This Legislative Session, Lauren Gerken, The Arc of Texas Policy Fellow and self-advocate, testified before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on behalf of funding Early Childhood Intervention (ECI). She shared her first-hand experience of how ECI helped change the course of her life.

After hearing Lauren’s story, The House Appropriations Subcommittee voted to fund the necessary $72 million for Early Childhood Intervention.

This funding will allow toddlers with disabilities access to needed therapies so that they may grow to thrive and contribute as community members.

Now we need to make sure the House keeps the funding in the budget, and we need to keep working to ensure the Senate adds it to their budget too.

Changes are being made here in Texas, and it is thanks to the power of testimony from self-advocates. We encourage our community of self-advocates to continue sharing their stories. Together, we will continue The Arc of Texas’ mission to promote, protect, and advocate for the rights and self-determination of all Texans with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Many thanks go to Sarah Davis and The House Subcommittee for listening and responding to Lauren’s story.