Our advocacy work + 2020 Raise Your Voice! ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌
Messenger e-Newsletter


July 7 2020

Our last issue, in April, seems like ages ago. Remember when Spring Break was extended just one week, and we were supposed to be done with COVID-19 by Easter? To say nothing of the long simmering demands for racial justice across the country (for more about that from black activists with disabilities, we recommend Alice Wong’s reading and resource list). And in all of this, it's an election year!

Our world has changed so much in the past two months—but problems that have roots well beyond the advent of the pandemic are still operating, even thriving. Read on for what we’ve been doing to address some of those problems that confront Texans with disabilities.


Freedom from discrimination in the allocation of healthcare resources

Our advocacy staff weighed in with the Governor's Office on the allocation of healthcare resources in case of overwhelmed hospital capacity. In particular, we strongly advocated against discrimination by disability to determine who has access to limited resources. Among the partners on this effort are the Texas Medical Association, Texas Hospital Association, and Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops. Read the Bishops' full statement and our letter of support.


Access to care and consumer protections

We successfully advocated to the Health & Human Services Commission (HHSC) for recreational and music therapy to be allowed to be provided via tele-services. This permits kids with disabilities to have continuity of these therapies and stabilizes the therapist workforce.

We've also sent and signed on to a number of letters to strengthen or ensure consumer protections and access to care (linked where available):


Attendant care

Our Dennis Borel co-authored an editorial with UnitedHealthCare CEO Don Langer to raise awareness of critical support for community attendants in the pandemic. Read "Borel & Langer: A policy decision haunting Texas during coronavirus pandemic."


Special education, schools, and children

The shuttering of schools and early childhood programs in response to COVID-19 disrupted learning for all students, but hit children and youth with disabilities particularly hard. Many lost home-based Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) or special education services and will require compensatory education to address gaps in service provision. The COVID-19 pandemic has also deeply impacted the social-emotional and mental health of students and school staff.

As ECI providers and school districts pivot to decide what the 2020-2021 school year will look like, it’s critical that programs prioritize kids with disabilities, as well as provide multi-tiered mental health supports to students during remote learning and upon reopening of schools. CTD has been advocating to ensure CARES Act funding is used to provide schools with the resources they need to do this. Our work includes:



Early voting ends this Friday, and Election Day for the 2020 Primary Runoffs is July 14! We've been hearing about a lot of confusion and difficulties both at the polls and with vote by mail, so know your rights and give yourself as much time as you can to cast your ballot. If you've already run into problems with voting, contact CTD, so we can start working to address those issues for the November election.

Don't forget: if you vote by mail, make sure the signatures on your Ballot by Mail Application and carrier envelope match as closely as possible. Otherwise, your vote may be thrown out.

Raise Your Voice! 2020 Advocate Connection Program. Image of six people, standing and sitting, on the Tx Capitol steps.

Our advocacy team has been thinking and talking about how we can continue our grassroots organizing work in virtual spaces. Soon, we’ll be turning to you, our members and the Texas disability advocacy community, to collectively prepare for the 2021 legislative session. At the end of July, we’re launching our 2020 Raise Your Voice! (RYV) program, which will include interactive online sessions, based on our top priority issue areas.

Help us bring RYV! to you: take our survey to let us know more about your availability, interests, technical capacity, and access needs!

Thank you to our Raise Your Voice! 2020 Sponsors

CDS in Texas
PhRMA Research Progress Hope
Amerigroup, an Anthem Company
DentaQuest Partnership for oral health advancement
Shield HealthCare

Coming up at CTD

Blue handiman icon with green video camera to its eye leans forward in wheelchair, shaped like a C.

CTDFF 2020 is on!

Save TWO dates:

  • Aug. 15-Sept 15 CTDFF: Online! digital showcase
  • Oct. 16-17 CTDFF (planning for in-person,  online if necessary)

More details to come! Don't forget, the Short Film Competition closes July 31!


Disability Rights Texas

Advocate for Mental Health with DRTx!

Our friends at Disability Rights Texas are seeking volunteers to serve a 3-year term on its PAIMI Advisory Council (Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness). Persons with mental illness, family members, and professionals are welcome to apply. Applications due Aug. 1, term begins Oct. 1.

Bronze lion statue wears a red pirate head scarf and eye patch.

Lion & Pirate virtual Open Mic Zooms into summer!

CTD's Pen 2 Paper creative writing contest, Art Spark Texas, and local book seller Malvern Books are pleased to continue our monthly gathering online. Our next singing, strumming, poetizing virtual variety show is Aug. 2! Join us for adventures in performance through Zoom!


CTD thanks our 2020 sponsors


DentaQuest Partnership for Oral Health Excellence
GSK GlaxoSmithKline
Superior Healthplan


Texas Society of Architects


Dennis Borel

Crystal Lyons

Marla Mathews

David Perna

Michael Portman

Having trouble viewing this email? View it in your web browser.

Does this email look different? We've upgraded our email system! If you have received this message in error, our apologies! Update your preferences or unsubscribe below. Or, contact us.

Contact Us

info@txdisabilities.org | 512-478-3366