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Partners in Policymaking®

A leadership and advocacy training program that teaches individuals with developmental disabilities and caregivers to become community leaders and catalysts for systems change.

PIP FDDC Logo 2021
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Partners in Policymaking® (PIP) is a leadership training program that prepares adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, parents, and caregivers of children and adults with I/DD to be effective advocates at the local, state, and federal levels. PIP teaches leadership skills and techniques to develop positive partnerships with elected officials, school personnel and other individuals who make policy decisions about services that you and/or your family use.

Partners graduates can change the future by affecting public policy today!

Interested in Becoming a Partner?

The application period for the PIP Class of 2022 is now closed


We’re looking for talented, motivated, and dedicated parents of children with developmental disabilities and individuals with developmental disabilities who are looking to have an impact in their communities. 

This year, up to 35 participants will be selected from a competitive applicant pool to participate in mandatory classes from September to February. 

Session 1: TBD, Session 2: TBD, Session 3: TBD, Session 4: TBD, Session 5: TBD, Session 6: TBD

The 2022-2023 Partners in Policymaking program is an in-person program.  All classes will be held in Orlando, exact location to be provided upon acceptance into the program.

Participation for the PIP program requires substantial commitment of time, motivation, and energy. Be ready to roll up your sleeves, get to work, and change your life!

If you have any questions regarding your application or general questions. Please contact Stacey Hoaglund at

  • Adults who have an intellectual or developmental disability.
  • Family members or caregivers of persons with an intellectual or developmental disability.
  • Highly motivated and enthusiastic people who want to work for systems change and improving the lives of Floridians with developmental disabilities.
  • Individuals who can make a commitment to attend six monthly sessions from September through February.

Individuals participating in PIP attend advocacy training, resource development, and skill building workshops led by state and national experts. Topics covered include the history of the disability rights movement, self-advocacy, independent living, employment, building inclusive communities, natural supports, legislative advocacy, assistive technology, communication, team building, and much more.

During these sessions, you will have the opportunity to practice new skills in a comfortable and safe environment, build a network of people from diverse cultural backgrounds and life experiences, and learn from national experts. Partners is about systems change – creating, working toward and achieving a vision of shared values about people with disabilities. This program 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 partnerships with policymakers. It’s about becoming confident in yourself, competent in the knowledge and information you’ll receive, and comfortable in sharing the life experiences and expertise you bring to the program.

  • Attend the training sessions that are on Friday and Saturday starting at 9:00 a.m.  and conclude at 4:00 p.m.
  • Attendance at all six monthly sessions is mandatory.
    • Session 1: TBD
    • Session 2: TBD
    • Session 3: TBD
    • Session 4: TBD
    • Session 5: TBD
    • Session 6: TBD
  • 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.
  • The 2022-2023 Partners in Policymaking program is an in-person program.  All classes will be held in Orlando, exact location to be provided upon acceptance into the program.

Individuals are selected as Partners in Policymaking (PIP) participants in a competitive application process administered statewide. A panel  comprised of Partners graduates reviews and selects participants for each class. Following the screening and selection process, all applicants will be notified of their status. We encourage applicants who are not selected to re-apply, as we always receive more worthy applications than we have spaces to fill. Each class is carefully selected to represent a range of experience, demographics, and abilities.

  • There is NO financial cost to participate in PIP.
  • 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  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.
  • 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

The application period for the PIP Class of 2022 is now closed


Click Here for the PIP Application

Applications for the Partners in Policymaking® 2023-2024 classes are due June 30, 2023

For additional information, please contact:

Stacey Hoaglund, Project Coordinator

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