Courtney Pugh of Carrollton recently graduated from Texas Partners in Policymaking, a statewide leadership training program designed to impact disability-related policies in Texas.
Pugh lives in Carrollton and is one of 28 graduates in the 2020 class of Texas Partners in Policymaking. Pugh and her fellow graduates from across Texas will work to influence policy and change systems so more people with developmental disabilities (DD) are fully included in their communities and exercise control over their own lives.
Over the course of the nine-month program, Pugh attended training sessions both in-person in San Antonio and then online after COVID-19 prompted the program to shift to remote sessions. During the trainings, state and national experts covered various topics, such as disability history, inclusive education, the Texas Legislature and more.
During the program, Pugh and the other trainees also expanded their networks, developed informational resources, and completed capstone projects. Pugh’s capstone project was to create a docuseries that highlights the daily structures, needs, and routines of individuals with disabilities as well as the experiences of friends and family. This project offered a view into the challenges, conflicts, and victories faced by millions of people every day.
"I learned so much through this Partners program,” Pugh said. “It has equipped me with so many tools and other resources that I can use to help improve the lives of not only myself but others who have disabilities. I am incredibly grateful to have had this opportunity."
Pugh joins the over 700 alumni who have graduated from the program in Texas and the more than 27,000 alumni the program has worldwide.
Established in 1987, Partners in Policymaking is an advanced leadership development training program for self-advocates and parents of children with DD. In addition to the program in Texas, numerous programs have been conducted in the United States and around the globe. The Texas Partners in Policymaking program is a TCDD project.