November 2022 Council Meeting Wrap-up
TCDD held quarterly Council and Committee meetings both virtually and in person from Nov. 2-4, 2022. During the meetings, Council members awarded funding to new and ongoing projects; strategized future grant and policy activities; and discussed disability issues and legislative advocacy opportunities.
Funding Awards and Stipends
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, Council members awarded funding for five grants in four new projects: Civic Engagement for People with Disabilities, Disability Cultural Humility for Elected Officials, Self-Advocates in Participatory Action Research, and Treatment for Substance-Use Disorders. The following information includes project descriptions and organizations awarded funding.
Civic Engagement for People with Disabilities: Develop a civic engagement training program for people with disabilities that incorporates issues and language that reflect disability culture as well as strategies for participants to connect with peers, civic organizations, media outlets, and elected officials.
- Children’s Disabilities Information Coalition
Disability Cultural Humility for Elected Officials: Develop training for elected officials in Texas to better understand people with disabilities.
- Metrocare Services
Self-Advocates in Participatory Action Research: Enhance self-advocate opportunities to have a voice in research about disability issues and increase connections between researchers and the community.
- Strategic Education Solutions
Treatment for Substance-Use Disorders: Promote statewide capacity building and systems change improvements in the prevention, identification, and treatment of substance-use disorders among people with DD.
- University of North Texas Health Science Center
In addition to funding new projects, Council members also awarded funding to existing TCDD grantees to continue the development of grants in two ongoing projects.
Leadership Development and Advocacy Training led by Self-Advocates: Support self-advocates to develop their skills, participate in local self-advocacy groups and partnerships, and become more visible leaders in their communities.
Sexual Assault Response and Prevention: Reduce the number of people with DD who are victims and survivors of sexual assault.
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:
- Autism Society of El Paso: Annual Autism Conference for Parents (Events, Speakers, and Translation)
- Chrysalis Spectrum: Aging with a Disability (Events and Speakers)
- Coalition of Texans with Disabilities: 19th Annual Cinema Touching Disability Film Festival (Speakers)
- Down Syndrome Association of Central Texas: Education Conference (Speakers)
- Harris County Department of Education: Art and Science of Handwriting Intervention (Speakers)
- Lone Star College-Montgomery: Disabilities – Part of the Equity Equation Conference (Speakers)
- Rio Grande Valley Down Syndrome Association: Better Together Think Inclusion Conference (Events)
Discussions and Presentations
The Council approves and monitors TCDD’s strategic state plan, which guides projects and policy work. During their meetings, the Council discussed future state plan activities, including projects to provide and promote culturally competent supports for families of people with DD.
In addition to state plan activities, Council members reviewed priorities and advocacy strategies for the upcoming Texas legislative session. The Council also viewed a new video, titled “People with Disabilities Vote: Here’s What Poll Workers Should Know,” that shares essential voting information for people with disabilities and poll workers. TCDD developed the video developed in collaboration with partners in the disability community.
Council members engaged in discussions on disability topics, with presenters including:
- State Rep. Mary González, on strategies to address policy issues important to people with disabilities;
- Dennis Borel, executive director of the Coalition of Texans with Disabilities, on a new report on community attendant wages;
- Ellen Bauman of the Texas Governor’s Committee on People with Disabilities, on legislative recommendations on guardianship; and
- Kayla Melcho and John Serrano of the Houston Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities, on disability advocacy efforts on the local level.
TCDD’s next quarterly meetings will take place Feb. 8-10, 2023. To receive announcements about future meetings, subscribe to our newsletter.