I had never heard of the “Partners in Policymaking” online courses. Now I know how much I was missing out on. The Minnesota Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities created the courses to help teach people to be active partners with those who make policy.
Their five online courses are available to anyone who would like to increase their knowledge and skills. The courses are self-paced. They are broken down into small parts so that participants can learn as little or as much as they want at any given time. Don’t be intimidated by the hours involved. You can take a break and come back to the content when you can.
Not sure if this course is for you? I promise you that it is!
You will be introduced to:
Partners in Living
This course paves the way for you to understand the important concepts of self-determination, family support, community living, and assistive technology. While these concepts were not new to me, this course explains in a significant way why these thoughts and ideas matter so much to people with disabilities and their families.
Partners in Time
In this section, you will learn about the history of society’s treatment of people with disabilities and the growth of the Disability Rights Movement. Why does this matter? It’s critical that we understand the past to make sure that it is never repeated. We’ve come a long way, but we still have a long way to go.
Partners in Education
Every child has the right to a free, appropriate education. You will learn about the laws that protect these rights and practical ways to make sure your child benefits from an inclusive education.
Partners in Making Your Case
As a parent, you advocate for your child just as individuals with disabilities must learn to advocate for themselves. To advocate means to support or speak on behalf of yourself or others. In this section, you will learn how to create positive change through advocacy.
Partners in Employment
This course helps people find meaningful jobs and plan a career. You will learn how to create a resume that shows your strengths and skills, find possible employers, prepare for an interview, and understand the hiring process.
I can’t stress enough the huge difference these courses made in my life. I became a better parent and found at times that I was more educated on disability history, advocacy, and education than the professionals. It helped how we worked together for my son’s progress. It also helped me help other parents. It really did change my life!
If you are in the Houston area you may be interested in a face-to-face Leadership and Advocacy Program. There will be a series of classes that follows the Partners in Policymaking Program model. Everyone is welcome to participate.
For other training programs in your area, search the Services, Groups and Events section of this site.
Just when I thought maybe the “autism thing” was calming down. And that maybe I had a few months to catch my breath before researching everything I needed to know about guardianship before my son turns 18. Wham–another big change brought us back to reality.
Support is out there for families of individuals with disabilities–you just have to ask! Take advantage of the community of others who are going through the same things as your family.