By Kodey Toney
Meet You There
The number one problem I always see is the lack of resources for people with disabilities in our area. I always have parents question me about what is out there, where to go, and who to talk to about services for their children. I’ve been talking for the past few months about the Partners In Policymaking program and all the great information and resources they have provided me with. Two ladies from this group will be coming to Poteau to provide info, answer questions, and fill out applications for the program.
So who is eligible and why should you come to this meeting. If you, or someone you know, has a disability you should attend this meeting. This program is for anyone interested in helping others. This includes parents, family members, self-advocates, and professionals who work with people with a disability. It will make you a better advocate for services and rights.
This will be part of the Parents of Autism meeting February 21. The meeting will be held at 6 p.m. at the F.L. Holton Business Center at Carl Albert State College in Poteau.
This isn’t just for parents of children with autism. The program is designed for: Parents of children with disabilities; adults with disabilities; and advocates for persons with disabilities. There are people in the class with, or who have children with, Cerebral Palsy, Downs Syndrome, and a number of other issues. There are also special education teachers, church representatives, government employees, and in the past legislative members.
“The diagnosis doesn’t matter. The age of your child doesn’t matter. How much education you have doesn’t matter. What matters is that you are ready and willing to change the world,” states the brochure for Partners in Policymaking.
Partners learn how to work with public officials and professionals to promote change in public and private systems that support people with developmental disabilities and their families. Some of you might remember that in January I presented a mock bill to a group of state representatives. This was a great opportunity for me to learn the workings of the state law-making process, and was a good chance for our representatives to get a chance to hear our concerns.
If you become a partner you will receive training from national experts, resources including books, and participate in role playing experiences with local, state, and federal levels of advocacy.
This program is great for anyone wanting to better the future of their child with a developmental disability, or the future of others. It has been a great experience and I hope everyone will attend the meeting to listen to what these ladies have to say.
This meeting is open to everyone and is free.
Disclaimer: I am in no way claiming to be an expert. I’m just a father who is trying to learn as much about Autism as I can to help my child. I hope that you all can learn from me, and I from you. I ask anyone who has questions or comments about something I have written, or autism, please contact me at email@example.com. I will try to answer questions as I have time, and if I find it interesting enough I may touch on it in my column.