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Free Advocacy Training Program for North Carolinians with Developmental Disabilities and Families Seeks Participants

  • Synopsis: Published: 2012-04-20 - Free statewide program that develops leadership skills and trains advocates for people with disabilities to voice views and influence policymakers is seeking applicants. For further information pertaining to this article contact: North Carolina Council on Developmental Disabilities.
North Carolina Council on Developmental Disabilities - NCCDD Mission is to ensure that people with developmental disabilities and their families participate in the design of and have access to culturally competent services and supports, as well as other assistance and opportunities, which promote inclusive communities.

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Partners in Policy-making, an established, nationally recognized training program funded by the North Carolina Council on Developmental Disabilities, seeks applications by May 11.

A free statewide program that develops leadership skills and trains advocates for people with disabilities to voice their views and influence policymakers is seeking applicants, and is set to begin in June. Partners in Policy-making is designed to better enable individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, as well as parents of young children with such disabilities, to present their views on policies that affect them.

Presentations by national, state and local leaders combined with strong team building exercises are scheduled for the 2012 class, with an anticipated 20 members. The 2012 Partners program, with sessions in Raleigh, begins early in June, and applications must be received or postmarked by May 11. There is no cost to take part, and mileage and meeting expenses are reimbursed, but participants must commit to attending all sessions and completing class assignments.

"Individuals with developmental disabilities and parents of young children with developmental disabilities want what we all want for ourselves and our children, which is that they be good neighbors, responsible and respected citizens and productive workers in their communities," said Deborah Whitfield, program director for Partners in Policymaking. "This powerful training experience enables participants to change their own lives as they work to achieve systems change at all levels."

The Partners program is based upon the belief that the most significant and enduring public policy decisions have been brought about through the efforts of those most affected by them. Working together with public officials, and policy specialists, Partners graduates are well-trained disability advocates able to have a direct hand in shaping policy outcomes that touch their lives. During the eight sessions in the training year, national and state leaders on disability issues deliver cutting edge information that provides best practices and experiential learning for all program participants.

The Partners program covers a wide range of topics, including the history of disability policy; inclusive education; supported and independent employment; state and federal legislative processes; meeting dynamics; assistive technology and effective interaction with policy leaders, legislators and media.

All eight training sessions are held at the downtown Raleigh Sheraton Hotel, beginning at noon on Saturday and continuing through until 3:30 p.m. on Sunday. Program participants stay at the meeting hotel to facilitate attendance throughout the training weekends. The intensive Partners program receives funding from the North Carolina Council on Developmental Disabilities and there is no cost to participants for the program itself, travel or accommodations. Hotel expense and meals are paid by the program in advance, and travel expenses are reimbursed.

Partners participants are required to commit to attending all eight sessions, and to completing a public policy project and homework assignments over the course of their training year.

For further information, contact Freida Moore at Advocacy Institute, Inc., 919-369-4569 or she may be e-mailed at

Applications can be downloaded from Completed forms are to be returned to, submitted electronically via the website or they can be mailed to Advocacy Institute, Inc., NC Partners in Policymaking, PO Box 480160, Charlotte, NC 28269.

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