CDSS Advocate of the Year Award


About This Award

The Advocate of the Year is awarded to one (1) self-advocate (adult with Down syndrome – older than 18-years-old), who is a community leader. The recipient is a person who gives to the community, through work or volunteering, and contributes meaningful change to people’s perceptions of disability and Down syndrome. This person shows their community how to “See the Ability.”

See Selection Criteria & How to Nominate Someone

CDSS Advocate of the Year Award Winner

Jeremy Abramson
Every week, 26-year-old Jeremy Abramson plays hockey with the Special Hockey Heroes. He takes his job as an athlete seriously, bringing out the best in his teammates on the senior team with his passion and skills. He also takes his job as a role model seriously, mentoring the younger members on the junior team.

Jeremy has Down syndrome and is proud to inspire and support other people with Down syndrome. He is the 2016 Advocate of the Year at the Canadian Down Syndrome Society (CDSS), announced on World Down Syndrome Day (March 21, 2016). He will receive a $1000.00 bursary, which he can put towards tuition, use to fund a special project, or donate back to his community.
“He is my hero. He has been a great teammate in hockey. He is a lot of fun. He has Down syndrome like me,” wrote William Green, one of Jeremy’s younger teammates, in his nomination letter to CDSS. Jeremy was also nominated by William’s mother, Elizabeth, and Jeff Kelly, the president and head coach of the Special Hockey Heroes, which is part of the Ottawa Police Association.

Selected from nominations submitted from across the country, Jeremy contributes meaningful change to people’s perceptions of disability and Down syndrome. Off the ice, he volunteers and works with different groups, such as the Down Syndrome Association – National Capital Region. He has attended Algonquin College, lives independently, and is a doting partner to his girlfriend of five years, Jessie Huggett, who also has Down syndrome.

Selection Criteria


$1000 Bursary for school tuition, a special project, or donation back to the community


The Advocate of the Year award will be chosen by a committee of CDSS leaders – members of VATTA (the VATTA Chair and Vice Chair), members of the CDSS Board of Directors Advocacy Committee, and members of the CDSS Staff.


  • These awards are for people with Down syndrome.
  • Entrants must be nominated – no self-nominations will be accepted. Parents and immediate family can nominate
  • Nominees must live in Canada.
  • Nominees are not required to be members of the Canadian Down Syndrome Society.
  • Nominees must not be a full or part-time paid staff member, board member, or committee member (for example, VATTA, or the Conference Committee) of the Canadian Down Syndrome Society. Past winners of the Canadian Down Syndrome Heroes are ineligible to receive this award. Past winners of the Canadian Down Syndrome Society’s Self-Advocate of the Year Award are ineligible to receive this award.

How to Nominate Someone

  • One (1) letter by the primary nominator on why the nominee deserves recognition (600 words MAXIMUM per letter).
  • One (1) to two (2) reference letters by someone other than the nominator (600 words MAXIMUM per letter).
  • You do not need to specify a category, but if you have a preference, please indicate in your letter.
  • To ensure a successful nomination, please refer to the award requirements.

Please submit your nomination letters – one letter by the primary nominator, one to two letters by people other than the primary nominator – by the deadline, February 1, 2016 extended to February 12, 2016.
We accept nominations via Email or Mail.

Subject: CDSS Awards 2016

Advocate of the Year Award
Canadian Down Syndrome Society
Suite 103 – 2003 14 Street NW
Calgary, AB T2M 3N4

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