Council-Sponsored Grant Activities
Partners in Policymaking Class 32
September 26-27, 2014 was kick off weekend for Class 32 Partners in Policymaking. Thirteen 13 self advocates and 16 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.
Partners in Policymaking Class 31
The application review process for Partners Class 31 was completed in July 2013. A total of 32 individuals - 10 self advocates, 21 parents, and one self advocate who is also a parent were selected to participate in Partners Class 31.
Weekend 1 (September 27-29, 2013) This first weekend session covered the history of disabilities, dating back to 1500 B.C., the perceptions, misconceptions, and treatment of individuals with disabilities over time; and highlighted the Parent Movement, Independent Living Movement, and Self Advocacy Movement.
Weekend 2 (October 25-26, 2013) Patrick Schwarz provided the historical context of inclusive education, offered examples of school and community inclusion, and challenged everyone to better understand what inclusion really means and the strategies behind successful school inclusion. Participants explored the practical application of these concepts by using the principles of civil discourse and role playing effective meetings in a school environment.
Weekend 3 (November 22-23, 2013) Class 31 participants learned about the county's role specifically but were also introduced to the "layers" of government at the federal, state, and local levels.
Weekend 4 (January 24-25, 2014) How and where one lives, and with whom are directly related to inclusion and belonging, and how other people see us. Real work for real pay, in a job that matches one's interests and abilities, and offers opportunities for advancement, leads to financial independence, an important part of the dimensions of life.
Weekend 5 (February 24-25, 2014) Community organizing relies on shared self-interests, promotes community building, and can shift and generate collective power.
Weekend 6 (March 9-10, 2014) How to read bill language; prepare and present testimony; meet with legislators; become familiar with the many opportunities available for citizens to serve and actively participate on councils, committees, and task forces – the state legislative weekend is the busiest of the Partners program year.
Weekend 7 (April 11 - 12, 2014) The federal legislative process is similar in many respects to the state and local levels of government but there are also many differences. Congress creates national public policy, and Congressional members represent a greater geographic area and many more constituents compared with state and local elected officials. The Federal Courts also play an important role since they interpret and make decisions about how laws are applied.
Weekend 8 (May 9-10, 2014) The media plays an important role in informing and educating the public about issues that may not otherwise get their attention.
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.
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On Eagle's Wings
Cultural Outreach Program in the African American Community
The cultural outreach programs are intended to prepare parents with children with developmental disabilities who are also members of minority communities for the Partners in Policymaking® program – by providing outreach services to minority parents, personal support, and a training program that offers resource information about available programs and services, and introduces the concepts of the Partners program. Fifteen individuals were recruited for this year's program. All selected participants attended the first training session that was held on December 7, 2013 and focused on the History of Disabilities.
The second training session was held on January 4, 2014 and focused on inclusive education.
The third training session was held on January 18, 2014, addressed the role of the county in delivering services and supports, and some of the programs and services available and how to access them.
The February 15, 2014 training session gave participants several opportunities to learn and practice how to most effectively communicate with their legislators and other policymakers about disability related issues that affect individuals with developmental disabilities and their families.
On March 12, 2014, participants met with four Senators from their legislative districts to introduce themselves and discuss issues of particular concern to them.
On March 15, 2014, a total of 12 individuals celebrated their graduation from On Eagles Wings.
A one-half day Emergency Preparedness training session was offered to graduates of On Eagles Wings on March 29, 2014.
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 2013 project year, the Discovery Process resulted in six transition students and six adults with developmental disabilities finding jobs that matched the vocational themes they had identified. During the current project year, there is greater interest, especially in transition programs, to find meaningful work experiences for young adults. This is key to making real connections between school and work, recognizing how critical it is to promote a variety of paid work opportunities in these early years to get to successful career planning and job satisfaction in the adult years.