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About the Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities

2008 Texas Biennial Disability Report

2008 Texas Biennial Disability Report

The Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities is a 27-member board appointed by the Governor. At least 60 percent of the members are individuals with developmental disabilities, parents of young children with developmental disabilities or family members of people with developmental disabilities who are unable to represent themselves. Members also represent the Department of Aging and Disability Services, the Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services, the Department of State Health Services, the Health and Human Services Commission, and the Texas Education Agency. Advocacy, Inc., the state’s protection and advocacy program; the Texas Center for Disability Studies at University of Texas; the Center on Disability and Development at Texas A&M University; and local organizations are also represented on the Council.

TCDD is established as a state agency by state and federal law to support and promote community inclusion and integration of people with developmental disabilities. The Council uses information about the service system, disability-related issues and people’s needs, to develop projects and activities that focus on gaps and barriers in services and supports that help Texans with disabilities live in, work in and contribute to their communities. These activities, designed to impact the entire state, are developed in close collaboration with consumers, parents, advocates, state agencies, service providers, and policymakers.

Council Members

Public Members

  • Jan R. Newsom, Chair, Dallas
  • Brenda Coleman-Beattie, Vice-Chair, Austin
  • Kristine Bissmeyer, San Antonio
  • Melonie Caster, Bedford
  • Mary Durheim, McAllen
  • Marcia Dwyer, Plano
  • Cindy Johnston, Dallas
  • Diana Kern, Cedar Creek
  • Amy Ley, Flower Mound
  • Vickie Mitchell, Montgomery
  • John Morris, Leander
  • Dana Perry, Brownwood
  • Ed Rankin, Dallas
  • Joe Rivas, Denton
  • Richard Tisch, Spring
  • Raul Trevino, Palmhurst
  • Susan Vardell, Sherman

Agency Representatives and Alternates

  • Mary Faithfull/Patty Anderson – Advocacy, Inc.
  • Penny Seay – Texas Center for Disability Studies at The University of Texas at Austin
  • Michael Benz/Amy Sharp – Center on Disability and Development at Texas A&M University
  • Kathy Clayton/Richard Poe – Texas Education Agency (TEA)
  • Audrey Deckinga/Clare Seagraves- Texas Health & Human Services Commission (HHSC)
  • Don Henderson/Jeff Kaufman – Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS)
  • Larry Lottmann – Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services (DARS)
  • Lesa Walker/Kathy Griffis-Bailey – Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS)