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Partners in Policymaking – Missouri Planning Council for Developmental Disabilities
"Partners in Policymaking (Partners) is an innovative national model of leadership training designed for adults with developmental disabilities and parents of young children with developmental disabilities. The program teaches leadership skills and the process of developing positive partnerships with elected officials, school personnel and other individuals who make policy decisions about services that you and/or your family use.
Partners is about systems change — creating, working towards, and achieving a vision of shared values about people with disabilities. It is based on the belief that the most effective and enduring public policy decisions are made by the people who need and use services in partnership with elected officials and other policymakers. It is about becoming confident in oneself, competent in knowledge and information received, and comfortable in sharing the life experiences and expertise one brings to the program.
What is the Role of a ""Partner""?
When selected, participants must make a commitment to attend eight weekend sessions, once a month, from Februrary to September. Sessions begin on Friday shortly after the noon hour and conclude on Satruday afternoon. Partners' graduates agree that the commitment is well worth the life changes that result from the training program.
Participants are asked to complete monthly assignments that are designed on an individual basis. The purpose of the assignments is to expand the knowledge of the participants and enable them to become effective in their abilities to work with policymakers and advocate for systems change that will benefit people who have disabilities and their families.
Participation in Partners will give partcipants the opportunity to practice new skills in a comfortable and safe environment, build a network of people from diverse cultural backgrounds and life experiences and learn from national experts who share our vision and values.
As a result of participation in the Partners program, we expect that participants will achieve greater independence, productivity, integration, inclusion and self-determination in their communities."