Partners in Disability
Leadership

Partners in Disability Leadership program is an advanced leadership-development training program created for professionals who are interested in being stewards of the disability rights movement and leaders within their agencies and organizations.

The Mission

The Arc of Texas Partners in Disability Leadership program equips professionals with information, leadership skills, and connections to influence positive change in the services and support systems used by Texans with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) and their families. Through this unique program, participants explore how to effectively promote self-determination, apply person-centered planning, and engage individuals with IDD and their families in making aspirations a reality.

Who Should Apply?

Are you committed to improving the lives of individuals with IDD and their families? Do you want to be a forward-thinking and dynamic force to galvanize positive change across systems, supports and services? Are you looking to build your network of contacts in the IDD field with whom to share ideas and strategies that strengthen critical policies and programs? Then Partners in Disability Leadership is for you.

Partners in Disability Leadership is designed for people of diverse backgrounds and experiences. We welcome all applicants with an interest in the program. Past applicants and participants have included staff from:

  • State agencies such as Texas Health and Human Services, the Texas Workforce Commission and the Texas Education Agency
  • The Texas Legislature
  • Independent School Districts throughout Texas
  • Local IDD authorities
  • Managed Care Organizations
  • Others in the disability nonprofit sector

Why Apply?

The goal of Partners in Disability Leadership is to provide participants the knowledge and skills to positively impact the services and supports systems used by Texans with IDD. The program takes a skills-based learning approach.

In addition to engaging sessions with speakers and interactive work with other participants. Participants will develop and implement a leadership project that positively impacts their organization or agency. Projects will be presented at graduation. The Arc of Texas will promote ongoing support of projects and networking with each other and other alumni.

Since class sizes are capped at 25 participants, you will have opportunity for engaging and personal small-group conversations, plus exclusive access to top disability experts nationwide.

What’s Involved?

Expert presenters will cover topics including:

  • The history of IDD perceptions, theories, services, and the disability rights movement
  • The current state of IDD services, systems, and societal views
  • Communication and leadership styles, and effective communication strategies for different audiences
  • Incorporating person-centered thinking and self-determination concepts into everyday practice
  • Creating an inclusive culture for individuals with IDD within agencies and organizations
  • Current policy issues affecting the delivery of services and support for individuals with IDD
  • Creative ways to address and solve common challenges that leaders encounter

The Leadership Project

Participants will develop and implement a leadership project that positively impacts their organization or agency by addressing an issue or area, such as increasing commitment to self-direction, supporting policies that promote quality of life for Texans with IDD, sharing knowledge of IDD services with other staff and future leaders, and/or amplifying Texans’ with IDD impact on policy through participation in councils and task forces. The Arc of Texas staff, presenters, program alumni, and other class members will support your efforts to complete the leadership project, and there will time allotted in each session to collaborate. This is an opportunity for growth by taking risks and using leadership skills and abilities.

What is the Timeline?

Each of the six virtual sessions will begin on Thursday morning and conclude Friday afternoon.

2021 Schedule

  • Orientation Friday, March 12
  • Session 1 Thursday, March 25–Friday March 26
  • Session 2 Thursday, April 29–Friday, April 30
  • Session 3 Thursday, May 20–Friday, May 21
  • Session 4 Thursday, June 24–Friday, June 25
  • Session 5 Thursday, July 29–Friday, July 30
  • Session 6 Thursday, August 26–Friday, August 27
  • Graduation Friday, September 17
  • Is There a Cost to Participate?

    Yes. The investment in the Partners in Disability Leadership program covers the costs of materials and resources, sessions featuring top disability experts who will discuss trends, best practices, and strategies; networking events to forge lasting connections; and alumni support for ongoing learning. Through your participation in an actionable Leadership Project, you will acquire skills and techniques to support the mission of your agency or organization.

    A limited number of scholarships are available each session.

    How Do I Apply?

    The application period for 2021 has ended. Get updates about future opportunities by using the sign-up form below.

    Questions?

    Please email Wendy Ward. Thank you for your interest!

    What Partners in Disability Leadership Graduates Are Saying

    “Taking time for professional development is so important … for you and those around you … your team and the entire system.” — Jennifer C., 2020 Partners in Disability Leadership class

    “[Being part of] Partners in Disability Leadership the past few months has been an absolutely amazing experience and such a wonderful opportunity that has solidified my decision in pursuing advocacy at a state level.” — Hannah R., 2020 Partners in Disability Leadership class

    “Virtual or not, it was worth it!” — Roger D., 2020 Partners in Disability Leadership class

    2020 Partners in Disability Leadership Yearbook

    The Arc of Texas Partners in Disability Leadership program is for professionals working in the disability field in Texas to learn how to be effective stewards of the disability rights movement and leaders within their agencies and organizations.

    Learn more about the 2020 class, including why they got involved in the program, the leadership projects they created, and more.

    Download PDF

    Flip through the digital edition on Issuu

    Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities Logo

    This project is supported by the Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities (TCDD) through grant number 2101TXSCDD00 from the U.S. Administration for Community Living (ACL), Department of Health & Human Services, Washington, D.C. 20201. Grantees receiving government sponsorships are encouraged to express their findings and conclusions. Opinions do not necessarily represent official TCDD or ACL policy.