Archived Story

Mom finishing course on disability policy-making

Published 4:43am Friday, May 10, 2013

A local resident who has a daugther with cerebral palsy and epilepsy is about to finish a program designed to give people the tools on how to affect disability policy.

Austin resident Regina DeVries will complete the Partners in policy-making advocacy training program on May 18. The program covers the history of the disability and self-advocacy movements, inclusive education, supported living, and influence on county, state and federal legislative processes.

Regina DeVries

“My husband was a graduate of the program and it was obvious the positive impact it had on him,” Regina said. “I wanted to understand the laws and policies that he talked about.”

DeVries feels Partners has motivated her to speak to legislators about things that affect her daughter, and recommends the program to others.

The eight-month leadership training program for people with disabilities and parents of young children with developmental disabilities invites applications for its sessions this fall. Applications are due by July 15.

The two-day meetings during the program year are all held on weekends, making it easier for people to participate.

There is no cost to individuals selected for the Partners program since it is covered by a federal grant to the Minnesota Governor’s Council. Child care, respite allowances and overnight accommodations are also provided for those who have to travel some distance to attend, and mileage and meals are also covered by the grant. All eight sessions will be held at the Minneapolis Airport Marriott in Bloomington.

The class is limited to 40 participants, selected by a panel of Partners graduates and representatives of the Governor’s Council. The first session is scheduled for Sept. 27-28. Presenters include nationally recognized leaders in the disabilities area, as well as local experts.

Those selected to participate in the program are expected to attend all meetings and to complete homework assignments between the sessions.

For further information or to receive an application form, interested individuals can go to or contact Carol Schoeneck at Government Training Services, 1-800-0569-6878, ext. 205, or at 651-222-7409, ext. 205. She may be emailed at

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