February 2024 Council Meeting Wrap-up

Table of Contents

TCDD held quarterly meetings virtually and in person in Houston from Feb. 7-9. During the meetings, Council members awarded grant funding for new and ongoing TCDD projects and engaged in discussions on important disability issues.

Here are some of the highlights from this quarter’s meetings.

Funding Awards and Stipends

TCDD invests in grant projects to strengthen service and support systems across Texas. Our projects build community capacity to help people with developmental disabilities (DD). This quarter, Council members awarded funding to the Texas A&M University Health Science Center for a new project to: 

  • improve the availability of culturally inclusive support for families of people with DD who strongly identify with a specific ethnic community; and
  • increase the number of families and self-advocates who participate in the delivery of community-based services.

In addition to this new project, Council members awarded funding to existing TCDD grantees to continue the development of five ongoing projects. The following information includes project descriptions and organizations awarded funding.

Adults with DD Supporting Aging Family Members: Develop classes and support for people with DD who want to provide caregiving to aging family members.

  • Alamo Area Council of Governments

Complex Mental Health Needs: Address gaps in the support system for people dually diagnosed with DD and mental health conditions.

  • Texas Tech University
  • The Arc of Texas

Health Equity for People with DD: Develop a bilingual training and support program to improve access to effective health care for people with DD in the Brazos Valley region.

  • Texas A&M University

Older Adults with DD and their Caregivers: Develop a statewide network of virtual health centers and Medicaid health homes supported by telehealth.

  • The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston

Self-Advocates in Participatory Action Research: Create online resources for people with DD to meaningfully participate in research on topics important to their lives.

  • Strategic Education Solutions

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

  • Family to Family Network
  • Integral Care
  • The Arc of Harris County

Council Business and Discussions

Council members elected Jamie Thomas, of Abilene, to serve as the Council vice-chair and Eric Shahid, of Somerville, to continue serving as the self-advocate member-at-large to the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee supervises and evaluates the TCDD executive director; develops and monitors policies and procedures; approves grant awards and monitors the grant-awarding process; and acts on behalf of the full Council for emergency matters.

The Council engaged in presentations on important disability topics and initiatives:

  • Complex Mental Health Needs: John Rochford and Vadim Droznin from the University of Massachusetts Chan Medical Center gave updates on an ongoing TCDD-funded project to create an online resource for mental health care information and referrals for people with DD and service providers.
  • Be An Angel: Margaret Adsit shared information about Be An Angel, a Houston-based nonprofit dedicated to improving the quality of life for children across Texas who have multiple disabilities or profound deafness by providing adaptive equipment and related services.

In addition to these presentations, Council members also discussed disability-related public policy issues and future funding priorities in TCDD’s strategic state plan.

Next Meetings

TCDD’s next quarterly meetings are scheduled from May 1-3. To receive announcements about future meetings, subscribe to our newsletter.



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