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Free Training Classes Offered for Special Needs Parents & Advocates

The Florida Developmental Disability Council is seeking applications for Partners in Policy-Making, a leadership training program for self-advocates and parents of individuals with developmental disabilities. Partners in Policy-Making teaches individuals with developmental disabilities how to become advocates who can effectively influence system change and help obtain the best available services for themselves and others.

Applications for the class of 2016 can be accessed online or by contacting Stacey Hoaglund at shoaglundpartner@gmail.com. There is no cost to the participant. Mileage and meals to and from the training site in Orlando, Florida, as well as lodging and meals, respite care and attendant services (when applicable) will be covered. The deadline for applications is July 1, 2016.

Program helps enable independence, productivity, self-determination and inclusion

Partners in Policy-Making is based on a national model. The overall goal of the program is to develop productive partnerships between people who need and use services and those in a position to create policies and laws. During the program, participants meet and speak with national leaders in the field of developmental disabilities, hear presentations about current issues and state-of-the art practices, and learn how to effectively advocate for policy making and legislative processes at local, state, and national levels.

Faith Based Events

Adults who have a developmental disability are encouraged to apply, along with family members of persons with developmental disabilities. Applicants of all ages, experiences, ethnic groups, and geographical regions of Florida are sought.

Once selected, the participant must commit to attend six mandatory two-day monthly sessions tentatively scheduled to begin in September. Training sessions typically begin on Friday afternoons at 12:30 p.m. and conclude on Saturday afternoons at 4:00 p.m.

Anyone interested in the Partners in Policy-Making program should apply at http://www.fddc.org/about/partners-in-policymaking or contact the project coordinator, Stacey Hoaglund, at shoaglundpartner@gmail.com or 954-252-8764.