Council-Sponsored Grant Activities: 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. In small groups, participants discussed the impact that disability has on their lives, reviewed news stories showing how history repeats itself, and gained an understanding of IPSII – independence, productivity, self determination, and integration and inclusion.
The second training session on January 31, 2015 highlighted the IEP process. In small groups, participants took on the roles of parents/advocates, special education teachers, school administrators, and worked through an IEP meeting to get a better sense of meeting dynamics and how to achieve successful outcomes.
The February 14, 2015 session focused on county services. Participants learned about the broad range of programs and services available, including waiver programs, housing, and supported employment. They were also introduced to person centered planning and created a person centered plan on supported employment.
For the February 28, 2015 training session, participants were introduced to the "Telling Your Story" app and how to work through the steps to create a personal story around a particular public policy issue. They also prepared and presented testimony in a mock legislative hearing, learned how to address legislators in a hearing and respond to questions.
On March 11, 2015, in the midst of the State Capitol renovation, On Eagles Wings participants still met with state Senators John Hoffman, Chris Eaton, and Scott Dibble to share their concerns about public policy issues, and get a sense of all of the activity that occurs during a legislative session.
The final training session for On Eagles Wings, the Cultural Outreach and Leadership Training Program in the African American Community, was on March 30, 2015. A total of 15 participants celebrated the completion of a successful training program year with new knowledge about services and how to access them, and beginning skills to help them develop positive partnerships with elected officials and other policymakers.