CBCIL Attends Texas Disability Issues Forum

On August 27, 2018, Coastal Bend Center for Independent Living Center (CBCIL), Executive Director, Linda Fallwell-Stover and staff attended the Texas Disability Issues Form (TDIF), a bipartisan symposium, in Austin, Texas. The purpose of the event was to allow consumers, advocates, and service providers a chance to interact with potential state candidates and listen to their stances on issues commonly faced in the disabled community.

The forum moderator, Texas Tribune political correspondent and “Blast” editor, Patrick Svitek engaged each prospective candidate: Senator, Beto O’ Rourke, Governor, Lupe Valdez, Lt. Governor, Mike Collier and Attorney General, Justin Nelson, in a series of questions which included amongst other things, an overview of each’s individual platform, stances on community integration, assistance for families/caregivers, voter accessibility, housing, special education, employment first opportunities, decriminalization of misdemeanor marijuana offenses, use of medicinal cannabis to treat illness, access to services, Medicaid expansion, responsible yet effective fiscal state spending, and living wages for personal care attendants.

The forum was a safe way for individuals with disabilities, stake holders and policy makers to engage with one another in hopes of improving Texas public policies. In between interview sessions attendees networked amongst each other and had an opportunity to engage with the candidates in a more intimate way. There were conversations and abound and the overall air was permeated with hope and resolve.

The TDIF was an excellent experience for CBCIL staff to learn more about challenges faced by the population the agency serves and provided them with an additional advocacy platform for advocacy. In short, those in attendance may use their knowledge to be better service providers, advocates, community members, and global citizens.

-Shauna Glover

CLASS Case Manager