Introducing Texas Partners
for Inclusive Access
Join us to improve access and discover resources about the COVID-19 vaccine.
New Joint Initiative Aims to Reduce Barriers and Increase Education Around COVID-19 Vaccines
The Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities (TCDD) is pleased to announce a new partnership with 19 other state agencies, university research centers, and community-serving organizations across the state to reduce barriers to accessing health care and other resources where they live and work.
The partnership was initiated in June 2021 by TCDD, Disability Rights Texas, the University of Texas at Austin, Texas A&M University, Texas Advocates, the Arc of Texas, and the Texas Department of State Health Services. Efforts, including providing direct support and case management, sharing educational resources, and conducting grassroots outreach, are funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in partnership with the Administration for Community Living (ACL).
COVID-19 Vaccine Initiative
Texas Partners for Inclusive Access began as a coordinated effort to help Texans with disabilities, their families, and caregivers make an informed decision about getting the COVID-19 vaccine and arrange appointments, transportation, interpretation services, and more if a vaccine is desired.
“By engaging in community conversations, providing educational information through local outreach, working closely with medical professionals and vaccine clinic providers, and providing direct support and guidance for people who need assistance, TCDD aims to inspire more people with DD to get the COVID-19 vaccine and to create a more accessible and inclusive vaccination experience,” says Dr. Beth Stalvey, TCDD executive director. “TCDD is proud to partner with fellow mission-driven organizations across the state and to invite others to join us in providing increased support and reduce barriers to health care for Texans with disabilities and their families.”
Stipend Applications Now Open
While partners plan to collaborate around a number of issues to enhance community-based supports for Texans with disabilities, Texas Partners for Inclusive Access are focused on COVID-19 response and increasing access to trustworthy information and supports pertaining to vaccines. As part of this Vaccine Access Initiative, TCDD has opened a request for applications for stipends of up to $15,000 to increase community-based access to COVID-19 vaccines. Organizations, including public, private, nonprofit, and academic, are encouraged to submit innovative ideas that meet the needs of their community to reduce barriers to vaccinations among individuals with disabilities. Some proposed projects may include hosting pop-up clinics designed with accessibility and inclusion at the forefront, conducting an educational outreach campaign, hosting a meet and greet with medical professionals to address vaccine-related questions at community centers, faith-based organizations, and restaurants, and more. Supporting access to vaccines will become increasingly important this fall as we learn more about boosters and vaccines for younger age groups.
Stipends will be distributed as funding is available through Sept. 30, 2022. Funding is provided by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration on Community Living, in partnership with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Organizations can apply online at tcdd.texas.gov or by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
TCDD is also conducting grassroots outreach to help form access to trusted peer support groups within communities across Texas and is actively providing informational resources and accessibility recommendations to legislators, medical professionals, and vaccine clinic providers.
Those in need of support to connect with medical professionals, arrange appointments and transportation, and more can contact the Disability Rights Texas hotline at 1-800-880-8401 or vaccine@DRTx.org.
Anyone can get involved at InclusiveAccessTexas.org by:
- Sharing informational resources with friends, family members, and neighbors
- Applying to be a peer ambassador in your community with the Your Best Shot street team
- Sharing your personal vaccine experience on social media using the hashtag #YourBestShotTX
- Submitting input on your needs for support and services via our online form
- Applying for a stipend to increase outreach and support to access to vaccines in your local community
Texas Partner for Inclusive Access organizations currently include:
The Arc of Texas; Amistad; Brazos Valley Center for Independent Living; Coastal Bend Center for Independent Living; Connect to Care; Disability Rights Texas; FEMA; House the Homeless, Inc.; Providers Alliance for Community Services of Texas; Rio Grande Aging, Disability and Transportation Resource Center; State Independent Living Council (SILC); Texas Advocates; Texas A&M Center on Disability and Development; Texas Department of State Health Services; Texas Governor’s Committee on People with Disabilities; University of Texas at Austin Center for Disability Studies, Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities; Texas Health and Human Services; Texas Technology Access Program; and West Texas Aging and Disability Resource Center.
Learn more at InclusiveAccessTexas.org.