What is a state alliance?
State alliances consist of partners in the inclusive higher education landscape within a state. At a minimum, an alliance can be a group of representatives from IPSE programs. They can also include representatives from key state agencies (e.g., vocational rehabilitation, developmental disability, department of education), organizations, parents, alumni, and students.
Why form a state alliance? What are the benefits?
There can be many rewards from the work of state alliances, including state funding in the form of program support and/or student scholarships, or policy support for IPSE programs by vocational rehabilitation. State alliances also lead to more opportunities for peer-to-peer learning and an infrastructure to support the development of new IPSE programs.
Who should you include in your state alliance?
- University Centers of Excellence in Developmental Disabilities (UCEDDs)
- Developmental Disability Councils/Governor’s Councils: These bring together a variety of groups, organizations, and agencies to address the needs of people with intellectual and developmental disability (IDD) and their families. They can also lobby the legislature.
- Protection and Advocacy Organizations
- State departments of education
- Vocational rehabilitation agencies
- State developmental disability agencies
- State Assistive Technology Act programs
- Parent organizations, such as Parent Information and Training Centers
- Alumni from IPSE programs
- Representatives from institutions of higher education/colleges and universities, both those with IPSE programs and those who are interested in starting a program
What steps have led to successful alliances?
- Choose a coordinator/backbone organization
- Invite others to join and identify some leaders (the leadership team)
- Create a common vision for your state or region
- Host quarterly or semi-annual meetings of the leadership team
- Provide technical assistance to others
- Host a statewide meeting with all constituents
- Use an email mailing list or project management software to communicate and consider a method for regular, collaborative work (e.g., Teamwork, Microsoft Teams, Slack, MailChimp, Constant Contact)
- Create a social media presence
- Create a website
How can you get more assistance about developing or expanding a state alliance?
Contact Susanna Miller-Raines, Regional and State Alliance Manager for training and technical assistance.
Do you have any other questions?