Welcome to Partners!
The "Telling Your Story" App Has Been Updated
We are pleased to announce the release of an updated and simplified version of the "Telling Your Story" app. In six easy steps, create your personal story, tell how a policy issue affects you or your family, add a photo, and send your message directly to your elected public official.
Partners Class 37 Has Graduated
American Idol Finalist Sends Congratulations to Partners Graduates
Grace Leer, American Idol finalist, prepared a video message of congratulations for graduates of Class 37 Partners in Policymaking. This message can be shared with all Partners in Policymaking graduates in 2020.
This has been a year of tremendous change. Individually and collectively, you have gained a wealth of new knowledge about the history, and the evolution of policies and practices in the developmental disabilities field. You have acquired skills in how to best educate and communicate with your elected officials to advance positive public policies for individuals with developmental disabilities and families. You have learned from and taught each other how to navigate delivery systems, and created and strengthened your personal networks.
Hi, Partners graduates. I'm Grace Leer from "American Idol," and I wanted to send my sincere congratulations to you guys for completing this extraordinary program. You guys did it. Congratulations. I'm so proud of all of you and especially for just staying focused during such a crazy time with this pandemic going around the world.
It takes a lot of dedication and focus and hard work to get this done, so you guys did it. Congratulations.
And I know that my Uncle Rob had let you guys know that I would be competing on season 18 of "American Idol," and he urged you guys to jump on Team Grace and follow along my journey and support me. And you guys did more than that. You guys seriously changed my life, and I could not have done it without your guys' support and your love week after week. I am just so grateful.
And now you guys are taking the reins as you take the lessons you've learned from this partners program and take it into the world and really apply what you've learned here. The work really doesn't stop. It's just beginning. And I just want you guys to never let someone tell you you can't do something. You can do it. And take those risks to get things done.
I am proof of that. I was scared, and I have been told no so many times in the music industry, but I still went and auditioned for "American Idol," and it truly changed my life. So just like you guys cheered me on and rooted for me throughout this season of "American Idol," I am rooting for you, sending my congratulations to you guys all the way from Nashville, Tennessee.
Congratulations, Partners graduates of 2020. You guys did it. Now go out there and continue the work, and I am just sending all my love to you guys. Congrats.
Partners Class 37 Graduates: Photo Gallery
National Public Radio Recognizes the Partners in Policymaking® Program
Joe Shapiro, Investigative Reporter for National Public Radio, visited with Class 35 Partners in Policymaking participants during their graduation weekend May 18-19, 2018. He interviewed participants about their Partners experience, the policy issues concerning them, and how to work most effectively with their elected officials to create positive public policies for individuals with developmental disabilities and their families,
Partners in Policymaking® Coordinator's Handbook
In celebration of the 45th Anniversary of the Minnesota Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities, we are pleased to announce the release of the newly revised and updated Partners in Policymaking® Coordinator's Handbook.
This is the eighth edition of the Handbook, designed to help Coordinators who are starting or restarting a Partners program as well as serve as a resource for Coordinators to maintain the quality of existing programs. The online learning courses have been incorporated into the curriculum, offering participants another avenue to strengthen and enrich their classroom experience.
This version is fully accessible and incorporates all current accessibility features. (8/23/16)
Forms Related to Replication of the Partners Classroom Program:
Partners Profile Form
Time Match Form
Respite Care/Child Care Reimbursement Form
Participant Reimbursement Request Form
Sample Partners Application
Sample Participation Agreement
Partners in Policymaking®
Changing Lives. Changing Policies.
Since the Partners program was created in Minnesota in 1987, more than 27,000 self advocates and parents of children with developmental disabilities have graduated nationally and internationally. They comprise a network of trained advocates and leaders, working in partnership with their elected officials to positively change the way people with disabilities live, work, and are educated; and enjoy the benefits of being actively involved in their communities.
On the occasion of the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), this book traces the history of the Partners program. Through a collection of stories and testimonials, Partners graduates share the impact of the program on their lives as well as the many ways that the ADA has resulted in their greater inclusion and integration into the community and society at large. (7/28/15)
An online resource for everyone interested in learning more about the rights of people with developmental disabilities and protection of those rights. This online resource is divided into three sections: Justice Denied, Basic Legal Rights, and Working with People with Developmental Disabilities in the Justice System.
The Fight for Civil Rights for People with Disabilities
"The Fight for Civil Rights for People with Disabilities" is a compilation of the "Moments in Disability History," now presented as a free Webinar. This one hour presentation is an accounting of the key events and influential leaders who pursued the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Here also are the many personal stories of discrimination, and reflections on the lives of individuals with disabilities who experienced only isolation and segregation but who also envisioned an inclusive society that would recognize them as fully capable and productive first class citizens.
The Webinar can be used by anyone – students, professionals, law schools, and CLE instructors as well as self advocates and family members. There is no need to review the entire Webinar in a single sitting; you can review sections as time permits.