Selected from a pool of applicants from across the state, Isanti resident Robin Fiene has been accepted into Minnesota Partners in Policymaking®’s eight-month leadership training, which begins this fall.
Participants include adults with disabilities and parents raising children with developmental disabilities. Fiene’s son has autism and sensory differences which require individual assistance with activities of daily living and safety and is non-verbal and difficult to understand. He underwent Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), a therapy that rewards positive behavior, and underwent speech therapy to improve communication.
Fiene works at the Ministry of Revenue and is skilled in the areas of policy, legislation and human relations. Before having children with extreme mental health issues, she had no idea how this population is so underfunded and underserved. She wants to apply her skills to help those who may not have the skills or time to advocate for themselves or their children to live their lives to the fullest.
The program was created by the Minnesota Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities. “The goal is to train statewide leaders to partner with school systems, medical and business communities so that all people with disabilities are supported as they become confident, independent and contributing citizens. across the state,” said Dr. Colleen Wieck, executive director of the Governor’s Council.
This highly acclaimed and finely tailored leadership training draws on national experts and uses group participation. Described by many as life changing, in its 35-year history, more than 1,100 Minnesotans have been trained to become leaders in their own communities. Participants become effective advocates for themselves, their children and other people with disabilities.
The Governor’s Council launched the program in 1987, and through expansion to other states and countries, Partners has trained 1,131 people in Minnesota and more than 27,000 people worldwide.