year, the CDSC will be extending admission to families of people with similar intellectual disabilities and the professionals who support them.  Additionally, a strand of presentations and activities directed at teens and adults who live with Down syndrome and/or intellectual disability will run simultaneous to the main convention.


The convention will take place on Saturday, November 7, 2015 at the Water’s Edge Resort and Spa in Westbrook, Connecticut.  The theme of the convention is Connections.  Our keynote speaker is Amy Allison, Executive Director of the Down Syndrome Guild of Greater Kansas City.  Breakout sessions will be divided among four strands: 1) birth-to-three, 2) elementary and middle school aged, 3) transition through adulthood, and 4) self-advocate teens and adults.

The theme, Connections, is the third in a cycle of three linked convention themes.  In 2013, the CDSC presented Dreamkeepers, focusing on the role that parents and professionals play in supporting the dreams of people who live with Down syndrome.  In 2014, the theme, Believe, highlighted the role advocacy plays in bringing dreams to reality.  In 2015 we wish to address the need for strong connections – connections to high-quality resources, best-practices and fresh ideas, connections to other families and professionals and connections across disability communities.  Examples of topics presented at past conventions include: transitioning to adulthood, teaching reading to children with Down syndrome, positive approaches to challenging behavior, preventing bullying and harassment of people with disabilities, understanding the IEP process.

Presenters are provided with wide exposure to families and professionals with an interest in best practices in special needs services and delivery. Breakout sessions are advertised in our registration brochure, on our website and in the convention program booklet. Convention presenters receive complimentary admission to the convention, including lunch.

Convention workshops are 75 minutes long and are attended by 5 to 30 convention participants. Presenters contribute their services in a volunteer capacity. The CDSC will provide flip charts, markers, LCD projectors and screens, as needed. Presenters are responsible for providing all other presentation materials and handouts. Laptops will not be available; please plan to bring your own.

The CDSC Annual Convention is a non-commercial forum. The promotion or selling of products or services during breakout sessions is prohibited. Speakers may set up a table in the convention vendor area for sales. The CDSC provides a prize drawing opportunity tied to visiting the vendor for all registrants to encourage traffic and interaction.

Please note that there are a limited number of workshop slots available. A review committee will select sixteen primary presentations and sixteen secondary presentations. The secondary presentations will be used in the event that a primary presentation needs to be replaced.


If you would like to share your professional skills and knowledge, complete and submit this this downloadable form by Thursday, July 30th either by mail or by email.  The information requested on the Presentation Proposal Form is needed for convention registration materials.

Selection Criteria

Proposals will be judged on how well they meet the following criteria:

  • Clear breakout session description, written for the lay person
  • Three well-defined, measurable objectives for the workshop
  • A topic that strongly relates to the needs and interests of families who live with intellectual disability in general and/or Down syndrome specifically
  • Experience and credentials of presenters related to the workshop topic
  • Presenter’s knowledge of special needs services and delivery
  • Timeliness of the topic

Plenary sessions will be reviewed using the same criteria.

The Connecticut Down Syndrome Congress will notify all applicants of their proposal status by Saturday, August 15th.  Accepted proposals must have all details confirmed by presenters within one week of notification.  Any changes in proposals after the review date may result in cancellation of that workshop.  Changes will be made at the discretion of the review committee.  Please contact Wendy Dobesh at wdobesh@ctdownsyndrome.org with any questions.