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Apply Now class 2024

The Texas Partners in Policymaking (Partners) program is now accepting applications for the 2023-2024 program year. We are seeking motivated individuals interested in joining a cohort of disability advocates who are passionate about disability issues and want to create change in their communities.

Self-advocates and family members of people with developmental disabilities (DD) who are eager to learn more about our current disability service system and advance their communication and advocacy skills in a supportive environment are encouraged to apply.

If you are eager to learn, lead and connect with others, consider applying to the 2023-2024 cohort.

Applying to Texas Partners

The application period opens in January and closes in March. If you applied to participate in the 2023-2024 program year, you will be notified of your application status by July 2023. Applicants can apply online or request a paper application by contacting Brianna TenBrink.

What is Texas Partners in Policymaking?
This advanced leadership training program is for self-advocates and family members of people with developmental disabilities. 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.

To learn more about the program, visit the About section of this website. Partners is a project of the Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities (TCDD).

When and where are the sessions held?
The program consists of six two-day training sessions held monthly from September to March. 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 addition to the weekend sessions, participants attend monthly online meetings held on weekday evenings.

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 capstone projects.

Is there a fee to participate in the program?
There is no program fee. TCDD covers the cost for those selected.

Is there financial assistance available to help for respite/childcare, a personal assistant, or a personal support worker?
Partners does not provide direct 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 by July 2023.

Contact Brianna TenBrink if you have questions or need support.