Denton County Federation of Families — Local Advocacy Training

Local Advocacy Training

Statewide Need
To help ensure that the interests of all citizens in Texas are represented in public policy discussions and decisions, individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) and their families must have the opportunity to participate actively in the policymaking process. By serving as primary sources for information regarding the real-life impacts of legislative and policy decisions, they can provide legislators and other policymakers with an understanding of the needs of individuals with IDD and their families. Through advocacy training programs, people with IDD and their families can provide substantive input to policymakers about programs, services, and issues directly affecting their lives, and local advocacy networks can provide a range of support to individual advocates in their communities.

Project Goal
Provide training and ongoing support to area families, individuals with IDD, and professionals in the areas of self-advocacy, Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) advocacy and legislative advocacy.

Project Summary
The Denton County Federation of Families provided information, training, coaching, leadership, and support to students with IDD and their families, as well as professionals working across many areas.

IDEA Advocacy training was held for youth with IDD to explain IDEA, best practices, and the legislative process in the state of Texas. Staff continued to support youth-driven advocacy efforts after the training. Training was also provided to professionals who have worked or were currently working with students with IDD. Adults with IDD who identified transportation in Denton County as a priority were given transportation advocacy training. Target numbers for trainings were exceeded and a web-based version of the training was developed.

Over 3,000 individuals attended and/or assisted with Admission, Review, and Dismissal meetings, offering parent-to-parent support, peer support for youths, mentorship, advocacy training and community support. The project also provided advocacy for proper modifications in Individual Education Plans and Behavior Intervention Plans. During the project, individuals participated in community outreach and awareness events, conducted email outreach, held online trainings, and attended the Denton County Community Resource Consortium Group monthly staffing meetings. Through their community involvement, they were able to disseminate information regarding best practices, current issues, local resources and effective advocacy.

  • Impact
    • Over 3,000 individuals were served through assistance, supports, mentorship and training
    • Advocacy training was provided to youth with IDD, families and professionals
    • Transportation advocacy training was provided to adults who identified transportation as a priority
    • A website was developed to host advocacy training curriculum for continued accessibility

Project Period
Aug 2004 – Jul 2007

2509 Scripture St.
Denton, TX 76201

Geographic Reach
Denton County