Saturday, March 14, 2009

Partners in Policymaking - 2009-2010 Applications Due by April 30, 2009

Become a Partner in Policymaking

Recruitment of individuals with developmental disabilities and parents of young children with developmental disabilities for the 2009-2010 Virginia Board for People with Disabilities’ (VBPD) Partners in Policymaking (PIP) advocacy training program is currently underway. Partners graduating with the Class of 2010 will join over three hundred current alumni of the Virginia PIP program, and thousands who have graduated from similar programs across the country, who have learned how to make a difference every day for themselves, their families, and their communities.

Individuals participating in PIP attend advocacy training, resource development, and skill building workshops led by state and national experts. Topics covered include the history of the disability movement, self advocacy, independent living, supported employment, building inclusive communities, natural supports, legislative advocacy, assistive technology, communication, team building, and much more!

VBPD covers all expenses for participants’ training, lodging, meals, and travel.

Program participants attend and actively participate in eight two-day sessions, from Friday afternoon and to late Saturday afternoon, in Richmond, Virginia. Detailed information including how to apply, an overview of the program, the schedule for the coming year, and staff contacts appear below.

To Apply
To be considered for participation in Partners in Policymaking, individuals must submit a completed application and provide three letters of recommendation. Applications and recommendations may be submitted by e-mail, by fax, by U.S. Mail, or by direct delivery. Information on how to complete and submit the application in each of these ways is included in its instructions. Electronic submission by e-mail is preferred.

To complete an application electronically, then submit it by e-mail, fax, mail, or direct delivery, click on the following link:

Partners in Policymaking Application (Interactive Word Format)
This application may also be printed and completed by hand for submission by fax, mail, or direct delivery.

Annual PIP enrollment is limited. To be considered for the coming year, completed application forms and letters of recommendation must be received in the Virginia Board for People with Disabilities office by no later than close of business on the announced deadline, listed above and on the application form.

Partners in Policymaking participants are people who live in Virginia, have a developmental disability or are parents of young children with developmental disabilities. Individuals attending the program will participate in advocacy skill workshops, resource development, and leadership training.

Application and selection as a participant for the program requires a substantial commitment of time, motivation and energy. If accepted, the Partners in Policymaking program requires attendance and participation in eight two-day sessions between September and May. Each session begins on Friday afternoon and concludes Saturday afternoon. Participants meet competencies by agreeing to complete homework, class assignments and one major project.

The group of selected participants will build networks with state and national leaders as well as one another. Participants will be educated on current issues, state-of-the-art approaches and best practices in many areas including:

History of Disability Movements
Independent Living
Inclusive Education
Supported Employment
Personal Futures Planning
Building Inclusive Communities
Natural Supports
Assistive Technology
Communication & Team Building
Legislative Process and Strategies