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.
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.
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.
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 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.