Learn.
Advocate.
Lead.

Offered from 2010 through 2019, the Partners in Policymaking® project connected people in New York State with a growing national network of advocates dedicated to ensuring the rights for every person living with a developmental disability today and for generations to come.

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NYS Partners in Policymaking®

NYS Partners in Policymaking ® followed the national Partners in Policymaking program model developed by the Minnesota Governor’s Council on Disability. It is a leadership and advocacy training program designed to teach best practices and to impart the skills needed to influence public policy. Offered from 2010 through 2019, the Partners in Policymaking® project connected people in New York State with a national network of advocates dedicated to ensuring the rights for every person living with a developmental disability today and for generations to come.

Who Was Eligible to Participate
in NYS Partners in Policymaking®?

The program was open to adults with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities in New York State, as well as their parents, family members, and caregivers. Applicants were chosen based on individual fit to the program as determined by the content of their applications. There was no charge to participate, but the participants, called Partners, did need a computer and internet connection, as well as a commitment to study the online material and attend a series of 10 webinar training sessions.

What Did Partners in Policymaking® Students Do?

Partners completed a series of training sessions through independent study in the online material and through active participation in facilitated webinar sessions. The webinar sessions provided a deeper look at critical concepts affecting the lives of individuals across six core subject areas. The sessions were often facilitated by national speakers with topical expertise.

In addition, each Partner was required to identify a specific area on which to focus their advocacy effort. Throughout the program, they developed their advocacy project by completing targeted assignments, accessing the online curriculum, and exploring relevant resources within the Moodle learning platform and external sources. Each Partner developed and delivered a presentation of their advocacy project for the class. Projects provided a structure for participants to organize their thinking and develop the skills to bring their advocacy to life in local, state, and national forums.

Check out this our video, NYS Partners Grads Making Impact on L.I. to see how Partners graduates have made a difference!

What topics were covered?

The training sessions covered important topics affecting the lives of people across the lifespan:

  • History of disability and advocacy
  • Inclusive education
  • Service coordination and person-centered planning
  • Integrated employment
  • Supported living
  • Community organizing for inclusion
  • The Legislative Process

NYS Partners in Policymaking® Legacy

Over the course of 10 years, hundreds of people participated in the NYS Partners in Policymaking program. Approximately 500 people completed the program and became Partner Graduates!

Partner graduates continue to be actively involved in the Partners network through local meetings and social media connections, and as leaders of regional groups. Graduates have indefinite access to the online course curriculum and its resources, allowing them to serve as facilitators of local advocacy groups in their community. (For more information on activity in your region, contact info@nyspip.org)

"Partners gave me the motivation to make proactive positive changes, instead of settling for status quo."

"I am more knowledgeable and confident in my advocacy efforts."

"I have been more involved in policy changes, as well as changes in my own life. I am more independent because of the Partners program."