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Applications due July 15 for advocacy training

Baxter resident Rachel Rennicke, a special education teacher with the Brainerd schools who also has a brother in the end stage of renal failure, recently completed the Partners in Policymaking advocacy training program.

Rennicke said she felt the class was invaluable.

“I learned the most about the rights of individuals with disabilities and the rights of parents,” Rennicke said. “This is valuable since I have a sibling with a disability and also learned what parents go through and what they need from us.”

The class covered the history of treatment of people with disabilities and the rights that they now have. Rennicke recommended this program to others. This eight-month leadership training program for people with disabilities and parents of young children with developmental disabilities is inviting applications for its sessions this fall. Partners in Policymaking was created by the Minnesota Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities 26 years ago. Applications for the program are due by July 15.

The two-day meetings during the program year are all held on weekends, making it easier for people to participate.

There is no cost to individuals selected for the Partners program, adults with disabilities and parents of young children with developmental disabilities, since it is covered by a federal grant to the Minnesota Governor’s Council. Child care, respite allowances and overnight accommodations are also provided for those who have to travel some distance to attend, and mileage and meals are also covered by the grant. All of the eight sessions will be held at the Minneapolis Airport Marriott in Bloomington.

The class is limited to 40 participants, selected by a panel of Partners graduates and representatives of the Governor’s Council. The first session is scheduled for Sept. 27-28, 2013.

For further information or to receive an application form, interested individuals can go to the web page, or contact Carol Schoeneck at Government Training Services, 1-800-569-6878, ext. 205, or at 651-222-7409, ext. 205. She may be e-mailed at

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
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