You Should Be a Partner in Policymaking

If you live in Virginia and have a  child with a developmental disability, read on. (If not, we’ll return to our regularly scheduled Joe stuff in the next post!)

Next month, I’ll graduate from a program called Partners in Policymaking, which is sponsored by the Virginia Board for People with Disabilities. From September to May, it involves spending two days each month learning from national experts on a variety of topics. I’ve learned so much about things to do for Joe, and ways to help other families get what they need for their own kids.

Here are some of the topics covered:

History of Disability Movements
Self-Advocacy
Independent Living
Inclusive Education
Supported Employment
Personal Futures Planning
Building Inclusive Communities
Natural Supports
Assistive Technology
Communication & Team Building
Legislative Process and Strategies

The class is made entirely of two groups: 1) parents of children with developmental disabilities, and 2) adults with developmental disabilities of their own. It’s been especially nice getting to know the latter group, because it gives me a glimpse of what life might be like for Joe when he’s an adult — and it looks pretty good!

Each monthly session includes an overnight hotel stay where you  bond with your classmates, eat amazing food and sometimes stay up too late.

And it’s FREE.

They are recruiting for their 2013-2014 class, and the deadline to apply is April 30. So get to it!

Here I am polishing my public-speaking skills at the state capitol, a field trip taken with my fellow Partners in Policymaking.
Here I am polishing my public-speaking skills at the state capitol, a field trip taken with my fellow Partners in Policymaking.
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