Texas Parent to Parent — Advocacy Network

Advocacy Network

  • Impact
    • 743 advocates were trained
      • Advocates came from 134 representative districts
      • 105 new collaborators were introduced to advocacy around disabilities
      • Many parties who were not self-advocates or family members were trained
    • Four face-to-face volunteer trainings were held
    • 18 one-on-one trainings and legislative visits with parents were held
    • Volunteers were seen as community leaders and were asked to speak and teach in increasing numbers
      • 16 volunteers served on state advisory boards
      • 12 volunteers lead fellow advocates on specific issues
      • 2 volunteers helped teach an advocacy course at UT and Texas A&M University
      • 1 volunteer hosted a monthly advocacy meeting in Georgetown
    • Advocates participated in 12 interim hearings
    • Advocates made 64 legislative visits to staff
    • Worked on several bills with families and self-advocates

Statewide Need
TCDD staff provides inputs to legislators, agencies, and others on policy issues, legislation impacts, and measures that promote inclusion, access, and support for people with developmental disabilities (DD). TCDD also provides support for advocates to collaborate with others. Upon conducting a review of its public policy collaboration and renewed commitment to promote collaborative policy efforts, TCDD chose to explore other effective models that promote collaboration and intends to provide funding for innovative activities that include nationally recognized best practices.

Project Goal
Develop a statewide advocacy network that will recruit and train individuals to advocate on community-based issues in health and human services. Develop the Texas Parent to Parent (TxP2P) Advocacy Program to train, and provide ongoing support to a diverse group of volunteers from every House District. Volunteers will advocate for community-based issues in health and human services for people with DD and have monthly interactions with local representatives or staff.

Project Summary
Through the project, 743 parent volunteers of children with DD, self-advocates, and siblings from 134 representative districts were trained, including 105 new collaborators who were introduced to disability advocacy.

Advocates were recruited from both major political parties. They were connected with their legislators, and TxP2P helped these advocates learn how to work with legislators and state agencies to make changes.Many advocates also came to Austin for rallies and marches during the legislative sessions. In addition to self-advocates and family, TxP2P recruited non-family individuals with an interest in DD issues. The largest group came from nursing classes at the University of Texas (UT). The organization worked with families and self-advocates on many bills and were also instrumental in getting advocates to the Public Hearings.

TxP2P developed a training curriculum and program outreach materials. An advocacy article was developed for each of the organization’s quarterly newsletters. Calls for parents working on legislation were hosted, with weekly conference calls serving to unite advocates and help parents learn how to advocate to state agencies and the legislature.

Project Period
Feb 2011 – Jan 2016

3710 Cedar St., Box 12
Austin, TX 78705

Geographic Reach

shape of state of Texas colored orange