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By Pat Pound, Executive Director, Texas Governor’s Committee on People with Disabilities
Abstract: this article reviews the mission of the Texas Governor’s Committee on People with Disabilities and provides links to obtain more information.
Key Words: Pat Pound, Texas Governor’s Committee on People with Disabilities, key laws.
In existence since 1949, the Texas Governor’s Committee on People with Disabilities (GCPD) works toward a state where people with disabilities have the opportunity to enjoy full and equal access to lives of independence, productivity, and self-determination. The Governor appoints twelve members to serve on the Committee, seven of whom must be people with disabilities. Representatives from six state agencies serve as ex officio or advisory members. The Committee meets about four times per year.
The GCPD makes recommendations on disability issues to the Governor and Legislature; promotes compliance with disability-related laws; promotes a network of local communities/committees doing similar work; and recognizes employers and media for employing and positively depicting Texans with disabilities. Members work on issues related to access, communication, education, health, housing, recreation, transportation, and workforce. During each legislative session, staff tracks legislation in these issue areas. You can sign up to get e-mails about the bills being tracked during the session.
The GCPD does not provide direct services, but does provide an extensive website that answers many disability-related questions. Every year the GCPD produces a poster promoting employment of people with disabilities featuring artwork by a Texan with a disability. See the latest poster on our web page or click on “publications” to see past posters. The GCPD also has a DVD called The Scoop on Reporting about People with Disabilities that is useful in training journalism and communications students—and it works equally well as a disability sensitivity video or as a tool for youth to see role models with disabilities. Contact the Governor’s Committee if you would like a DVD.
If you would like to get involved with the Governor’s Committee you can contact the Governor’s Office, Appointments Division at <http://www.governor.state.tx.us/divisions/appointments>, or you can also be involved in one of our local (mayor or county) committees that do similar work. For local committee information please go to: <http://www.governor.state.tx.us/divisions/disabilities/localcom>. For more information, contact:
Pat Pound, Executive Director
Texas Governor’s Committee on People with Disabilities
PO Box 12428
Austin, TX 78711
512-463-5739 or Dial 711 for Relay Services
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