Partners in Policymaking is now accepting applications. Partners will again be virtual this year allowing us to keep everyone safe while offering top notch state and national speakers from the comfort of your own home. Partners is for anyone wanting to develop their advocacy skills around policies and initiatives that support the full participation and inclusion of people with developmental disabilities in all aspects of life. It is for parents of youth with disabilities under the age of 21, adults with developmental disabilities and adult family members of people with developmental disabilities.

Partners leave the program with knowledge of inclusive disability systems and supports, practice talking to legislators, testifying at public hearings, your own elevator speech, a solid understanding of disability history, strategies to convey your message, connections to other advocates throughout the state and you will become part of a growing network of over 200 parents and self-advocates making a difference in the lives of people with disabilities in our state. Partners have gone on to serve on numerous councils and boards, lead the charge on statewide advocacy efforts like Save IRIS and work in key leadership positions that positively impact the lives of people with disabilities.

Who can apply?

Individuals who are highly motivated to create more inclusive communities AND are:

  • Adults with developmental disabilities
  • Adult siblings of individuals with developmental disabilities
  • Parents/primary caregivers of children and youth with developmental disabilities ages birth to 21.

We are seeking cultural and geographic diversity within the guidelines above. The selection of participants is made by a team of parents, self-advocates and professionals.

What is the cost?

Partners is funded by BPDD, which covers all costs associated with the training.

If you have questions or would like more information about the Partners in Policymaking program, please contact Jenny Neugart at or (608) 266‐7707.