A- A A+
English Spanish
Upcoming Public Meetings COVID-19 Resources

Partners in Policymaking

Partners in Policymaking is a nationally replicated, forward-thinking, cutting-edge leadership and disability advocacy training program for parents of school-aged children with developmental disabilities and adults with developmental disabilities. Only parents of school-aged children with developmental disabilities and self-advocates should apply. Participants accepted into the NC Partners in Policymaking leadership and advocacy training program attend eight, two-day training sessions in Raleigh, NC which are scheduled to start once a month in February, 2016 and conclude in September, 2016. Each of the eight sessions begin at noon on Saturday and conclude by 3:30 pm on Sunday.  National and state experts on various disability-related topics present on various issues that touch and concern the lives of individuals with developmental disabilities and their families. Applications will be available soon.

Follow Us On Facebook


Why is NCCDD funding this initiative?Goal 3 of the new Five Year Plan: Increase advocacy for individuals with I/DD.

  • Self advocacy refers to the ability of an individual with intellectual and other developmental disabilities (I/DD) or family member to be in control of their own resources and how they are directed, and to make life decisions without influence or control by others.
  • Individuals with disabilities and their families have minimal centralized, organized, systematic education and training to provide them with experiences and information on how to advocate within the system.
  • There are few purposeful opportunities for individuals and families to meet one another, collaborate, and advocate for systems change.
  • This initiative supports NCCDD's Goal 3 of the Five Year Plan: Increase advocacy for individuals with I/DD.

What are the major goals and objectives?

  • To bring parents of young children and people with disabilities together to provide the tools and experience to take greater control over their own lives and learn to advocate for systems change.
  • To implement the Partners in Policymaking curriculum created by the Minnesota Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities for parents of young children with disabilities and self-advocates. This training model has been replicated for over 25 years in 49 states.
  • Replication of the Partners in Policymaking curriculum ensures consistent standards in core competencies, core values, and key outcomes are achieved across geographic lines.

What has taken place since the start of the program? (Activities)

  • Recruited self-advocates and family members for application and selection to the annual Partners in Policymaking class.
  • Plan and implement the program model consisting of 128 hours of instruction presented in eight monthly sessions (February to October).
  • Training sessions address inclusive education, service coordination, self-direction, futures planning, and grass roots organizing.
  • Specific focus on the policymaking process and how to engage with state decision makers (e.g., legislators, agency leaders, providers) in North Carolina is provided.

What has been achieved to date?

  • Classes average 30 members consisting of parents and people with I/DD from a statewide pool of applicants  
  • **Funded since 2002 with over 500 trained statewide. *Current grantee in third of three years.
  • Trained participants in multiple topic areas and engaged in hands-on activities to help participants acquire specific skills necessary to create system change.

What long-term changes are expected as a result of this initiative?

  • Assist participants to not only assist themselves, but lead others in advocating at all levels of government to benefit the lives of individuals, their families and their communities.
  • Provide a credible resource to governmental agencies and policymakers seeking meaningful input from consumers and their families for advice and guidance in policymaking at all levels.

Who is the contractor?

Advocacy Institute, Inc.

Who can I contact for questions?

Grantee: Vonetta Blakely, [email protected]

NCCDD: Melissa Swartz, Systems Change Manager, [email protected]



Stay updated on news and events.

Sign Up

Get In Touch

Connect with the Council. We want to hear your questions, thoughts and comments.

Contact Us

North Carolina Council on Developmental Disabilities

Office Hours: 9AM-4PM Monday-Friday
1-800-357-6916 (Toll Free)
984-920-8200 (Office/TTY)
984-920-8201 (Fax)
This project was supported, in part by grant number 2001NCSCDD-02, from the U.S. Administration for Community Living, Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, D.C. 20201. Grantees undertaking projects with government sponsorship are encouraged to express freely their findings and conclusions. Points of view or opinions do not, therefore, necessarily represent official ACL policy.

Sign Up For Our Newsletter and Alerts!

Invalid Input