Partners in Policymaking
A Partners in Policymaking (PIP) is currently in session. In you are interested in future sessions, please check the website later for information on the 2017/18 session. General information about the program follows.
Training Advocates to Step Up to Leadership Roles
Partners in Policymaking (PIP) participants are people have a developmental disability or are parents of young children with developmental disabilities. Partners must be Virginia residents. Individuals attending the program will participate in advocacy skill workshops, resource development, and leadership training.
More than four hundred Virginia PIP alumni, and thousands who have graduated from PIP programs across the country, have learned how to make a difference every day for themselves, their families, and their communities.
Individuals participating in PIP attend advocacy training, resource development, and skill building workshops led by state and national experts. Topics covered include the history of the disability rights movement, self-advocacy, independent living, employment, building inclusive communities, natural supports, legislative advocacy, assistive technology, communication, team building, and much more! VBPD covers all expenses for participants’ training, lodging, meals, and travel.
Application and selection as a participant for the Partners in Policymaking (PIP) program requires a substantial commitment of time, motivation and energy. If accepted, individuals must attend seven two-day sessions between September and April. Each session begins on Friday afternoon and concludes Saturday afternoon. Participants meet competencies by agreeing to complete homework, class assignments and one major project.
The group of selected participants, consisting of parents and self-advocates, will build networks with state and national leaders as well as one another. Participants will be educated on best practices and current trends in many areas including:
- History of Disability Movements
- Independent Living
- Inclusive Education
- Supported Employment
- Personal Futures Planning
- Building Inclusive Communities
- Natural Supports
- Assistive Technology
- Communication & Team Building
- Legislative Process and Strategies
What are the eligibility requirements to become a Partner in Policymaking participant?
To be eligible, an individual must:
- have a developmental disability, as defined by the Developmental Disabilities and Bill of Rights Assistance Act
- be the parent of a young child with a developmental disability
What is the definition of Developmental Disability?
The VBPD uses the definition below to determine eligibility for participation in Partners in Policymaking.
- In general, “developmental disability” means a severe, chronic disability of an individual that:
- is attributable to a mental or physical impairment or combination of mental and physical impairments;
- is manifested before the individual attains age 22;
- is likely to continue indefinitely;
- results in substantial functional limitations in 3 or more of the following areas of major life activity:
- Self care;
- Receptive and expressive language;
- Self direction;
- Capacity for independent living; and
- Economic self sufficiency;
- reflects the individual’s need for a combination and sequence of special, interdisciplinary, or generic services, individualized supports, or other forms of assistance that are of lifelong or extended duration and are individually planned and coordinated.
- Infants and young children. An individual from birth to age 9, inclusive, who has a substantial developmental delay or specific congenital or acquired condition, may be considered to have a developmental disability without meeting 3 or more of the criteria described in clauses:
- through (v) of subparagraph (A) if the individual, without services and supports, has a high probability of meeting those criteria later in life.
How are individuals selected for the Partners in Policymaking class?
Individuals are selected as Partners in Policymaking (PIP) participants in a competitive application process administered statewide. A panel of Partners graduates reviews and selects participants for each class. Following the screening and selection process, all applicants will be notified of their status by letter. We encourage applicants who are not selected to re-apply, as we always receive more worthy applications than we have spaces to fill. Each class is carefully selected to represent a range of experience, demographics, and abilities.
Is there any cost involved in attending the Partners in Policymaking sessions?
All session expenses are paid by the Virginia Board for People with Disabilities. Covered expenses include lodging, food, materials, individual accommodations/support (such as sign language interpreters, personal care assistants, respite/child care) and transportation for those needing specialized transportation services and mileage reimbursement for traveling a distance.
What happens in the sessions?
Partners in Policymaking participants spend the seven months building a “toolbox” for communicating effectively with legislators, policymakers, and administrators. All presentations, assignments, and group activities are designed to give Partners practice and experience working to improve policy, service systems and opportunities for full participation in community life.
