Senator Watson Announces Grant to Create Advocacy Network


March 16, 2011

Contact:  Melissa Loe

Senator Kirk Watson

State Senator Kirk Watson

Senator Kirk Watson announced Wednesday that a $65,588 grant was awarded to Texas Parent to Parent by the Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities for the first year of a five-year project to create a statewide advocacy network. This project will recruit parents of children with developmental disabilities, young self-advocates and siblings to advocate on community-based issues in health and human services, accessible transportation and housing, meaningful employment, and appropriate education for people with disabilities.

“These volunteers will each ‘adopt’ a local legislator and educate the Senators, Representatives and their staff on disability issues,” Watson explained. “Their goal is to educate legislators about the abilities, needs, hopes and dreams of the entire family of a child with a disability. They will also explain best practices for employment, education, transportation and health and human services. Texas Parent to Parent will provide training and support to the volunteers.”

The Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities is a 27-member board, dedicated to improving the lives of the 452,620 Texans with developmental disabilities. The Council uses a variety of activities – such as grant projects, technical assistance, public awareness and leadership training – to enable people with disabilities to live, grow up, attend school and work in the community. Developmental disabilities are severe, chronic disabilities that occur before the age of 22, such as autism, cerebral palsy, intellectual and developmental disabilities, mental illness, traumatic brain injury and epilepsy.