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Core Values about People with Disabilities

The Texas Partners in Policymaking program is built on critical values relating to the inherent worth of people with disabilities. These values must be the underlying thread woven throughout every aspect of the training program; Partners is all about how to achieve a vision that reflects these Core Values.

People with disabilities are not “the handicapped” or “the disabled.” Using “People First Language” is a must.

People with disabilities need real friendships, not just relationships with paid staff.

The ability to communicate, in whatever form, must be available to every person with a disability.

People with disabilities must be able to enjoy full mobility and accessibility for active participation in community life.

People with disabilities must be assured continuity through families and neighborhood connections.

People with disabilities must be treated with respect and dignity.

People with disabilities must have the freedom to choose how they want to live and receive the support they need.

People with disabilities must be able to exercise choice and control in all areas of their lives.

A commitment to advancing systems change throughout the advocacy community.

People with disabilities must be able to live in homes of their choice and choose the supports they need.

People with disabilities must be able to enjoy the benefits of true productivity through employment and/or contributions as members of their communities.

People from diverse cultures and disabilities are represented in the Texas Partners training.

These values represent the foundation of Partners in Policymaking. We know, however, that these values are still not present in the lives of too many children and adults with developmental disabilities. We also know that as a result of the best practices training of Partners, these values have become the norm for thousands of Partners graduates around the world. In turn, graduates are using their influence to help others learn “what’s possible.”

While our Core Values haven’t changed since 1987, best practices have changed and will continue to do so. This is as it should be, as we learn more, as we push the envelope, as technology changes, and as laws and policies evolve. And the speakers chosen for Partners training sessions need to represent leading-edge thinking.

Texas Partners in Policymaking Credo

Mom and Son with Hearing Aids
  • I am committed to creating change so Texans with disabilities and their families are fully included in their communities.
  • I am committed to increasing self-determination so Texans with disabilities exercise control over their own lives.
  • I am committed to ensuring Texans with disabilities from diverse backgrounds and cultures have access to information and a voice in the policymaking process.
  • I am committed to promoting disability-related advocacy so self-advocates, family members of Texans with disabilities, and other advocates can influence the policymaking process.
  • I am committed to educating key decision-makers about the impact their decisions can have on the lives of Texans with disabilities and their families.