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New Jersey Partners in Policymaking

NJ Partners in Policymaking graphic

New Jersey Partners in Policymaking is an 8-month leadership development and advocacy education program for adults with developmental disabilities and family members of children and transition age youth available through The Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities with funding from the New Jersey Council on Developmental Disabilities. The goal of this program is to prepare the next generation of disability advocates to work toward meaningful change in our state.


Participants selected for the program will 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 8 interactive educational leadership development sessions held one weekend a month in New Brunswick (Friday 2pm – Saturday 3pm)
  • Completion of homework assignments between sessions, including the development of an Advocacy Action Plan    


Monthly Educational Leadership Development Sessions & Topics

September 14 & 15

  • Parent Advocacy
  • Self-Advocacy

  • Social Media as an Advocacy Tool

January 18 & 19

  • Supported Decision Making
  • Direct Support Professional Workforce
  • Medicaid
  • Health & Wellness

October 5 & 6

  • History of Disability Policy & Advocacy

  • Inclusive Education

February 22 & 23

  • State Policy & Systems Change Advocacy

  • Federal Policy and Tips from the Hill

November 16 & 17

  • A Vision for Advocacy Across the Lifespan

  • Self-Determination, Social Capital, & Community Inclusion

March 15 & 16

  • Public Speaking

  • Grassroots Organizing

December 14 & 15

  • Transition

  • Employment

April 12 &13

  • Putting Leadership into Action

  • Graduation



Program Takeaways video featuring the New Jersey Partners in Policymaking Class of 2017-2018


Additional Information

If you would like additional information about the program, contact Jaime Zahid by email at or phone 732-235-9613.


Project Director: Colleen McLaughlin

Project Staff: Jaime Zahid


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