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Partners in Policymaking training available at no cost

Participants become effective advocates for themselves, their children and others with disabilities

ST. PAUL — Minnesotans with disabilities and parents of young children with developmental disabilities are encouraged to apply for a comprehensive advocacy training course, Partners in Policymaking , at no cost. Starting in September, the nationally recognized leadership training offers eight sessions over nine months.

This leadership training taps into national experts and utilizes group participation. Described by many as life-changing, in its 32-year history, more than 1,000 Minnesotans have become leaders in their own communities. Participants become effective advocates for themselves, their children and others with disabilities.

Sessions cover the history of disability and self-advocacy movements, inclusive education, supported living, competitive employment and avenues to influence county, state and federal legislative processes. For convenience, the monthly two-day sessions take place on Fridays and Saturdays, from September to May (with no session in December). The March session is on a Sunday and Monday, when participants prepare for, and meet with legislators at the Capitol.

Costs for the Partners program are covered by a federal grant. Child care and respite allowances are given, and overnight accommodations are provided for those who travel from outside the metro area to attend. Mileage is reimbursed, and meals are provided. Sessions are hosted at the Crowne Plaza Aire, at 3 Appletree Square in Bloomington, near Mall of America and the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

Limited to 40 Minnesotans, participants are selected by a panel of Partners graduates and representatives of the Minnesota Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities. The first session for the 2019 to 2020 program year is September 13-14. Local experts and nationally recognized leaders in school inclusion, community organizing, governmental processes, and disability issues are among the presenters. Applications can be downloaded at http://mn.gov/mnddc/partnersinpolicymaking/class37/application.html and are due by July 8.

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Those selected to participate in the program must attend all sessions and complete homework assignments. For further information, or to get an application form, go to or contact Brenton Rice at brenton@togevents.com , or (651) 242-6589.

Ryan McGaughey arrived in Worthington in April 2001 as sports editor of The Daily Globe, and first joined Forum Communications Co. upon his hiring as a sports reporter at The Dickinson (North Dakota) Press in November 1998. McGaughey became news editor in Worthington in November 2002 and editor in August 2006.
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