Lauren Gerken Joins TCDD as Public Policy Analyst

Lauren Gerken

The Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities (TCDD) is pleased to announce the selection of Lauren Gerken as a public policy analyst. In her role, Gerken monitors disability issues in Texas and conducts activities that advance TCDD’s public policy priorities.

Before joining TCDD, Gerken was a DD Policy Fellow at The Arc of Texas. Her fellowship, which was part of a TCDD-funded project, focused on employment policy and supported efforts to pass Senate Bill 753 during the 86th Texas Legislature in 2019. The bill established wage requirements for community rehabilitation programs participating in the Texas Purchasing from People with Disabilities Program.

Gerken also previously worked as an early childhood intervention policy specialist with the Texas Health and Human Services Commission and as a policy intern at Easterseals Central Texas.

“It’s my mission to teach people that disability is not a weakness or something to be pitied,” said Gerken, who has cerebral palsy. “I’ve spent my life proving that disability is synonymous with resilience, a good sense of humor, creativity, and a great work ethic. I love working for an agency that amplifies every bit of that through our work!”

Gerken is in a doctoral program at Texas State University in the field of adult, professional, and community education. She also has a master’s degree in disability studies from The City University of New York and a bachelor’s degree in English from Concordia University.

When not at work or school, Gerken enjoys reading and writing fiction, watching off-beat films, and hanging out with her dog, Buddy.

Gerken is originally from Upstate New York and moved in Texas in 2011. She joined TCDD on July 1, 2020.



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