Honoring 2023 and Looking Forward to 2024

The Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities Logo
Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities Logo

Table of Contents

Honoring 2023 and Looking Forward to 2024

As we say goodbye to 2023, the Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities (TCDD) reflects on the significant milestones achieved this past year and the impact made in the lives of Texans with developmental disabilities (DD). Looking back, we celebrate the collaborative efforts, unwavering dedication, and positive outcomes that have shaped our journey.

TILT cast members gather before their performance of Peter Pan

In 2023, TCDD successfully launched and supported over 50 diverse projects and initiatives that enhanced the quality of life for people with DD. We reached 25,074 participants in TCDD-funded activities, ranging from topics that included dental health training, financial planning, reading groups, employment, and more. We are honored to have built over 300 active partnerships across the state through our Regional Coordinator program with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service. Keep an eye out for our upcoming annual report, where we will share more details on how we worked to expand inclusion, independence, and self-determination for all Texans with DD in 2023.

Photo, above: TILT cast members gather before their performance of Peter Pan in Austin, Texas, which was part of a TCDD-funded project.

Welcoming 2024

Looking toward this new year, we are excited for the upcoming projects and initiatives that will further our mission of promoting independence, inclusion, and self-determination for all Texans with DD. You can stay updated on available funding and TCDD stipend opportunities on our website.

Youth Ambassadors for Alternatives to Guardianship

We are proud to have selected four exceptional youth ambassadors for our Center on Youth Voice, Youth Choice program. This initiative, backed by a five-year grant from the U.S. Administration for Community Living, marks a significant step in promoting alternatives to guardianship for young adults with DD. This year, ambassadors will use their creativity and individuality to share what they have learned through independent projects within their communities.    

Photos below: Youth Ambassadors from left to right: Kason Erwin, Ashley Sattler, Matthew Leos, Paola Martinez

Kason Erwin sits on stairs and smiles. He is holding a football. A basketball is at his feet
Headshot of Ashley Sattler. She has dark, short hair and is smiling.
Matthew Leos stands in front of a tree and water, smiling. He is wearing a Dallas Cowboys jersey.
Paola Martinez smiling. She has long dark hair and is wearing a black sweater.

Employment in South Texas

The Rio Grande Valley is a culturally rich and economically diverse region located in the southernmost tip of Texas. The region has disproportionately lower rates of employment for people with intellectual disabilities compared to other parts of our state. Our Council will engage in activities to increase opportunities for employment for early-career adult Texans in South Texas and address barriers related to language and access to resources in the region.

Opportunities to Learn and Take Action

TCDD offers training opportunities for people with DD, family members, professionals, and others to explore topics and learn advocacy skills. Leadership programs range from a deep dive into disability policy to condensed, fast-paced programs that promote best practices in policymaking and advance specific skills.

The Texas Partners in Policymaking program offers an advanced leadership and advocacy program for self-advocates and family members. Each year, about 30 people are selected for this six-month program. Participants learn legislative advocacy skills from national disability experts, develop innovative projects, and work to impact policy and create long-term change in Texas. The application period for Partners begins on Jan. 22, 2024.

Training Sprints. Advance your disability advocacy skills.

In addition, TCDD is now offering virtual training opportunities for people wanting to gain advocacy skills in only four weeks! This new Training Sprints series is perfect for self-advocates, family members, and community allies who want to advance their advocacy skills in a fast-paced environment. This program has two tracks launching this month on topics related to leadership positions and building public speaking skills. Registration for the January session closes on Jan. 12, 2024.

A New Year

Looking toward 2024, TCDD remains dedicated to our mission and we are grateful to our partners, participants, and community for your unwavering support. We look forward to another year of meaningful progress and positive impact.

Wishing everyone a prosperous and inclusive new year!



Sign Up To Our Newsletter

Subscribe to TCDD eNews and receive important disability-related information via email. Just enter your email address and name, and then select the information you wish to receive.

* indicates required
Select the information you wish to receive:

When you press subscribe you are agreeing to TCDD’s Privacy Policy