Texas Partners in Policymaking (Partners) is a leadership training program organized by the Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities (TCDD). It is designed to empower adults with developmental disabilities (DD) and family members of people with DD to become effective advocates for policy change. The Partners program was created by the Minnesota Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities more than 30 years ago and has since been offered nationally and internationally.
Partners teaches leadership skills for fostering positive partnerships with elected officials and other policymakers who make decisions about the services that you and/or your family use through a series of accessible and interactive training sessions. Graduates of the TCDD Partners program often go on to serve on boards, councils, task forces, and advisory committees; some run for elected office.
Partners aims to advance systems change – creating, working toward, and achieving a vision of shared values regarding people with disabilities in communities across Texas. 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.
Participants attend eight weekend training sessions. Participants must have an interest in learning and practicing new skills in a welcoming and safe environment. They must have a desire to build and strengthen a network of people from diverse cultural backgrounds and life experiences as well as a willingness to learn from experts who share our vision and values. This training features classroom-style learning, such as listening to presentations, as well as interactive group activities and experiential learning.