Texas Partners in Policymaking (Partners) is a leadership training program designed for adults with developmental disabilities (DD) and family members of children with DD. 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 necessary to develop positive partnerships with elected officials and other policymakers who make decisions about the services that you and/or your family use. Partners is accessible, informative, and empowering. The graduates of Partners often become members of boards, councils, task forces, and advisory committees; some run for elected office.
Partners is about systems change – creating, working towards, and achieving a vision of shared values about people with disabilities. 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 comfortable and safe environment. They must have a desire to build and strengthen a network of people from diverse cultural backgrounds and life experiences and a willingness to learn from national and state experts who share our vision and values. This training includes classroom-style learning, such as listening to presentations, as well as group activities and individual projects.