New York State
Partners in Policymaking

What is NYS Partners in Policymaking®?

Partners in Policymaking ® is an innovative national model of leadership training for people with developmental disabilities, parents and family members. Begun over twenty years ago by the Minnesota Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities,, this program has continued to have a major impact on important issues in the field of developmental disabilities. The program is designed to provide state-of-the-art knowledge about issues and policies related to disability, and to develop participant competencies to become more effective in influencing policy development at all levels. The overall intent is to achieve a productive partnership between people with developmental disabilities, parents, and family members, and those in position to make policy.

Partners complete a series of training sessions, primarily through web-based instruction, during the course year. Partners are expected to complete assignments between sessions and to commit to one major project during their training year, to be completed in the following year. These projects may include activities such as serving an internship, serving on a board, organizing a letter writing campaign, or organizing special receptions or town meetings for public officials. Upon graduation, members join the Partners Graduates group and become eligible for follow up activities and advanced training.

Partners class session topics include:

  • Disability History and Policy
  • Creating Community
  • Inclusion
  • Individualized Services
  • State and Federal Issues
  • Systemic Advocacy in Practice: Field Testimony
  • Leadership

Want to join? Fill out the application to get started.

Participants from throughout New York State are selected to for inclusion in the training program. Selection is based on the individual's fit to the program as determined by the content of the applications. The program is free of charge and is currently being offered in an interactive distance learning format. The Partners in Policymaking ® program provides an excellent opportunity for participants to improve skills to become more effective advocates and to prepare to assume leadership roles in policymaking.