Statewide Advocacy Network Development
There is a continued need for the development of training programs and resources to assist Texans with developmental disabilities 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 structure will support the development and/or expansion of sustainable leadership and advocacy training efforts.
Expand and maintain the Texas Advocacy Training Network (TATN). Assist regional networks in collaborating and supporting each other in their efforts to promote leadership and advocacy as well as to create change in developmental disabilities (DD) systems in Texas.
Parents Anonymous developed a network of local, regional and statewide groups that provided support to individuals with DD and their families through TATN.
TATN established criteria for regional leadership teams and identified and enrolled 53 participants from local organizations within the three regional networks to participate in the project.
The project held “Building Capacity for All” teleconference calls to increase the knowledge and skills of participants and to further their effectiveness in collaborating and sharing information, assistance and resources. Three regional orientations provided a review of TATN resources, including the Case of Support Fund Development Packet, the Shared Leadership in Action training and an online resource database.
TATN hosted three regional Texas Leadership Team trainings for persons with DD and/or their family members utilizing the “Shared Leadership” approach. Shared Leadership allows consumers, families and staff to work in partnership to achieve better outcomes for families, programs and systems. This one and a half-day training was designed to help regional leadership teams incorporate Shared Leadership strategies into their work and to support self-advocates and family members to take on leadership roles in their communities. In addition, once the training was over the regional teams developed a comprehensive statewide action plan with access to a database to track their progress.