Ron Lucey is the Executive Director of the Texas Governor’s Committee on People with Disabilities. Mr. Lucey, previously served as the manager of the Accessibility and Web Support Unit for the Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services (DARS) and has held several positions at DARS and its legacy agency, the Texas Commission for the Blind, which included the establishment of an statewide information and referral system and the creation of a blindness prevention program. He is a graduate of the University of Texas with degrees in government and communications. His perspective as a person with a vision disability has helped him effectively advocate for accessibility and the rights of Texans with disabilities. Lucey served as an Austin city commissioner and as chair of the Austin Mayor’s Committee for People with Disabilities, providing accessibility policy recommendations to the City Council and Austin’s previous five mayors. His experience with the Austin Mayor’s Committee gives him a focused perspective to support the mayors’ and county committees through GCPD, as well as disability organizations throughout the state. Mr. Lucey comes with a wealth of knowledge on disability issues as well as effective leadership skills. In 2010, in recognition of his passion and commitment to achieving full inclusion of people with disabilities in the community, he was selected as the recipient of Governor’s Committee on People with Disabilities Governor’s Trophy, the highest honor awarded in our Lex Frieden Employment Awards.
Community Outreach and Information Coordinator
A native of Austin, Texas and proud graduate of the University of Texas/Austin, top accomplishments include a loving and devoted spouse and one son with a fantastic family. After a post-college ten-year grind at a career in music, the college degree evolved into a rewarding career of thirty-eight years in the service of people with disabilities. Employment included United Cerebral Palsy of the Capitol Area as Executive Director, then at Disability Assistance of the Capital Area as Executive Director. Non-profit work was followed by thirteen years in the Architectural Barriers Program with the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation as Program Specialist V. After a mis-guided venture into semi-retirement, a return to full-time employment presented itself and became reality with a position with the Texas Governor’s Committee on People with Disabilities as Community Outreach and Information Specialist.
This career track offered a variety of opportunities: teaching at state and national events; providing day-to-day information on multiple programs and services for people with disabilities; grant writing and implementation/oversight of programs borne of successful grant applications; volunteer recruitment and management; employee hiring, management and mentoring; compliance oversight for programs including ADA compliance, accessibility, employment, independent living, case management, provision of Medicaid services, adult day care; fiscal accountability; advocacy and more. Certain jobs brought rewards in the challenges of special events, fund raising and (early-on) driving a 40-passenger bus! Variety is also represented in leisure time with volunteer involvement in fields including disability information and advocacy, theatre, bocce, human service coalitions, nature conservancy and an undeniable draw to bodies of water whether a lake or an ocean.
Accessibility and Disability Rights Coordinator
Matt Dickens is the Accessibility and Disability Rights Coordinator for the Governor’s Committee on People with Disabilities. Originally from Oklahoma, Matt attended Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas to obtain an extensive education in business administration. After achieving multiple degrees, Matt moved to Houston, Texas to start a career in supporting people with disabilities. As a person who was born Deaf to a Deaf family, the collaborative nature of the Deaf community is integral to his approach.
His previous employment history includes work as Program Director of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services at a non-profit organization, Deaf and Hard of Hearing Access Specialist contractor for the Texas HHSC’s Office of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services, and Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor for Texas Workforce Commission. In addition to his work, Matt is proud to have served for two terms on the Houston Commission on People with Disabilities as the Employment Committee Chair. He also has served on the boards of multiple other organizations to support the community.
Now in Austin, Matt brings his brand of supportive collaboration to continue building up a strong community of people with disabilities in Texas.
Carolyn is the Office Administrator for the Governor’s Committee on People with Disabilities. She is a native Texan and graduate from the University of North Texas in Denton with B.S. and M.S. degrees in Rehabilitation Services. She served people with disabilities for several years working in State Vocational Rehabilitation assessment services, and Behavioral and Intellectual Developmental Disability vocational evaluation services in Waco, Texas. Carolyn joined the Governor’s Committee on People with Disabilities with extensive administrative experience in Austin, Texas.
She worked at the University of Texas in the VP for Student Affairs and the Dean’s Office in the College of Liberal Arts providing administrative support. Recently, she served as Executive Assistant to a busy CEO of an Architecture firm. All of these experiences has given her a broad perspective of life’s challenges and quality of life for all people.
Carolyn is honored to be on the staff of the Governor’s Committee of People with Disabilities serving fellow Texans. In her spare time, Carolyn enjoys spending time with her family, friends, pets, classic film, reading, gardening, traveling and entertaining.
Rebecca Lopez is the Research Specialist for the Governor’s Committee on People with Disabilities. A native New Yorker, Rebecca grew up on Long Island before heading to Boston for college. Rebecca is a proud double Terrier, receiving both her undergraduate and graduate degrees from Boston University. After completing her Masters in Deaf Education, Rebecca moved to Texas to teach at Texas School for the Deaf.
During her five-year tenure, Rebecca was actively involved in the school: she was a member of the Five-Year Strategic Plan Team, a Class sponsor for three years, and a volunteer for numerous school committees and events. Rebecca then made the exciting leap from teaching to policy work. She became the Deaf Blind with Multiple Disabilities policy specialist at the Texas Health and Human Services Commission. While there, she expanded her knowledge of policy development and was introduced to many advocacy organizations.
Continuing her journey into governmental and disability work, Rebecca joined the Governor’s Committee on People with Disabilities where she uses her extensive research skills to support the Committee’s policy recommendations, coordinate and execute research projects, and compile relevant data to meet the Committee’s goals.