Partners in Policymaking deadline approaches If you are an adult with a disability or parent or family member of an individual with a disability, you are encouraged to submit an application for one of 25 spots for the seventeenth year of South Dakota Partners in Policymaking. The innovative leadership program analyzes disability issues and builds skills that consumers, parents and guardians need to have in order influence legislation effectively and obtain the most state-of-the-art services for themselves and others. In South Dakota 380 individuals have completed the Partners training and over 15,000 nation wide. Sponsored in part by grants from the South Dakota Council on Developmental Disabilities; Center for Disabilities of Sanford School of Medicine at USD;�? Children's Care Hospital & School; and SD Parent Connection, the training includes current issues affecting people with disabilities, best practices, and the policymaking and legislative processes at the local, state and federal levels. The overall goal of the training is to achieve a productive partnership between people needing and using services and those in a position to make policy and law. SD Advocacy Services serves as the administrating agency for the training program. Program Coordinator Sandy Stocklin Hook, said, â�?�?It is so exciting to see the change in people from the first session to the last.�? The enthusiasm and commitment by each participant is amazing. This training changes lives.â�? Parents in the program learn from the vast experience of the adults with disabilities and self-advocates learn from the parents' personal perspectives and life experiences To receive an application, contact Sandy Stocklin Hook, SD Advocacy Services, 221 S. Central Ave., Pierre, SD�? 57501 or call 1-800-658-4782. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or view a video at www.sdadvocacy.com. All applications must be postmarked on or before Sept. 15. Training classes are held one weekend per month, November through April and expenses are covered.