The Arc of Texas — Project Move

Project MOVE

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 culturally appropriate training for individuals with DD.

Project Goal
Provide basic advocacy and public policy advocacy training across the state of Texas to individuals with disabilities, their family members, and other interested community members.

Project Summary
MOVE leadership received basic and advanced training through the Midwest Academy which they used to develop a curriculum. Topics covered in the curriculum include the history and philosophy of the disability movement, public policy and legislative processes, effective advocacy skills, public speaking and providing testimony, promoting partnerships and peer support, and disability policy issues.

MOVE trained hundreds of individuals across the state of Texas to use these skills to advocate for systems change at the Texas Capitol and in their communities. In the first year, participants took nearly 150 legislative actions, including writing letters, making phone calls, meeting with legislators, testifying, and attending rallies. At the end of year one the Austin trainer created and launched a web-based community activity which involved letter writing.

Quarterly emails were sent to current and past participants with updates in the legislature and recommended advocacy activities. Leading up to the start of the 84th legislative session, individuals were trained on how to make legislative visits and continue to build relationships. During the interim session, Project MOVE partnered with Project SPEAK and brought in 10 past participants to provide a training and mock hearing at the Capitol.

  • Impact
    • 287 people attended trainings and workshops
    • 247 people benefited from quality assurance efforts prior to presenting at state and local conferences
    • Participants have joined boards, started their own organizations, and currently sit on state appointed task forces
    • In the first grant year alone, MOVE participants took nearly 150 legislative actions
  • Resources

Project Period
Mar 2012 – Feb 2015

8001 Centre Park., Suite 100
Austin, TX 78754

Geographic Reach

Austin, San Antonio, Rio Grande Valley and the Amarillo/Central Plains Region

shape of state of Texas in blue with Bexar, Willacy, Hidalgo, Travis, Potter, Cameron, and Starr counties colored orange