Partners in Policymaking seeks those with disabilities for training program
A free statewide program that develops leadership skills and trains advocates for people with disabilities to voice their views and influence policymakers is seeking applicants and is set to begin in June. Partners in Policymaking is designed to better enable individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, as well as parents of young children with such disabilities, to present their views on policies that affect them.
Presentations by national, state and local leaders combined with strong teambuilding exercises are scheduled for the 2012 class, with an anticipated 20 members. The 2012 partners program, with sessions in Raleigh, begins early in June, and applications must be received or postmarked by May 11. There is no cost to take part and mileage and meeting expenses are reimbursed, but participants must commit to attending all sessions and completing class assignments.
"Individuals with developmental disabilities and parents of young children with developmental disabilities want what we all want for ourselves and our children, which is that they be good neighbors, responsible and respected citizens, and productive workers in their communities," says Deborah Whitfield, program director for Partners in Policymaking. "This powerful training experience enables participants to change their own lives as they work to achieve systems change at all levels."
The program is based upon the belief that the most significant and enduring public-policy decisions have been brought about through the efforts of those most affected by them. Working together with public officials and policy specialists, graduates are well-trained disability advocates who are able to have a direct hand in shaping policy outcomes that touch their lives. During the eight sessions in the training year, national and state leaders on disability issues deliver cutting-edge information that provides best practices and experiential learning for all program participants.
The program covers a wide range of topics, including the history of disability policy; inclusive education; supported and independent employment; state and federal legislative processes; meeting dynamics; assistive technology; and effective interaction with policy leaders, legislators, and the media.
All eight training sessions are held at the downtown Raleigh Sheraton Hotel, beginning at noon on Saturday and continuing through until 3:30 p.m. on Sunday. Program participants stay at the meeting hotel to facilitate attendance throughout the training weekends. The intensive program receives funding from the North Carolina Council on Developmental Disabilities.
To learn more, call (919) 369-4569 or visit www.nccdd.org.