May 2024 Council Meeting Wrap-up

Table of Contents

TCDD held quarterly meetings online and in person in Houston from May 1-3. During the meetings, Council members awarded grant funding for new and ongoing projects and discussed important disability issues and initiatives. Here are some highlights and key takeaways.

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, the Council awarded new grant funding to the Valley Association for Independent Living for a project to increase employment opportunities for people with DD living in South Texas.

In addition to this new project, Council members awarded funding to existing TCDD grantees to continue three ongoing projects.

Inclusive Postsecondary Education: Create an affordable and sustainable four-year inclusive postsecondary education project for students with DD.

  • Texas State University  

Sexual Assault Prevention and Response: Research and analyze the current state of sexual assault prevention, reporting, and criminal prosecution in cases involving Texans with DD.

  • University of Massachusetts Chan Medical School  

Trauma-Informed Mental Health Care for Youth with DD: Improve emergency care for young adults with DD who experience mental health crises.

  • Meadows Mental Health Policy Institute  

TCDD 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:

  • Children’s Disabilities Information Coalition (Children’s Disabilities Symposium)
  • Chrysalis Spectrum (Disability Comic Con)
  • Jewish Family Services Houston (ReelAbilities Houston Film and Arts Festival)
  • Lone Star College-Montgomery (Neurodiversity Awareness Month)
  • Manifest Academy (Self-Determination Camp)
  • Texas A&M University Health Science Center (ABA Training Conference for Chinese American Families with DD)

Presentations and Discussions

The Council approves and monitors TCDD’s strategic state plan, which guides projects and policy work. This quarter, Council members discussed future state plan activities, including a project to support self-determination and choice-making among youth with DD ages 14 and younger.

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

  • Accessible Child Care: Allison Martinez with the Texas Health and Human Services Commission covered new state child care regulations; Jolene Sanders with the Coalition of Texans with Disabilities (CTD) spoke about legislative efforts; and Jennifer Cox of My Health My Resources and Bethany Edwards of the Early Learning Alliance shared information about accessible child care initiatives in Tarrant County.
  • Early Choices Matter: Beth Swedeen, executive director of the Wisconsin Board for People with Developmental Disabilities, discussed the board’s activities on leadership training and supported decision-making for youth with DD.
  • Older Americans Month: Dr. June Sadowsky with The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston highlighted the progress of a TCDD-funded project to develop a telehealth-supported statewide network of virtual health centers and Medicaid health homes for older adults with DD.
  • Public Policy Fellows: Dylan Bricker with the Epilepsy Foundation of Central and South Texas, Hannah Gill with the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Texas, and Jennifer Toon with CTD shared information about their TCDD-funded public policy fellowships.   

Council members received updates on TCDD-led activities on leadership training and social media advocacy training. The Council also approved the 2024-2025 TCDD Public Policy Priorities. The priorities will be available on the TCDD website ahead of the 89th Texas legislative session, which begins in January 2025.

Next Meetings

TCDD’s next quarterly meetings are scheduled from Aug. 7-9. To receive announcements about future meetings, subscribe to our newsletter.



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