November 2021
Council Meeting Wrap-up

TCDD held its quarterly Council and Committee meetings both virtually and in person from Nov. 2-5, 2021. During the meetings, the Council awarded funding to continue the development of TCDD projects. Council members also discussed current and future state plan activities. 

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, the Council awarded funding to continue the development of three TCDD projects:

  • Children’s Disabilities Information Coalition — Leadership Development and Advocacy Training: create a leadership and advocacy training program led by self-advocates for people with DD in El Paso with the goal to support participants in developing the skills and confidence to say what they want and what is important to them
  • Family to Family Network — Creating Person-Centered Financial Security: increase awareness of the importance of financial planning for the future for people with DD and families in the Greater Houston area
  • West Central Texas Council of Governments — Sexual Assault Response and Prevention: develop training and networking opportunities for people with DD, family members, service providers, and others in West Central Texas to help reduce the number of people with DD who experience sexual assault 

With funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, TCDD had stipends available to increase access to COVID-19 vaccines for people with disabilities. So far, TCDD has provided stipends to nine organizations to increase community-based vaccine access:

  • Alamo Area Council of Governments
  • Akili’s Corner
  • Disability in Action
  • Education Programs Inspiring Communities
  • Imagine Enterprises
  • Special Olympics Texas
  • Texas Tech University
  • The Harris Center for Mental Health and IDD
  • University of Houston-Clear Lake

TCDD also provides stipends to increase access to disability information and advocacy opportunities. Stipends can be used for speakers, translation and interpretation services, and events. However, the events stipends have been suspended until further notice due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This quarter, the Council awarded a speaker stipend to the Arc of Harris County for the annual Positive Futures Conference in Houston.

Council Business

The Council approves and implements TCDD’s state plan, which guides projects and policy work. During their meetings, Council members considered the following future state plan activities:

  • Review programs, partnerships, and best practices in Texas for young adults with DD who are 18 and older and want to prepare for post-secondary education
  • Develop a technical assistance hub to support school districts in creating and maintaining post-secondary programs for young adults with DD who are 18 and older
  • Create videos to raise awareness among election poll watchers about voters with disabilities and their needs and supports

Council members also reviewed several governance matters, including Council policies and procedures and state administrative rules.

Presentations and Discussion

The Council heard a presentation on a recently completed project coordinated by the University of North Texas Health Science Center. The project involved research into substance-use disorder in people with DD, including estimating the percentage of people with DD in Texas who have been treated for substance-use disorder and identifying treatment barriers. A final report will follow.

Council members participated in a listening session led by the SAFE Alliance as part of a project to develop a replicable and sustainable program providing education, training, and resources to reduce the risk of sexual assault for people with DD.

TCDD monitors disability-related legislation that could impact programs and services in Texas. During their meetings, Council members received an update on activities in the Texas Legislature, including disability-related bills passed by lawmakers during recent special sessions. The Council also discussed TCDD recommendations on legislative interim charges.

Next Meetings

TCDD’s next quarterly meetings will take place Feb. 2-4, 2022. To receive announcements about future meetings, subscribe to our newsletter and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.