In February, the Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities (TCDD) Council members visited with their legislators at the Texas State Capitol to advocate for important disability-related issues and to offer themselves as a resource.
Before heading to the Capitol, Council members were briefed about the disability-related programs and services that could be impacted during the 85th Texas Legislature. Members were also briefed about legislative activity and trends at the state and federal levels.
In all, Council members visited more than 20 legislative offices. During the visits, Council members discussed how important services and programs are to helping people with disabilities in Texas to be included in their communities and be in control of their own lives. Council members discussed (A) reducing interest lists so more people with disabilities can live in the community, (B) the importance of community integrated employment at a competitive wage, and (C) how per person funding for state supported living centers has been rising while the number of residents has been falling.
During the visits, Council members also offered to serve as a resource for the legislators back in their districts. Each Council member has experience with disability issues, ties to their local community, and access to information about TCDD projects. If a legislator ever needs a disability perspective, they know who to contact.
“The Council is committed to working together with legislators to improve the lives of Texans with disabilities,” said Mary Durheim, TCDD Chair. “We look forward to strengthening relationships with our legislators and to serving as a resource on disability issues.”
TCDD is governed by 27 Governor-appointed board members, 60% of whom are individuals with developmental disabilities or family members of individuals with disabilities. The Council meets quarterly in the Austin area. Learn more about becoming a Council member on TCDD’s Become a Council Member webpage.