Family to Family Network, Inc.

Disability Leadership Network of Houston

Statewide Need
There is a continued need for the development of training programs and resources to assist Texans with developmental disabilities (DD) and their families learn leadership and advocacy skills. To do this, leadership development and advocacy skills training programs must exist in many different areas around the state. Because it is unlikely that any one organization can provide enough funding to meet the demand, it is imperative that organizations that offer this kind of training work with others. This type of collaboration can help to increase the number of identified leadership development and advocacy training programs that are able to provide appropriate training for individuals with DD.

Project Goal
Train adults with DD, family members and other community members on topics related to self-determination, self-advocacy, person-centered planning, history and philosophy of the disability movement, and inclusive education.

Project Summary
Family to Family Network developed and facilitated four full-day training sessions for individuals with DD and interested community members. The sessions were designed to provide information related to the basic philosophies and values of the Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities (TCDD) as well as to facilitate the development of advocacy skills necessary to make personal contacts for the purpose of self or public policy advocacy. The course session included:

  • History, People First Language & Changing Attitudes;
  • Inclusive Communities;
  • Self-Advocacy and Person Directed Planning; and
  • Tell Your Story/Advocate.

Spanish language training events covered self-advocacy, inclusive communities and empowerment. A teen training session was held each year focused on self-advocacy, employment, post-secondary education and person-centered planning.

Pre-training, post-training and follow-up surveys were conducted to gauge participant satisfaction. Most participants found the material was relevant to their needs and would improve their ability to self-advocate. Additionally, participants felt that the speakers were sensitive to participants’ individual situations.

  • Impact
    • 79 individuals completed all four training sessions on basic philosophies of TCDD
      • 122 attended first session on “History, People First Language & Changing Attitudes”
      • 115 attended second session on “Inclusive Communities”
      • 99 attended third session on “Self-Advocacy and Person Directed Planning”
      • 79 attended fourth session on “Learning to Tell Your Story/Advocate”
    • 123 attended the Spanish training events covering self-advocacy, inclusive communities and
    • 137 attended the teen portion of the conferences
    • 339 different persons educated on the philosophies of the TCDD and basic advocacy skills

Project Period
Jun 2009 – May 2012

16225 Park Ten Place #500
Houston, TX 77084

Geographic Reach
Brazoria, Chambers, Ft. Bend, Galveston, Harris, Liberty, Montgomery and Waller counties