Council-Sponsored Grant Activities
Partners in Policymaking Class 32
September 26-27, 2014 was kick off weekend for Class 32 Partners in Policymaking. Thirteen self advocates and sixteen parents learned about the history of disabilities, the Parent Movement, Independent Living Movement, and Self Advocacy Movement; heard from Partners graduates about the benefits of their personal experiences with Partners; and practiced some creativity exercises.
October 24-25, 2014 was Inclusive Education weekend. Participants learned about effective practices and the components of inclusive education, emerging positive trends, and how the concepts of universal design and a blended curriculum can improve the educational experience for all students. In a series of roundtables, representatives with expertise in special education and post secondary education topics provided participants with a wealth of materials and resources. With new knowledge and skills for working through difficult education meetings, participants assumed some character roles and role played the process for getting to positive outcomes.
November 21-22, 2014 provided an introduction to County Services, and the role and responsibilities of counties in delivering services to individuals with developmental disabilities and their families. Participants welcomed County Commissioners in a series of roundtables that gave them experience in sharing their personal stories and addressing policy issues that can be barriers to being fully included in their communities.
January 23-24, 2015 covered the topics of supported housing - the range of alternatives available and related costs; and customized employment – creating a personal profile that identifies skills and abilities, learning styles, likes and dislikes, and values.
February 20-21, 2015 covered the topics of community organizing, parliamentary procedure, and people with disabilities and the role of the media.
March 8-9. 2015 focused on state legislative issues – the tools and skills needed to most effectively communicate and educate elected officials, and a mock hearing to practice preparing and presenting testimony.
On Eagle's Wings
Cultural Outreach Program in the African American Community
The cultural outreach program prepares parents with children with developmental disabilities from a minority community for the Partners in Policymaking® program. Outreach services and personal support are incorporated into a training program that provides resource information about programs and services, and introduces the concepts of the Partners program. Twenty-three individuals were selected to participate in this year's program and 20 individuals attended the first training session on January 17, 2015. This first session focused on the History of Disabilities.
Self Advocacy – Anti-Bullying Campaign
As Ambassadors for Respect, self advocates will be leading training sessions for 4th grade elementary school students about how to deal with and address bullying issues.
The Discovery Process is a tool, an information gathering strategy that involves seven stages of learning about an individual's interest and skills, to better match with employment opportunities or shape job possibilities that will be successful and productive for the individual.
During the 2014 project year, nine adults with developmental disabilities found employment that matched their interests and abilities, all were directly hired by the business, and worked in an inclusive workplace setting. They each earned minimum wage or above, and five of the individuals worked 20 hours or more per week at Byerly's, Lunds, the School of Rock in Eden Prairie, PJ Murphy's Bakery in St. Paul, and the Minnesota House of Representatives.