Council-Sponsored Grant Activities
Partners in Policymaking Class 33
September 25-26, 2015 was the first weekend session for Class 33 Partners in Policymaking. Thirty-one individuals – eight self advocates, 20 parents, and three self advocate parents were selected for this year's class, including six individuals from racial/ethnic minority communities.
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.
The January 31, 2015 training session focused on Inclusive Education and the communication skills, assertive vs. aggressive, that can set the tone for a positive or frustrating IEP process.
The February 14, 2015 session covered county services, programs and services available, and the role of the county in delivering services to individuals with developmental disabilities and families.
The February 28, 2015 session focused on the state legislative process, and how to prepare and present personal stories related to key public policy issues being addressed during this legislative session.
March 11, 2015 was Day at the Capitol for On Eagles Wings participants.
Self Advocacy – Ambassadors for Respect Anti-Bullying Campaign
On March 5, 2015, the Ambassadors for Respect started a new project year leading training sessions for 4th grade elementary school students about how to deal with and address bullying issues. Five schools are continuing their participation this year – Cowern Elementary, Willow Lake, Otter Lake, Vadnais Heights Elementary, and St. John the Baptist Elementary. Students at three new schools will reap the benefits of this successful program – O.H. Anderson Elementary, Little Canada Elementary, and Matoska International Elementary charter school. To accommodate the greater number of schools and training sessions, a pool of nine self advocates will serve as teachers/trainers this year. The 2015 project year got underway with two presentations for 4th grade students at Little Canada Elementary School.
On March 31, 2015, six Ambassadors for Respect, three of whom are new to the teacher/trainer pool this year, led four training sessions at Matoska International Elementary School.
On April 9, 2015, three training sessions were presented to 4th grade students at Vadnais Heights Elementary School.
On April 29, 2015, the Ambassadors for Respect led three training sessions for 4th grade students at Willow Lane Elementary School.
On May 5, 2015, two training sessions were presented to 5th grade students at Vadnais Heights Elementary School.
On May 9, 2015, two training sessions were presented to 4th grade students at St. John the Baptist Elementary School.
On May 14, 2015, two training sessions were presented to 4th grade students at Birch Lake Elementary School.
On May 14, 2015, four training sessions were presented to 4th grade students at Otter Lake Elementary School.
On June 3, 2015, three training sessions were presented to 4th grade students at Cowern Elementary School.
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.
The Employment Project is now in its third year. Five transition students and four adults with developmental disabilities are directly employed and earning minimum wage or above. Work hours for adult employees vary from an on call schedule to between 10 and 27 hours per week; class schedules limit work hours for students from two to 14 hours per week.