Partners in Policymaking Now Accepting Applications for 2012-2013 Disabilities Advocacy and Leadership Training Program

| June 15, 2012

Often described as a life changing experience, the Partners in Policymaking program is inviting applications for its eight month leadership training program.  Individuals with disabilities and parents of young children with developmental disabilities will be trained at no cost in monthly sessions, starting this fall.  Sponsored by the Minnesota Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities, Partners is celebrating its 25th anniversary.  This program is now offered in almost every state and many foreign countries.  Applications will be accepted until July 20, 2012.

“Graduates report that they gained a greater understanding of disability law and policies and increased their self confidence in advocating for their needs.  Many have become leaders in their own communities as they speak up for people with disabilities,” said Colleen Wieck, Governor’s Council executive director.

The eight sessions cover the history of the disability and self-advocacy movements, inclusive education, supported living, and avenues to influence county, state and federal legislative processes.  To make it easier to participate, the two-day meetings are all held on Friday and Saturday, from September to May 2013 except in March when it is held on Sunday and Monday.  The dates are: September 28-29, 2012; October 26-27, 2012; November 16-17, 2012; January 11-12, 2013; February 22-23, 2013; March 10-11, 2013; April 12-13, 2013 and May 17-18, 2013.  Learn more at

There is no cost to individuals selected for the Partners program, adults with disabilities and parents of young children with developmental disabilities, since it is covered by a federal grant to the Minnesota Governor’s Council.  Meals are provided and mileage is reimbursed for all class members.  Overnight accommodations are covered for those who drive a distance to attend.  A reimbursement allowance for respite/child care and personal care attendants is also available. All eight sessions will be held at the Minneapolis Airport Marriott in Bloomington.

Limited to 40 Minnesota residents, class members are selected by a panel of Partners graduates and representatives of the Council.  Presenters include nationally recognized leaders in the disabilities area, as well as local experts.

“This program is based on the belief that systems change is best brought about through the efforts of those most affected by them, and we seek to arm them with the tools needed to be successful in the public policy arena,” said Wieck.

Those selected to participate in the program must to attend all meetings and to complete homework assignments between the sessions.

For further information or to receive an application form, interested individuals can go to the web page, or contact Carol Schoeneck at GTS Educational Events, at 651-222-7409, ext. 205 (metro) or 1-800-569-6878, ext. 205 (non-metro), or by e-mail at

The Minnesota Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities introduced the Partners in Policymaking program in 1987.  Since then, over 800 Minnesotans have completed the program and over 16,000 have participated in Partners programs offered worldwide.

Category: Community News, Education, Politics

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