Texas Partners in Policymaking (Partners) is accepting applications for the 2021-2022 program year. The application period opened on January 20, 2021, and will close on March 15, 2021.
How to Apply: An online application tool called SMApply is used to accept applications for Partners. In SMApply, applicants can easily submit their applications online. Please contact Genessee Klemm if you need a paper copy of the application.
What is Texas Partners in Policymaking?
This advanced leadership training program is for self-advocates and family members of people with developmental disabilities (DD). Through the course of the program, participants acquire the information and skills necessary to partner with policymakers and advocate for important disability issues at the local, state, and federal levels.
Participants develop innovative projects that improve the lives of people with DD in their communities. Ultimately, graduates work to impact policy and change systems so more people with DD are fully included in their communities and exercise control over their own lives. Some of the graduates might go on to become policymakers themselves.
When and where are the sessions held?
The program consists of seven two-day training sessions held monthly from September 2021 to April 2022. There will not be a session in December 2021. Sessions are generally held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Fridays and 9 a.m. to noon on Saturdays. Sessions may be held in-person or online via video conference. In-person sessions are held in San Antonio and Austin. In addition to the weekend sessions, participants attend monthly online meetings held on weekday evenings.
Session 1: Sept. 17-18, 2021 (online)
Session 2: Oct. 15-16, 2021 (online)
Session 3: Nov. 12-13, 2021 (tentatively in-person)
Session 4: Jan. 14-15, 2022 (online)
Session 5: Feb. 18-19, 2022 (tentatively in-person)
Session 6: March 25-26, 2022 (online)
Session 7: April 22-23, 2022 (tentatively in-person)
Note: Session dates are subject to change. In-person meetings are tentative and will be determined based on public health guidelines.
What is the format of the training program?
Training varies and may include in-person, classroom-style learning, or online video-conference meetings. In addition, participants engage in group discussions, develop group projects, and work on individual initiatives.
What is the time commitment for participants?
Participants are required to attend ALL training sessions. Also, participants are required to do activities between sessions, including homework assignments, advocacy activities, and graduation projects.
Is there a fee to participate in the program?
There is no program fee. TCDD covers the cost for those selected.
Do I have to pay for my overnight hotel and travel expenses?
Overnight accommodations are provided for participants who drive a distance. Class members are matched and housed in double occupancy hotel rooms. Mileage reimbursement is also available to class members. Meals are provided during each weekend session.
Is there financial assistance available to help for respite/child care, a personal assistant, or a personal support worker?
Partners does not provide on-site services. However, a reimbursement allowance is offered to participants needing financial assistance. Participants must arrange their own services.
How are class participants selected?
A review committee, which includes Partners graduates, TCDD representatives, and other local leaders, will select participants based on several criteria. Applicants will be notified about the status of their applications in June 2021.
Contact Genessee Klemm if you have questions or need support.