Partners in Policymaking brochure May 2005

Oklahoma Partners in Policymaking

a program funded by the
Oklahoma Developmental Disabilities Council

P. O. Box 25352
Oklahoma City, OK 73125
(405) 521-4984 (V/TDD)
1-800-836-4470 (Toll Free V/TDD)
(405) 521-4910 (Fax)

“Because of Partners in Policymaking, my son now has a mom who is more aware of what I can do to be a better advocate for him … he’s going to have a better opportunity to do everything that he wants to do in life.” —Heather Pike

“There's just so much you learn in such a short time, it's like a crash course in parenting and advocacy all in one, and it really did change my life.” —Traci Castles

“I've advocated for myself for quite some time, but I didn't realize when I got into Partners that the system is a dynamic creature and it is subject to change at all times. And that some of the stuff I thought I knew, I really didn't. —Will Watkins

“My speakers, my classmates, the material, all of it was great. I couldn't have asked for anything better. I not only gained friends, but I gained an alliance, basically, that I know if I need something, I've got someone I can call on.” —Tracy Mittasch


Partners in Policymaking is Designed For

Adults with disabilities

Parents of children with disabilities who are too young to advocate for themselves

Advocates for persons with disabilities.


We Provide

Training in best practice state-of-the-art information from national experts in the field of developmental disabilities;

Books, suggestions and resources related to issues important to people with developmental disabilities; and

Role playing and direct experiences in influencing public policy at local, state and federal levels.


Our Goal: Systems Change

We will educate participants to be active partners with those who make policy.

We will foster development of positive relationships with policymakers.

We will help you prevent the loss of basic rights for people with disabilities.

You will advocate for supports and services to increase independence, productivity and inclusion into the community for people with disabilities.


Topics We Present in Partners Training

History of Services and Perceptions
People First Language
Inclusive Education
IEPs and School Advocacy
Inclusive Community Living
Sexuality and Disability
State and Federal Legislative Processes
State Systems and Service Coordination
Medicaid and Medicare
Natural Family Supports
Assistive Technology
Behavior and Non-Aversive Interventions
Advocacy Strategies
Grassroots Organizing
Working with the Media


Your Commitment

Actively participate in one-day orientation and all eight two-day sessions.

Complete homework assignments.

Complete one major assignment to be conducted during the training program.

Participate in effectiveness evaluations.

Maintain records of advocacy efforts.

Participate in post-training follow-up surveys.


Our Commitment

Prompt reimbursement for trainees, following receipt of the reimbursement request, for:

travel costs to training sessions at the current government mileage reimbursement rate, plus toll charges;

respite services;

personal assistant/facilitator services.
We will provide for your meals and, if necessary, lodging during training sessions.          


Graduates of Partners in Policymaking Are Able To

Describe the history of services for, and perceptions of, people with developmental disabilities.

Describe the significant contributions of the parent, self-advocate, and independent living movements.

Describe People First Language and why its use is of critical importance.

Describe the reasons for quality inclusive education.

Outline specific strategies to achieve inclusion and quality education.

Demonstrate how to be assertive in team meetings.

Understand the concepts of person-centered planning and what supports are necessary to be fully included in the community.

Understand the types of supports necessary for creating a positive home environment such as family support, natural supports, and/or Medicaid waivers.

Understand that a flexible, responsive system of supports for the families of children with disabilities is the cornerstone for a true system of community supports for people with developmental disabilities.

Demonstrate an understanding of the need for all individuals to experience changes in lifestyle across the life-span.

Describe the importance of home ownership/control as one of the defining characteristics of adult life in our culture.

Outline the principles and strategies being used to support people with developmental disabilities in their own homes across their life-span.

Understand the concepts of supported and/or competitive employment, including the use of natural supports.

Demonstrate a knowledge of the service coordination system and/or the state service system and describe what services may be available.

Describe the importance of positive approaches to behavior change.

Describe how a bill becomes a law at the state and federal levels.

Draft and deliver testimony for legislative hearings.

Identify critical federal issues and the process by which people can personally address their concerns.

Demonstrate how to meet a public official and express views and concerns.

Describe a vision of the future for people with disabilities.

Understand the reasons for, and the importance of, proper positioning techniques for people with developmental disabilities.

Describe assistive technology for people with disabilities.

Demonstrate a knowledge of parliamentary procedure and appropriate methods for running a meeting.

Demonstrate successful techniques to advocate for services to meet the needs of unserved and underserved individuals.

Identify strategies for beginning and sustaining grass roots level organizing.

Identify how to use the media to promote issues effectively.


How Do I Become a Partner?

Complete the application request form in this brochure or call the Oklahoma Developmental Disabilities Council (ODDC) office at (405) 521-4984, or 1-800-836-4470 toll-free, to request an application.

Applications are mailed beginning in January for training that begins in August.

Orientation is in August; classes meet one weekend (Saturday-Sunday) per month between September and May, except December.

When you have completed the application, mail it back to the ODDC office by the specified deadline.

Applications are reviewed by a selection committee composed of Partners graduates.

Class size is limited to 30 participants. To be fair to other applicants, send in your application only if you are serious about making this full eight-month commitment.


For a Partners in Policymaking application, call the council office at (405) 521-4984 (V/TDD)or 1-800-836-4470 (Toll Free V/TDD).