Expansion of the Leadership and Advocacy Skills
There is a continued need for the development of training programs and resources to assist Texans with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) and their families learn leadership and advocacy skills. To do this, leadership development and advocacy skills training programs must exist in many different areas around the state. Because it is unlikely that any one organization can provide enough funding to meet the demand, it is imperative that organizations that offer this kind of training work with others. This type of collaboration can help to increase the number of identified leadership development and advocacy training programs that can provide culturally appropriate training for individuals with IDD.
Parent Alliance for Learning and Support (PALS) Program will provide classroom and hands-on training for parents of children with disabilities on general advocacy and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
The PALS program provided classroom and hands-on training to parents of children with IDD, young adults with IDD and community members in the areas of self-advocacy, general advocacy and IDEA. The training worked to improve the quality of life for individuals with IDD by assisting them with advocacy efforts. The training was provided through curriculums, which allowed a hands-on learning environment.
For the first year, PALS expected to train 200 parents, 60 young adults, and 40 professionals and community members on general advocacy and IDEA. The program aimed to achieve a 95% approval rating and an 80% graduation rate. Recruitment of participants was to occur before the start of the project and continue monthly through collaborating partners and outreach to agencies. Approximately 25% of participants were to be recruited, enrolled and graduated from the program each quarter.