The Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities recently awarded funds for five grant projects. TCDD awarded funds for:
- A three-year leadership and advocacy project by the National Alliance on Mental Illness of Texas (NAMI Texas) which will hold a train-the-trainer conference for up to 40 NAMI Texas council members and other individuals. Participants will advocate in their own communities, develop regional councils, and offer local advocacy and leadership training to other individuals with disabilities, family members, friends and representatives from organizations that serve individuals with developmental disabilities. Project participants will be the core group in advocating for mental health issues during the NAMI Texas Capitol Day.
- A three-year leadership and advocacy project by The Arc of Texas to provide training and ongoing support to Mobilize and Organize self advocates, families and allies to use their Voices to Empower communities and create meaningful change. Project MOVE will partner with Arc chapters and other local groups. The Arc will develop curriculum based on nationally accredited organizing strategies, and provide training and ongoing technical assistance to ensure local groups can implement and sustain advocacy efforts. Advocates will gain the skills and power needed to take collective action on their own behalf, improve their lives, and shift current relations of power.
- Living Centers (SSLCs) residents and community organizations so that Self Advocate Voices are Engaged to create change for themselves and their community. Self Advocates from the Austin and San Antonio SSLCs and Rio Grande State Center and community participants will learn about the history of the disability movement, self determination and self advocacy. The self advocates will learn to speak up for themselves on real life issues such as transition and employment. The project will provide training and support on a statewide level and through community self advocacy activities and social media.
- A five-year project by Any Baby Can of San Antonio, Inc., will promote health, physical fitness, and inclusion of children and youth with developmental disabilities through recreation and fitness activities. The whole family will also be involved in the health and wellness plan which includes both exercise and nutrition. Participants will receive an instructional DVD on home fitness, exercise picture book and wellness/fitness journal.
- A three-year project by the Jewish Family Service of Dallas will host annual inter-faith symposiums, build community awareness and increase inclusion for up to 200 people with disabilities and their families in Dallas, Collin, Denton and Rockwall counties. Leaders from up to 35 faith communities will be empowered to create opportunities to support people with disabilities and their families so that they can reach their highest potential socially, emotionally, behaviorally, academically and spiritually.