Mr. David Egan is a courageous self-advocate, dedicated NDSS DS-Ambassador from Virginia and now the first Joseph P. Kennedy Fellow to have an intellectual disability. At our 2014 Buddy Walk® on Washington, David’s stellar advocacy efforts earned him the title of Advocate of the Year, and he was also our first recipient of the NDSS Dan Piper Award in 2006.
Earlier this year, David was accepted as a Joseph P. Kennedy Fellow by the Foundation Trustees and is serving a year-long fellowship on Capitol Hill at the House Ways and Means Committee, which is chaired by Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI). David recently joined our NDSS team and colleagues from Autism Speaks with the House Ways & Means Committee. I can tell you firsthand – it’s extremely important and valuable to have self-advocates at the table with critical Committees and with Members of Congress who are crafting and influencing legislation that will impact the future of all people with disabilities in the United States. David is now a self-advocate at the table, proving yet again, “nothing about us, without us”!
I have had the pleasure of knowing David and his wonderful family for many, many years. Last month, David wrote a letter in honor of World Down Syndrome Day, celebrating his amazing family and how they have always been there to support him and help him realize his dreams!
“As we celebrate World Down Syndrome Day this year, let’s also celebrate our families that support us and help us succeed in life. Our families are our best advocates, and stand behind us. Remember that NDSS is also part of our family. NDSS leads the way as the national voice for people with Down syndrome in the United States, and wants to see all individuals with Down syndrome succeed in life.” -David Egan
Read the rest of David’s letter celebrating his family in honor of the 10th Anniversary of World Down Syndrome Day here. Personally, I am excited to see all the amazing things in store for David this year with his fellowship, advocacy and career.