The Arc of Texas — Texas Microboard Collaboration

Texas Microboard Collaboration

Project Goal
Provide individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) a system to achieve self-determination with support from people who know and care about them.

Project Summary
A microboard is a small group of family and friends who unite with a person with IDD to create a nonprofit organization and develop a person-centered plan (PCP) that addresses the individual’s support needs. Through the Texas Microboard Collaboration (TMC), hundreds of people became better informed about this way to provide higher care to people with disabilities, which helps friends and family members with IDD to live more self-determined lives and helps individuals be more involved in their communities. Seventeen microboards were formed in the first year and 11 people were sent by TMC to a microboard conference in Tennessee. Presentations and trainings on microboards were made and TMC marketed the concept through mailings, newsletters, and presentations. Flyers and other materials in English and Spanish were created, as well as legal templates and instructions needed to charter microboards in the state of Texas. Approximately 50 microboards were officially chartered or formed in a more informal manner.

Staff developed processes for Community Living Assistance and Support Services, Home and Community Based Services, and Planning Alternative Tomorrows with Hope (PATH) microboards. Twenty-five presentations were given across the state on these topics. Regional coordinators were hired to provide technical advice to existing microboards and those in the process of forming. Coordinators also helped in giving presentations on microboards and educating many people about the concept. Microboards were highlighted in each of The Arc’s quarterly newsletters and TMC developed its own bimonthly newsletter for those interested in microboards. Microboards 101 webinars were given on a monthly basis, with 100 participating in the first webinar and about 20 for each subsequent presentation. TMC also held a “microconference” with over 100 people in attendance.

TMC held a PATH facilitator training and 14 people were certified in PATH. TMC developed a ‘Train the Trainer’ model for PATH. Coordinators were available to facilitate PATH plans for families starting the microboard process. Staff from 10 different local authorities and five different school districts participated in the conferences. The first contract with Department of Aging Disability Services was fulfilled and an additional contract to train one staff person per local authority per year was granted. Onsite training for a local authority at the Heart of Texas was held through which over 100 PATH plans were produced for consumers in year four. Conference calls were held to better support local authority staff and discuss best practices in using PATH for PCPs. PATH was being used widely at local authorities as a result of TMC efforts.

  • Impact
    • Around 500 people learned about microboards and PATH through presentations given at conferences, schools, parent groups, and other venues
    • 50 microboards were officially chartered or formed in a more informal manner
    • Around 300 PATH facilitators were trained and certified
    • 11 individuals were sent to a microboard conference in Tennessee
    • 100 individuals participated in the first Microboard 101 webinar
      • Approximately 20 individuals participated in each subsequent webinar
    • 100 individuals attended the “microconference” on July 16-17, 2010
    • Heart of Texas produced over 100 PATH plans for its consumers
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Project Period
Sep 2012 – Aug 2013

Geographic Reach
Travis, Harris, Dallas, Tarrant, El Paso and Bexar counties