TCDD Grants to Improve Outreach to Ethnic Minority Cultures


August 8, 2011

Contact:  Melissa Loe
(512) 437-5441

The Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities awarded two grants in the Houston area for one-year projects to improve the lives of people in ethnic minority cultures. Senator Rodney Ellis, TCDD Chair Brenda Coleman-Beattie and TCDD Executive Director Roger Webb worked together in announcing the grants to the Light and Salt Association and the Barbara Jordan Endeavors Corp., for about $10,000 each.

“Cultural and language barriers make it difficult for many minority families to access and obtain services that they need,” Coleman-Beattie said. “These projects will help TCDD to better understand the different values, cultures and customs that exist in Texas, as well as how cultural issues may impact the way services should be provided.” TCDD is also funding three other projects to help Texas communities provide culturally competent support to people who have a disability.

The Barbara Jordan Endeavors Corporation will raise awareness of resources that the disability community can access,” Senator Ellis said. “Consultants from different agencies and organizations will provide information about their services during monthly workshops for cross-cultural families and students.” The non-profit corporation provides scholarships and services for students with emotional, mental and physical disabilities to help them reach their academic goals and be ready for college or vocational training.

Light and Salt plans to provide training for Asian American families,” Webb said, “to increase their knowledge, resources and skills for raising children with developmental disabilities. The project will also help children with disabilities develop life skills they need to become independent, and it will increase public awareness of Asian American children impacted by developmental disabilities in the Houston area.” The association created a Special Needs Care Center in 2008 which provides some culturally and linguistically appropriate supports, including materials in Chinese.

TCDD 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.