2019 Public Policy Priorities

The Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities (TCDD) draws from the values identified in the Federal Developmental Disabilities Act in evaluating and responding to current and future policy and funding issues that might affect the developmental disabilities community.

We support legislation that advances the inclusion of people with developmental disabilities in all facets of community life by eliminating barriers, creating opportunities, empowering people, and promoting innovation.

Home and Community-based Services (HCBS)

Reduce the number of people on HCBS waiver interest lists by providing adequate Medicaid funding to enable appropriate placements in waiver programs. Ensuring the availability, timeliness, and quality of services and supports in integrated community settings reduces reliance on costly institutional services.

Community Attendant Rates and Wages

Ensure rates and wages are adequate so that those who provide direct support to people with disabilities are available, well-trained, and financially secure, enabling them to stay with the individuals they serve. Stability and quality of care empower people with disabilities to establish and maintain lives in the community.

Most Integrated, Person-Centered Setting

Strengthen the community’s capacity to support all people with disabilities to live in the most integrated, person-centered setting of their choosing, while consolidating and/or closing more restrictive settings like state supported living centers (SSLCs). Individuals should not be unnecessarily segregated in an institution because the state has not adequately funded community supports.

Accessible Transportation

Improve the availability of safe, reliable, affordable, and accessible transportation. Expand capacity in suburban, urban, rural, and unincorporated areas to connect places people live with places they work, socialize, worship, attend school, access health care, etc.

Accessible Parking

Strengthen the enforcement and increase the availability of accessible parking spaces. Address placard fraud and abuse by revising criminal and civil penalties and improving public awareness. Develop innovative, collaborative solutions to adjust for the growing demand of accessible parking spaces as our population ages and more people acquire or are diagnosed with mobility disabilities.

Employment First

Expand competitive integrated employment opportunities for Texans with disabilities to fully realize the state’s Employment First policy and to help people with disabilities develop assets and resources. People with disabilities who depend on public benefits for health care and long-term services and supports should be able to participate in employment without losing these supports.

Health Care

Promote efforts to increase the accessibility and affordability of health care for all individuals with disabilities, including the expansion of the Texas Compassionate Use Program (TCUP) and other medical programs that directly benefit people with disabilities and improve their quality of life. Reforms are necessary to strengthen the current Medicaid program so that it provides high-quality health care services to people with disabilities enrolled in the program; vital changes include, but are not limited to, evidence-based practices and payment structures that attract providers.

TCDD has a responsibility to inform, educate, and advise policymakers to improve the services, supports, and opportunities available to Texans with developmental disabilities and their families. Contact TCDD if we can provide information, perspective, ideas, or analysis about legislation as it is related to people with developmental disabilities and their families.

Approved November 9, 2018