Message from the President, Susan Payne

Thanks to a lot of hard work from a lot of good-hearted folks, we were able to beat back another legislative assault on SSLCs in 2017. But of course that’s not the end of it.

Disability Rights Texas (formerly known as Advocacy Inc.) is sending letters to guardians claiming that their love one may be a “subject of neglect” and abuse. They are claiming that the mere fact that one resides in a SSLC is tantamount to abuse and neglect.

So what is going on here? We believe DRTx, weary from their lack of successes at the Texas Legislature, is going over the Legislature’s heads shopping for plaintiffs and courts to bring a lawsuit. The lawsuit would be based on this premise: SSLCs = abuse and neglect. They want to close the SSLCs via favorable court rulings.

If you are a guardian – DO NOT RESPOND to the letter from DRTx unless there is a specific claim of abuse. And then ask them if they have reported it to DFPS. The letters are Trojan horses. Please read the full article posted on this site.

On another note:

A big PART special thanks goes out to Senator Lois Kolkhorst, R- Brenham and Representative Paul Workman, R-Austin for their tireless work on behalf of the state’s most vulnerable population. Here’s advance notice that Sen. Kolkhorst and Rep, Workman will be named PART Legislator of the Year in the next few weeks. Stay tuned for the formal announcement.

Place take a moment to donate to PART today. DRTx is clearly gearing up for a lawsuit and we need to be prepared.

Thanks and stay tuned!


yellowroseWelcome!

Welcome to our brand new website. And welcome to PART’s renewed vigor in supporting our most vulnerable Texans – those with developmental disabilities.

What a year it’s been has it not? The Texas legislative session began like a dark, storm cloud determined to wash out the Austin SSLC and set in motion the process for many SSLC closures. Senate Bill 204 whipped through the Texas Senate – formidable and unstoppable.

The session ended with blue skies – damage averted – SB 204 stopped in its tracks – thanks to all the committed and hardworking volunteers and family members who put forth an impressive effort to stop the unstoppable. SB 204 was supposed to be a “done deal.” Guess not.

Our eternal gratitude goes out to the tireless work by state Representative Susan King, R-Abilene and Rep. Paul Workman, R-Austin who gave new meaning the aphorism of “rising above the call of duty.” These committed elected officials selflessly threw themselves in the way of SB 204’s misguided attempts at SSLC closures. God bless them.

The Texas House debate on SB 204 began with Rep. Workman’s amendment that saved the Austin SSLC. One by one Democrats and Republicans from all over Texas joined him at the front podium in a forceful show of support. You can only imagine our emotion when the House voting board lit up all green – meaning we not only prevailed but prevailed overwhelmingly. Way over 100 votes in a body that holds 150 voting members. It wasn’t just a victory it was a statement – the Texas House said, “Yes, there is a role for our SSLCs!” Thank you Texas House!

The 16 friendly amendments that followed passed with triple digit numbers, which is why we have the 100 + buttons with a picture of the gloriously green voting board on it. People see the buttons and ask, “What is that button and what does it mean?” It gives us a reason to tell about the depth of our political support and the essential role of SSLCs.

The work is not done. Far from it. The detractors, the land speculators and private interests will again have their sites set on our vulnerable Texans. So we are raising the stakes….

Please read the letter I coauthored with Adrienne Kennedy, Board Member of the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill (NAMI) about the role of facilities in the adult mental health and developmental disability world.

Also, we honor Mary Elizabeth Butt for a lifetime of role-up-your-sleeves compassion for the developmentally disabled. Some people are called saints; Mary Elizabeth Butt was one. Please take the time to donate to the Mary Elizabeth Butt Educational Fund to help us spread the word.

Thank you for your interest!
Susan Payne, President