Wisconsin Partners in Policymaking is a six‐session advocacy and systems change training program that develops future leaders across the state who are able to work with legislators and communities on policies and initiatives that will support the full participation and inclusion of people with developmental disabilities in all aspects of life.

Dates for the Class of 2024/2025 are:

  • November 1 & 2, 2024 (Madison*)
  • December 6 & 7, 2024 (Virtual only)
  • January 10 & 11, 2025 (Virtual only)
  • February 21 & 22, 2025 (Virtual only)
  • April 4 & 5, 2025 (Madison*)
  • May 2 & 3, 2025 (Madison*)

*If attending in person is a barrier, please contact Jenny Neugart, Project Manager at Jennifer.neugart@wisconsin.gov to discuss options.

Who can participate? 

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

  • Parents or primary caregivers of children under the age of 21 who have developmental disabilities
  • Adults with developmental disabilities
  • Adult siblings or family members of individuals with developmental disabilities

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 expected of participants?

  • Participate in all two‐day sessions and complete all homework assignments. Attendance at all sessions is required, from Friday at 12:30 p.m. to Saturday at 3pm. Only individuals selected to participate in the program will be able to attend (with supports as needed). Aside from attendant care, additional family members and friends cannot attend sessions.
  • Participate in networking, advocacy activities, interviews, readings (which are offered in alternative formats), and other projects.
  • Develop and implement a project that results in a change that will improve the lives of people with disabilities and their families.
  • Arrange for any 1 on 1 support needed to participate, including arranging any training needed for caregivers to meet your support needs. Remember: support people are not Partners participants and should limit their role during the program to the direct supports of participants.

Core Values

Participants agree to support these core values laid out in the federal Developmental Disabilities Act.  Please affirm that you support each value before applying for Partners.

What is the cost? 

Partners is funded by BPDD and covers costs associated with the training, lodging, meals, and materials.

Some topics covered

  • History of the disability rights movement
  • Self‐determination, self‐advocacy, and person‐centered planning
  • Disability policy and systems change
  • Community engagement, organizing, and grassroots advocacy
  • School inclusion, integrated employment, community supported living
  • The legislative process and legislative advocacy

Contact Jenny

2024 – 2025 Application

Due October 4th 2024