Partners will be introduced to leaders in the disability rights movement. These introductions are a rare opportunity to receive background information and practical advice for advancing a shared vision. The program culminates with a trip to the State Capitol to deliver testimony using skills and knowledge gained during the training. On graduation weekend, each Partner presents to their classmates the project they conceived and developed over the seven month period. Many of the projects grow into long term endeavors.
What happens if I have a scheduling conflict with one of the session dates?
The Partners in Policymaking program requires a substantial commitment of time, motivation and energy. To provide the fullest experience, ATTENDANCE IS REQUIRED AT ALL SESSIONS.
Where are sessions held?
PIP 2015-2016 will take place at a hotel in the Richmond area.
For more information contact:
Kara A. White
Virginia Board for People with Disabilities
1100 Bank Street, 7th Floor
Richmond, Virginia 23219
804-786-3441 (Voice) 800-846-4464 (TTY/voice)
Sarah Alsop (‘12) Sarah created an accessibility committee Bowling Green, VA and they’ve had their first meeting.
Angela Kahler (‘12) Angela was appointed to the Faith Inclusion Network Board of Directors. Angela and PIP 12 grad Christine Chewning are helping to arrange the National Conference for the Faith Inclusion Network. Angela hosted an event (30 attendees) with the network called Inclusion in Action, which incorporated promoting inclusion in the faith community.
Robyn Iuliano (‘11) Robyn started a program called Brighter Futures to build collaboration between schools, agencies, and professionals for people with disabilities. She was also appointed onto the global STOMP (Specialized Training of Military Parents/Professionals) board and serves as a family navigator.
Ivy Kennedy (‘11) Ivy led a breakout session about public education at the Arc 2012 State Convention. Ivy is also doing public speaking about Disability History Awareness Month and the Medicaid Waiver. Ivy was a co-facilitator at the 2012 Youth Leadership Forum.
Lisa Lockhart (‘12) Lisa has started working on programs with the Arc of Greater Richmond. She helped to organize an event called Zumba for Self Determination to raise awareness of all individuals’ right to have control over their lives.
Hollie Monroe (‘12) Hollie was accepted to be on the VAULT Board of Directors. She participated with VAULT (Virginia Advocates United Leading Together) as a vendor at the Youth Leadership Forum Resource Fair. Hollie shared about her Partners experience at the VBPD Board Meeting in September.
Katherine Montgomery (‘12) Katherine was promoted to Advocacy Associate at the Arc of Northern Virginia.
Liz Salter (‘12) Liz has started working on the Mayor’s Committee for People with Disabilities in Hampton.
Matthew Shapiro (‘12) Matthew was selected for an internship at the White House where he is working on disability policy issues.
Brett Wills (‘12) Brett spoke at the September meeting of the Virginia Board for People with Disabilities about his Partners in Policymaking experience.
- Sandhya Bikmal – Ashburn
- Nickie Brown – Newport News
- Kelly Carpenter – S. Chesterfield
- Erin Croyle – Alexandria
- Robin Davis – Richmond
- Jamie Diefenbacher – Smithfield
- Jill Dolan – Powhatan
- Jennifer Gaston-Smith – King George
- Felicia Hamilton – Suffolk
- Krysti Henton – Poquoson
- Danny Hodges – Hampton
- Anthony Howard – Disputanta
- Susie Juhl – Williamsburg
- LeighAnn Kaman – Richmond
- Tracy LaGanke – Glen Allen
- Jennifer Lupo Reese – Sterling
- Becca Oliver – Richmond
- Amy Ouellette – Virginia Beach
- Ronald Parker – Richmond
- Donna Robel – Virginia Beach
- Willie Rosser – Hampton
- Virginia Sprague – Virginia Beach
- Rose Maria Sutton – Stafford
- Travis Webb – Norfolk
- Carlye White – Richmond