August 2022 Council Meeting Wrap-up

TCDD held quarterly Council and Committee meetings both virtually and in person from Aug. 3-5, 2022. During the meetings, Council members awarded funding for new and ongoing projects, considered future state plan activities, and discussed legislative advocacy and other disability-related topics.

Funding Awards

TCDD invests in projects to strengthen service and support systems across Texas and build community capacity to help people with developmental disabilities (DD). This quarter, Council members awarded funding for seven new projects in Health Equity for People with DD and Leadership Development and Advocacy Training. The following information includes project descriptions and organizations awarded funding.

Health Equity for People with DD: Develop bilingual resources and training to improve equity in DD-related health care and dental services and increase knowledge about the personal experience of people with DD related to self-direction, accessibility, and effectiveness of treatment and support.

  • Baylor College of Medicine
  • Texas A&M University
  • University of Houston-Clear Lake
  • University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston

Leadership Development and Advocacy Training led by Self-Advocates: Support opportunities for people with DD to become leaders and to expand their participation in cross-disability and culturally diverse leadership coalitions. 

  • Coalition of Texans with Disabilities
  • Texas Advocates    

Leadership Development and Advocacy Training for Youth Self-Advocates: Support opportunities for youth with DD to develop as leaders and advocates for themselves and their peers.

  • Paso del Norte Children’s Development Center   

In addition to new projects, Council members awarded funding to continue two ongoing TCDD projects.

Advanced Leadership Training for Professionals: Enhance the strategic leadership capacity in the DD service and support system by developing and implementing training based on best practices with a Texas-centric focus.

  • The Arc of Texas (Partners in Disability Leadership)  

Next Chapter Book Clubs: Expand the social networks of people with DD through participation in community-based book clubs.

  • Texas Advocates 

TCDD also provides stipends to increase access to disability information and advocacy opportunities. Stipends are available for conferences and eventsdisability-related speakers, and translation and interpretation services. This quarter, TCDD provided stipends to the following organizations:

  • DeafBlind Camp of Texas: speaker stipend for Adult Camp 2022
  • Texas Parent to Parent: event, speaker, and translation stipends for annual Statewide Parent Conference

Discussions and Presentations

The Council approves and monitors TCDD’s strategic state plan, which guides projects and policy work. During their meetings, the Council discussed potential future state plan activities related to:

  • DD-specific support and informational resources on handling grief and loss;
  • resources for adults with DD to participate in the care of their aging family members and caregivers; and
  • initiatives on higher education and employment for youth and young adults with DD. 

In addition to state plan activities, Council members discussed preparations for the upcoming 88th Texas legislative session, which begins in January 2023. Council members were also led by experts in discussions on the following topics:

  • Teri Avery, committee clerk for the Texas House of Representatives Committee on Public Health, on testifying at Texas House committee hearings
  • Molly Spratt, former chief of staff for Texas Senator Joan Huffman, on interacting with Texas Senate members and staff
  • Joe Gagen, a legislative grassroots trainer, on legislative advocacy strategies
  • Anita Swanson and Shannon Paige, of the Texas Technology Access Program, on using assistive technology to increase independence for people with disabilities.
  • Sean Jackson, executive director of Disability Rights Texas and a member of the TCDD Public Policy Committee, on guardianship and alternatives to guardianship.
  • Linda Fernandez, from the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts office, and Allison Schaberg, a graduate of Texas Partners in Policymaking, on the Texas ABLE (Achieving a Better Life Experience) Program, which assists people with disabilities and their families in saving money for services to support health, independence, and quality of life.

Next Meetings 

TCDD’s next quarterly meetings will take place Nov. 2-4, 2022. To receive announcements about future meetings, subscribe to our newsletter



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