Partners in Policymaking


Partners in Policymaking Logo

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 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 COVID-19 pandemic continues to bring some uncertainty. The 2022-2023 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

Monthly Educational Leadership Development Sessions & Topics

September 16 & 17 (In-Person)

  • Parent Advocacy
  • Self-Advocacy
  • Social Media as an Advocacy Tool

Wednesday, September 28 (Virtual)

October 14 & 15 (Virtual)

  • The LifeCourse Framework and Planning
  • History of Disability Policy and Today's Impact

Wednesday, October 26 (Virtual)

November 4 & 5 (In-Person)

  • Medicaid; Health & Wellness
  • Inclusive Education

Wednesday, November 30 (Virtual)

December 9 & 10 (Virtual)

  • Transition
  • Employment

No Wednesday Session

January 13 & 14 (Virtual)

  • Federal Hot Topics and Tips from the Hill
  • Direct Support Professional Workforce

Wednesday, January 25 (Virtual)

February 17 & 18 (In-Person)

  • Supported Decision Making
  • Public Speaking and Effective Communication

Wednesday, March 1 (Virtual)

March 24 & 25 (Virtual)

  • State Policy and Systems Change Advocacy
  • Advocacy in Action

Wednesday, April 12 (Virtual)

April 21 & 22 (In-Person)

  • Building Social Capital and Community Connections
  • Graduation

Apply to the 2022-2023 Partners in Policymaking Program

New Jersey Partners in Policymaking is committed to building a diverse group of participants that is reflective of the needs, geography, and cultural and ethnic backgrounds of New Jersey. Individuals from all ethnic and cultural backgrounds and those who identify as LGBTQ+ are encouraged to apply. The Partners program is now accepting applications from people with developmental disabilities and family members for the class of 2022-2023.

Download the application to learn more about the program and apply

Deadline extended! Applications must be received by July 8, 2022. Applicants will be notified of acceptance by July 31, 2022.

For more information contact and