The Arc of Greater Houston — Outreach and Development Project

Outreach and Development Project

Statewide Need
Information from health, education, and social service agencies shows that people who are black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, Asian or Native American are often less likely to receive the services and supports needed to be fully included in their communities. Frequently, available services and supports are not culturally competent. Support groups can help people receive culturally competent services and supports so that they can be fully included in their community. These groups can also provide feedback on how to create change so that services can be provided in ways that are a good fit with the cultural values, characteristics and customs of the people they serve.

Project Goal
Expand existing program to include more Spanish speaking families and include more information about advocacy and resources. Empower families to identify and access resources in their communities and provide a safe atmosphere where Hispanic families can discuss issues that affect them. Create partnerships with culturally competent service providers. Teach families advocacy skills so they can secure needed supports and help with understanding of legal issues regarding their family members with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).

Project Summary
The Arc developed trainings that met the culturally specific needs of Spanish-speaking families while working to meet various levels of understanding in an atmosphere that shows a willingness to listen. Trainings were held one-on-one, in person, by phone or in small monthly group meetings. By leveraging the Arc’s Guardianship packet, the organization helped families gain a better understanding of legal issues. Families also gained a better understanding of available services and how to access them including Medicaid and Medicaid waiver programs. Tools to develop advocacy skills were provided, and families were encouraged to participate in community activities designed for individuals with IDD.

In addition to the trainings, The Arc organized the First Annual Spanish Conference for Family and Children with Special Needs. The conference empowered parents to access resources available in the community, to work with people with IDD and their families to improve their quality of life, and to expand opportunities to participate actively in the community.

  • Impact
    • 125 people received one-on-one or small group training
    • 104 people attended the First Annual Spanish Conference for Family and Children with Special Needs
    • Parents were empowered to become advocates for their children in all areas of their lives

Project Period
Jan 2011 – Dec 2011

9401 Southwest Freeway
12th floor
Houston, TX 77074

Geographic Reach
Houston area