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Developmental Disabilities Council



Partners in Policymaking

  • Partners in Policymaking
  • Jr. Partners in Policymaking

Delaware Partners in Policymaking Programs


 Registration is now Closed for the 2018 Partners in Policymaking program Click here for more information.



Partners in Policymaking

What is Partners in Policymaking?

Who should participate in Partners?

What happens if I am selected to participate?

Is there a fee to participate?

Training Topics

When and where are the training sessions?

Additional Resources

Class of 2006 Vision Doctrine

Class of 2004 Vision Doctrine

Class of 2003 Vision Doctrine


What is Partners in Policymaking?

Partners in Policymaking is an innovative Leadership Training Program that teaches people to be community leaders. The program is designed for parents raising young or school-aged children with a developmental disability* or young adults with developmental* disabilities. "Partners" provides up-to-date information, education and skill building activities about the legislative process and local, state and national issues that affect individuals with disabilities.

Partners in Policymaking was developed by the Minnesota Governor's Planning Council on Developmental Disabilities. The program has been offered in 40 states, as well as Great Britain, Scotland and the Virgin Islands. Over 5,000 people have been trained Nationwide. The Delaware Developmental Disabilities Council began its program in 1993. Over 200 Delawareans have taken the training program.

Partners participants are people who are ready to work for change in public policy. The overall goal of the program is to foster a PARTNERship between people who need and use services for disabilities and those who make public policy. Partners graduates gain the abilities to teach policymakers a new way of thinking about people with disabilities.

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Who should participate in Partners?

Each year a limited number of people are selected through an application process to participate in the program. The project seeks highly motivated men and women who represent different ethnic backgrounds, various disabilities and geographic regions of the state. Preference is given to, but not limited to:

  • adults with disabilities ages 22 and up.
  • parents of children with disabilities, including adult children.
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What happens if I am selected to participate?

Gaining information, strategies and skills is the key to the program. You will be expected to:

  • Attend all sessions.
  • Review material before and after each session, as well as complete homework assignments.
  • Keep and turn in a record of time spent on activities.
  • Set goals and form plans to create positive change in systems and services that effect people with disabilities.
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Is there a fee to participate?

No, there is no fee. The Partners in Policymaking program is funded through the generosity of the Delaware Developmental Disabilities Council, Delaware's Department of Education, Birth to Three program and the Delaware General Assembly.

  • Participant's lodging and meals will be furnished at no cost.
  • Personal attendant care, facilitator services, childcare and respite care are expenses which may be reimbursed. These are determined on an individual need basis.
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Training Topics

  • History of the Disability Movements
  • Inclusive Education
  • Community Supports and Supported Employment
  • Vision for the future and the planning process.
  • Assistive Technology
  • Local, State and Federal Policy and Legislative Issues.
  • How to Meet Public Officials and Give Legislative Testimony.
  • Community Organizing
  • Working with the Media
  • Holding Effective Meetings and more!
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When and where are the training sessions?

The next Partners in Policymaking Program. Will Take place in the month of February of 2018. More information about the 2018 Partners in Policymaking Program will be available soon.

For more information about the Partners in Policymaking program, please contact Kristin Harvey at (302) 739-3623.

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Applications can be mailed, faxed or emailed to:
Developmental Disabilities Council
ATTN: Kristin Harvey
Margaret M. O'Neill Building, Suite 2
410 Federal Street, 2nd Floor
Dover, Delaware 19901

Fax: (302) 739-2015
Email: kristin.Harvey@state.de.us

For more information about the Partners in Policymaking program, please contact Kristin Harvey at (302) 739-3623.

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Additional Resources

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If you have any questions about the Partners in Policymaking or Junior Partners in Policymaking Program, please contact the Delaware Developmental Disabilities Council at (302) 739-3333.

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Delaware Junior Partners in Policymaking Program


Registration is now Closed for the 2017 Junior Partners in Policymaking program! Click here for more information.


Partners in Policymaking

What is Junior Partners in Policymaking?

What will I learn?

What happens if I am selected to participate?

Is there a fee to participate?

When and where are the training sessions?


What is Junior Partners in Policymaking?

Junior Partners in Policymakingâ„¢ is an exciting summer program for young adults ages 15 to 22. It is held at a University setting, where the participants live and learn for five nights and six days. During the day, participants are enrolled in fun, exploratory and hands-on classes to encourage leadership and self-advocacy. In the evenings, our young leaders have many opportunities to get together to enjoy activities and entertainment.

We hope you will join us for this unique week of wonderful activities that concludes with a trip to Legislative Hall in Dover. Participants will meet with legislators and use the advocacy skills learned and practiced earlier in the week. Certificates of participation, which can be added to your resume or college application, will be distributed at our farewell luncheon after the Legislative Hall visit.

What will I learn?

Junior Partners in Policymakingâ„¢ was designed to meet the changing needs of young adults with and without disabilities as they move toward adult independence. Our classes will teach you about:

  • The importance of self-determination
  • Ways to self-advocate for the issues most important to you
  • Your rights in and out of school
  • Laws that affect how people are treated, especially individuals with disabilities
  • How to make your own impact on public policy (laws)
  • How to plan the future YOU WANT
  • Participants will learn about improving their advocacy skills
  • Participants will learn how to direct their own IEP meetings, and ways to identify their interests to help them choose a career.

What happens if I am selected to participate?

All applications are reviewed by the Junior Partners in Policymaking Oversight Committee. If you are selected to participate in the Junior Partners in Policymaking Program, you will receive a letter from the program coordinator letting you know you have been chosen to participate. The letter will also include details such as dates, times, location and contact information for the program coordinator. You can also expect to receive a phone call from the program coordinator so that you can be properly introduced ahead of time, and so that you can discuss any concerns or questions that you may have.

Is there a fee to participate?

There is no cost for program participants. The Delaware Developmental Disabilities Council will cover the cost of instruction as well as all room, board, and meal expenses. On-site, participants will be supported by the Project Coordinator, two resident assistants, and two classroom assistants. Please note, personal care attendant services are not provided by project staff.

This program is funded by the Delaware Developmental Disabilities Council and grants from AIDD, Delaware General Assembly, Department of Education and Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. Graduates have the opportunity to attend future classes to mentor new participants and to become presenters.

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When and where are the training sessions?

All sessions take place at a University setting in Dover, Delaware.

The 2017 training sessions will be held at Delaware State University, in Dover Delaware from Sunday, June 18th and ending late afternoon of Friday, June 23, 2017.

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Click here to download an application.

Click here to download the program brochure - print it and share it with your family and friends!

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Applications can be mailed, faxed or emailed to:
Developmental Disabilities Council
ATTN: Kristin Harvey
Margaret M. O'Neill Building, Suite 2
410 Federal Street, 2nd Floor
Dover, Delaware 19901

Fax: (302) 739-2015
Email: kristin.Harvey@state.de.us

For more information about the Junior Partners in Policymaking, please contact Kristin Harvey at (302) 739-3623.

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