Disability Policy Academy

Public Policy Advocacy

About Disability Policy Academies:

TCDD coordinates Disability Policy Academies to provide policy professionals and community advocates with an educational deep dive on a specific disability-related topic. Participants are given the opportunity to learn the background of an issue, hear from leading experts on the topic, and leave with action steps they can implement in their own work.

Upcoming Programs

DD Experience in the COVID-19 Pandemic: Developing Responsive Public Policy
Thursday, March 11, 2021
2-3:30 p.m. CT
Register for this event

This program was originally scheduled for Feb. 16, 2021, but was rescheduled due to severe weather.

The next installment in TCDD’s Disability Policy Academy series, “DD Experience in the COVID-19 Pandemic: Developing Responsive Public Policy,” will feature a conversation with renowned infectious disease expert Dr. Peter Hotez, a professor of pediatrics and molecular virology at Baylor College of Medicine, and Dr. Emily Hotez, assistant professor at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA. The father-daughter team will discuss COVID-19 and disabilities and share insights from a paper they recently wrote on the topic.

This conversation will be followed by a presentation on personal accounts and data collected through TCDD’s Texas COVID Stories campaign, which included two statewide surveys concerning the impacts of COVID-19 on self-advocates and family members of people with developmental disabilities. The academy will close with an overview of COVID-19 policies under consideration by the Texas Legislature and a Q&A session.

Past Programs

Public Input During the 87th Texas Legislature
hursday, January 14, 2021

This program took place virtually two days after the start of the 87th Texas Legislative Session to discuss methods and opportunities for public input, as well as COVID-19 safety protocols. A panel of experts, including Jacob Cottingham from the office of Representative Donna Howard, Bryan Law of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee, and Mel Hocker, past president of Texas Advocates, was moderated by TCDD Public Policy Director Scott Daigle.

During the Disability Policy Academy, TCDD addressed questions about advocacy in the 87th session of the Texas Legislature, including:

  • How will the public communicate with lawmakers amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic?
  • What is the expectation for in-person vs. remote input this session?
  • What COVID-19 safety precautions are being taken at the Capitol?
  • What resources can be used to track legislation?
  • What are some tips for being an effective advocate?

Previous TCDD Disability Policy Academy topics have included:

  • Residential Options for People with Developmental Disabilities in Texas
  • 2020 Legislative Elections Wrap-up
  • The Future of Service Delivery
  • Sexual Assault
  • Medicaid Services
  • Alternatives to Guardianship

To request a recording of a past program, please contact TCDD at tcdd@tcdd.texas.gov.