Partners in Policymaking

PARTNERS IN Policymaking®

Forging A Path For Systems Change

 Click Here for Application 

Deadline for Applications is July 1, 2021

Partners in Policymaking Superhero  

What is Partners in Policymaking®?

Partners in Policymaking® is a leadership and advocacy training program that teaches individuals with developmental disabilities and parents to become community leaders and catalysts for systems change.  While walking along this path, participants learn how to obtain the best available services for themselves and others.

Based on a national model, the overall goal of Partners is to develop productive partnerships between people who need and use services and those in a position to create policies and laws.  Partners participants become influencers of change by experiencing opportunities to meet and speak with national leaders in the field of developmental disabilities.  During class sessions the participants hear presentations about current issues and state-of-the art practices, as well as policymaking and legislative processes at local, state, and national levels.

Who Should Apply?

  • Adults who have a developmental disability
  • Family members of persons with developmental disabilities
  • Men and Women representing different ages, experiences, ethnic groups, and geographical regions of Florida
  • Highly motivated and enthusiastic people who work for systems change and improve the lives of Floridians with developmental disabilities
  • Those who can make a commitment to attend six two-day monthly sessions online beginning in September through Februrary

What Is My Role As A Partner?

  • Attendance at all six-monthly sessions is mandatory.
    • Session 1: September 10-11, 2021
    • Session 2: October 8-9, 2021
    • Session 3: November 12-13, 2021
    • Session 4: December 10-11, 2021
    • Session 5: January 20-21, 2022
    • Session 6: February 25-26, 2022
  • Complete all homework assignments (approximately 2 to 4 hours) between training sessions usually consisting of reading, evaluating resources on the internet, and practical exercises.
  • Completion of a major project benefiting people with developmental disabilities in your community.

What does Partners Cost?

  • There is NO financial cost to participate in Partners
  • Attendant care and respite services are available and will be reimbursed at a pre-arranged rate (if needed)
  • Other necessary accommodations will be provided at no cost such as interpreter, translator, and alternative materials
  • Partners WILL cost you time and effort, but Partners graduates agree that the commitment you make as a participant is well worth the life changes, knowledge you will gain, and relationships you will build while participating in the program.

What You Will Get In Return

Information, skills, and confidence to bring about change for those with developmental disabilities across a life-span. 

The opportunity to meet and unite with others who have similar concerns and create a powerful voice on important issues.

Hands-on experience in the state law-making process.

Instruction and access to national experts in their field.

Topics included:

  • History of the Disability Movement
  • Inclusive Education and Transition
  • Assistive Technology
  • Supported/Competitive Employment
  • Supported/Independent Living
  • Person Centered Planning
  • Community Support
  • State and Federal Legislative Process
  • Leadership Development
  • Organizing for Systems Change

Top 10 Values of Partners in Policymaking®

Value #1: People with disabilities are people first.  They are not "the handicapped" or "the disabled."  Using People First Language is a must - No Labels

Value #2: People with disabilities need real friendships, not just relationships with paid staff.

Value #3: People with disabilities are entitled to the full meaning of The First Amendment right to free speech.  The ability to communicate, in whatever form, must be available to every person with a disability.

Value #4: People with disabilities must be able to enjoy full mobility and accessibility that allows active participation in community life.

Value #5: People with disabilities must be assured continuity in their lives through families and neighborhood connections.

Value #6: People with disabilities must be treated with respect and dignity.

Value #7: People with disabilities need to be in positions to negotiate to have their wants and needs met.

Value #8: People with disabilities must be able to exercise choice in all areas of their lives.

Value #9: People with disabilities must be able to live in the homes of their choices with the supports they need.

Value #10: People with disabilities must be able to enjoy the benefits of true productivity through employment and/or contributions as members of their communities.

Application for Partners in Policymaking®

Click Here for the Application

The Application is a fillable Word document, therefore all text boxes will auto-fill as you type. The checkboxes are active. If you need additional accommodations, please contact Stacey Hoaglund ( The application due date is July 1, 2021. Please follow the following steps:

  1. Once the document is open, make sure to select File-Save As
  2. Name the file as YOURNAME2021 (ex: STACEYHOAGLUND2021)
  3. Type in your information and answer all checkboxes
  4. When finished with the application, select File-Save, then close
  5. Open email, and attach PIP Application, and send to

For additional information, please contact:

Stacey Hoaglund, Project Coordinator

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