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2019 Policy Priorities
The 2019 Legislative Session commenced Tuesday, January 8th. This means The Arc of Texas Public Policy and Advocacy Team will be hard at work educating lawmakers about important policies that affect the lives of Texans with intellectual & developmental disabilities (IDD) and their families. Texas only goes into a legislative session every two years. This year will be crucial for expanding and improving services for people with IDD.
Issues that are important to The Arc of Texas in this session include Quality Community-Based Services and Supports, Early Intervention and Inclusive Education, Competitive, Integrated Employment, and Criminal Justice outcomes. Keep an eye out for further details on these priorities for the 2019 Legislative Session.
Improve access, delivery, and quality of community- based services and supports for Texans with intellectual & developmental disabilities.
Enhance Texas’ public education system to provide evidence-based, effective educational supports and services for students with disabilities in the least restrictive setting.
Advance criminal justice best practices to remove the barriers to justice that Texans with intellectual & developmental disabilities face when they come into contact with the criminal justice system.
Support competitive, integrated employment opportunities for transition age youth and adults with intellectual & developmental disabilities.
Help Spread the Word
The Arc of Texas has provided additional information on bills to help explain what they do, and why we support them. These One-Pagers are easy to read, downloadable, and a great way to share information with your community! As the Legislative Session continues, we will be adding to this collection. Keep an eye out, and keep sharing! Together, we will promote, protect, and advocate for the human rights and self-determination of Texans with intellectual & developmental disabilities.
Great news for Early Childhood Intervention (ECI)
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.