New Jersey Partners in Policymaking
New Jersey Partners in Policymaking is a leadership development and advocacy education program for adults with developmental disabilities (over age 21) and family members of children and transition-age youth available through a collaboration between The New Jersey Council on Developmental Disabilities, The Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities, and Disability Rights New Jersey. The goal of this program is to prepare the next generation of disability advocates to work toward meaningful change in our state. The Boggs Center is committed to building a diverse group of participants that is reflective of the needs, geography, and cultural and ethnic backgrounds of New Jersey.
The 2023-2024 Partners in Policymaking sessions are currently scheduled to take place using a hybrid model which combines in-person and virtual learning. A fully virtual option for those that are immunocompromised or have an immunocompromised family member that prevents in-person participation will be made available.
Through participation in in-person and virtual educational leadership development sessions and completion of online assignments, selected participants learn about best practices and important areas for advocacy from nationally-known experts. Upon completion of the program, participants will have developed the knowledge and skills needed to:
- Advocate for opportunities and supports that promote self-determination, independence, and inclusion in all aspects of community life
- Be members of advisory boards and committees
- Work alongside policymakers and state agencies
Requirements of Participation
Participation in all educational leadership development sessions held in New Brunswick, NJ and virtually.
- In-Person sessions will be held one weekend a month in September, November, February, and April (Friday 2:00 pm – 8:00 pm and Saturday 8:30 am – 3:00 pm)
- Virtual sessions will be held one weekend a month in October, December, January, and March (Friday 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm and Saturday 9:00 am –1:00 pm) and one Wednesday a month from 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm from September through April.
- Completion of between session online assignments. These assignments will be given to enhance learning between online sessions and may include watching videos and other assignments.
- Completion of homework assignments, including the development of an Advocacy Action Plan
Is there any cost to participate?
No. Expenses are paid for by the New Jersey Council on Developmental Disabilities. Covered expenses for in-person sessions include:
- Overnight lodging (shared with another participant)
- Meals and refreshments
- Reimbursement for travel
- Reimbursement for child care/respite at $15 an hour, up to $150 a weekend.
Accommodations such as sign language interpreters, large print materials, or Braille are provided as needed.
Project Director: Colleen McLaughlin [email protected]
Project Staff: Jamie Zahid [email protected]
The Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities
335 George Street, Suite 3500,
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
Monthly Educational Leadership Development Sessions & Topics for 2023 – 2024 Class
September 22 – 23 (In-Person)
- Advocacy Impact of Families and People with Disabilities
Wednesday, October 4 (Virtual)
October 20 – 21 (Virtual)
- The LifeCourse Framework
- History of Disability Policy
November 3 – 4 (In-Person)
- Inclusive Education
Wednesday, November 15 (Virtual)
December 1 – 2 (Virtual)
- Medicaid; Health & Wellness
Wednesday, December 13 (Virtual)
January 12 – 13 (Virtual)
- Federal Policy Hot Topics and Advocacy
- Effective Communication & Public Speaking
Wednesday, January 24 (Virtual)
February 2 – 3 (In-Person)
- Supported Decision Making
- Direct Support Professional Workforce
Wednesday, February 21 (Virtual)
March 8 – 9 (Virtual)
- State Systems Change Advocacy
- Legislative Mock Testimony
Wednesday, March 20 (Virtual)
April 19 – 20 (In-Person)
- Building Social Capital and Community Connections
Applications for the 2024-2025 sessions will be available in June 2024.