Governor’s Committee on People with Disabilities
In existence since September of 1950, the Texas Governor’s Committee on People with Disabilities (GCPD) works toward a state in which 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 makes recommendations to the Governor and Legislature on disability issues; promotes compliance with disability-related laws; promotes a network of local committees doing similar work; recognizes employers for hiring and retaining employees with disabilities; and recognizes media professionals and students for positively depicting Texans with disabilities.
The members and staff also provide technical assistance, information and referral services to citizens of Texas on issues affecting Texans with disabilities. Members of The Committee work on issues related to access, communications, education, emergency management, health, housing, recreation, transportation, veterans and workforce. The Committee’s enabling law is outlined in the Human Resources Code, Chapter 115.
The committee's mission is to further opportunities for persons with disabilities to enjoy full and equal access to lives of independence, productivity, and self-determination.
The Governor’s Committee recommends changes in disability policies and programs in the areas of accessibility, communication, education, emergency preparedness, health, housing, recreation, transportation, veterans and workforce. The Committee also supports a network of committees on people with disabilities, issues awards to promote greater awareness, and promotes compliance with disability related laws. For more information on disability history or etiquette and a “Resource Guide on Disability Topics Important to Texans”, send us a message or call 512-463-5739.
A Report on Support Service Providers (SSPs)
The Helen Keller National Center has identified an estimated 2,486 DeafBlind Texans. DeafBlindness is a disability in which a person not only has deafness, with their hearing impaired severely enough so that most speech cannot be understood with amplification, but who also has legal blindness. DeafBlindness not only affects a person’s ability to communicate or access information, but significant and unique adaptations may be required for the individual to maintain their independence. The use of a Support Service Provider (SSPs) is critical to help DeafBlind Texans lead more independent lives.
SSPs are specially trained professionals who communicate with American Sign Language and enable people who are DeafBlind to access their environments and make informed decisions. They can provide individuals who are DeafBlind with visual and environmental information and communication accessibility. Common tasks performed by an SSP include helping a person who is DeafBlind go shopping at the grocery store, read their mail, or help them participate in a public meeting. In Texas, SSPs are usually volunteers as the state does not have funding or a strategy to pay for SSP services.
The GCPD published “A Report on Support Service Providers (SSP)” that proposes the establishment of a State SSP Program to meet the critical needs of Texans who are DeafBlind.
Interim Report Prepared for Members of 85th Texas Legislature:
- Appendix A: House Bill 1317, 84th Texas Legislative Session (R)
- Appendix B: U.S. Department of Transportation Guidelines at 23 C.F.R. 1235 establishing a Uniform System for Parking for Persons with Disabilities
- Appendix C: Comments from Public Hearing (August 10, 2016)
- Appendix D: Accessible Parking Survey for Person with a Disability – Questions Only
- Appendix E: Accessible Parking Survey for Person with a Disability – Survey Results
- Appendix F: Accessible Parking Survey for Businesses – Questions Only
- Appendix G: Accessible Parking Survey Businesses – Survey Results
- Appendix H: Parking Laws in the 50 U.S. States
- Appendix I: Coppolo, George. (2007, January 10). Handicapped Parking Laws
- Appendix J: Accessible Parking Studies by Other States
- Appendix K: “Texas Capitol Accessibility Report”, Coalition of Texans with Disabilities (August 28, 2014)
- Appendix L: “Parking Usage Study”, Texas Facilities Commission (2010)