ALMA — Outreach and Development Project

Outreach and Development Project

Statewide Need
More than half of Texans are black, Hispanic/Latino, Asian or Native American and are less likely to receive the services and support their family needs. We can better understand the different values, cultures and customs in Texas to inform the Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities’ future advocacy work, planning and grant project development. We hope to do this by building relationships with organizations that are working to improve the lives of individuals from ethnic minority cultures, to support leaders to change the systems that provide supports and services, and to assist people of ethnic minorities who have developmental disabilities (DD) to have better access to services and supports.

Project Goal
Improve the quality of life of individuals in the Latino community by empowering the parents of persons with DD to learn about the service delivery system in Texas. Encourage families to become active advocates by increasing their understanding of services across the life milestones of their family member with a DD. Develop a sustainable network that provides Spanish speaking families with information and guidance. Document the use of culturally sensitive communication skills training through a curriculum created by Advocacy for Living in Mainstream America (ALMA) to build upon the participating families’ ability to advocate effectively and become informed decision makers.

Project Summary
ALMA set up a system to record, document and track disability services provided in the Austin, El Paso and Dallas/Ft. Worth areas. A total of 208 Latino families participated in the project and agreed to become part of a database for further study of issues in services to persons with DD. ALMA also established a collaborative effort among agencies, grassroots organizations and professionals who were interested in continuing to work cooperatively to address issues that Latino families face in Texas.

A total of 24 parent trainings were held. 160 individuals participated in the trainings. An additional 22 families were provided technical assistance such as Admission, Review, and Dismissal (ARD) attendance, ARD strategies, referrals to community resources, and information regarding Medicaid Waivers. Another 26 families were provided informational support at exhibit tables/booths.

Meetings were held in private homes as well as churches, schools, and community centers. Food was brought to share, and children’s clothes were swapped with families. Many individuals could only participate if they brought their children to the trainings. Volunteers assisted with childcare and entertainment so that parents could participate. All presenters were bilingual Spanish speakers and activities were conducted in Spanish.

Support materials were translated into Spanish, including the parent training communication skills curriculum, evaluation surveys, exercises, and a marketing flyer.

ALMA established a network of individuals, agencies, community resources, and families across Texas that could serve to sustain supports and information. ALMA staff learned more about how to network, how to reach community resources and strategies for reaching Latino families of persons with DD.

  • Impact
    — 208 Latino families participated in the project
    • 24 parent trainings were held with 160 participants
    • 22 families were provided technical assistance
    • 26 families were provided informational support at exhibit tables/booths.

Project Period
Jan 2013 – Feb 2014

Geographic Reach
Travis, Williamson, Bastrop, Hays, Caldwell and Burnet counties

ALMA TCDD Geographic Reach