Partners in Policymaking

Partners in Policymaking, (PIP) has been part of the work of the NJCDD since 1996. Currently, the program is being provided under contract by The Boggs Center. The goal of this program is to prepare the next generation of disability advocates to work toward meaningful change in our state. Selected participants learn about best practices and important areas for advocacy from nationally-known advocates, self-advocates, experts, and professionals.

This leadership development and advocacy education program for adults with developmental disabilities and family members plays a vital role in helping New Jersey to fulfill the spirit of the Developmental Disabilities and Bill of Rights Act, to “assure that individuals with developmental disabilities and their families participate in the design of and have access to needed community services, individualized supports, and other forms of assistance that promote self-determination, independence, productivity, and integration and inclusion in all facets of community life.”

The program, implemented over the course of a year, is comprised of three curricular components. 1) A monthly series; including eight in-person, intensive, weekend educational sessions. 2) Leadership Development integrated into each session, and 3) Homework assignments, including the development of an Advocacy Action Plan that will evolve throughout their participation.

Monthly Educational Leadership Development Sessions & Topics

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
  • Transition

Wednesday, November 15 (Virtual)

December 1 – 2 (Virtual)

  • Medicaid; Health & Wellness
  • Employment

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
  • Graduation

Apply to the 2023-2024 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 2023-2024.

Download the application to learn more about the program and apply

Applications must be received by June 30, 2023. Applicants will be notified of acceptance by July 31, 2023.

For more information contact and