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.
October 16 – 17, 2015 was the Inclusive Education weekend session for Partners Class 33. A highly participatory weekend featured a comprehensive review of the components of school inclusion and universal design, round table discussions about special education and post secondary education topics, and the concepts of civil discourse.
November 20 – 21, 2015 was the third weekend session for Partners Class 33. The role and responsibilities that counties have in delivering services to individuals with developmental disabilities and families, and meetings with county commissioners were highlights
January 22-23, 2016 was the fourth weekend session for Partners Class 33. Where one lives and where one works provide stability and purpose and meaning to one's life, and opportunities to achieve personal life goals. There's no place like home and everyone can work were the themes for this session.
February 19-20 , 2016, the fifth weekend session for Class 33, presented community organizing, organizing skills, and tips on how to gather support and build momentum around an issue; an introduction to data practices and parliamentary procedure; and working with the media.
March 4-5, 2016, the sixth weekend session for Class 33 Partners, focused on the state legislative process – advocacy tips and tools for developing partnerships with elected officials and effective ways for influencing public policy, updates on current issues, and preparing and presenting testimony in mock hearings.
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 individuals attended the first session for the 2016 training program year on January 19, 2016. This session focused on the History of Disabilities and included a brief introduction to the Partners in Policymaking® program.
The January 30, 2016 training session focused on Inclusive Education. Participants assumed the roles of the parent advocate, school administrator, inclusion aide, and special education teacher to practice communication skills.
The February 6, 2016 training session provided an overview of county services, services and supports based on individual and family needs, and an introduction to person centered planning.
The February 28, 2016 training session focused on systems change, the state legislative process, and how to work effectively with state legislators to create or improve public policies that relate to service and support needs.
The March 12, 2016 training session gave participants in an opportunity to meet with a state Senator, and learn about the legislative process and current legislative issues
The final training session for On Eagles Wings, the Cultural Outreach and Leadership Training Program in the African American Community, was on March 26, 2016. A total of 19 participants celebrated the completion of a successful training program year with 60 family members and friends who recognized the accomplishments that graduates made.
A one-half day emergency planning and preparedness training session was held on April 2, 2016 for graduates of On Eagle Wings.
Self Advocacy – Ambassadors for Respect Anti-Bullying Campaign
On March 1, 2016, the Anti-Bully Campaign began a new project year. The Ambassadors for Respect led three training sessions for 4th grade elementary school students and teachers at Cowern Elementary school about how to deal with and address bullying issues.
Seven schools are continuing their participation this year – Cowern Elementary (North St. Paul); Willow Lane, Otter Lake, Birch Lake, and Vadnais Heights Elementary (White Bear Lake); St. John the Baptist Elementary (New Brighton); Little Canada Elementary (Little Canada); and Matoska International Elementary (a charter school in White Bear Lake).
Five new schools will be receiving training this year so an even greater number of students will benefit – Lincoln and Lakeaire Elementary (White Bear Lake); and Castle, Richardson, and Webster Elementary (North St. Paul).
A pool of 12 self advocates will serve as teachers/trainers including four self advocates who will be first time Ambassadors for Respect. The 2016 project year got underway with three presentations for 4th grade students at Cowern Elementary School.
On March 4, 2016, three sessions were held at Vadnais Heights Elementary School with a total of 78 students and six teachers.
On March 29, 2016, two sessions were held at Birch Lake Elementary School for a total of 53 students and five teachers.
On April 29, 2016, three sessions were held at Willow Lane for a total of 65 students, two teachers, a principal, and a school psychologist.
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 beginning its fourth year with two employment success stories.