Tribpedia: Aging And Disability Services

The Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services administers long-term care and services for people who have cognitive and physical disabilities. The agency licenses and regulates providers of these services, and runs the state's guardianship program. It also oversees the state's 13 supported living centers - institutions for people with profound disabilities that have come under fire by the federal ...

Deaf Texans' Suit Against State Reaches U.S. Supreme Court

Before they can get driver's licenses, some young Texans must take state-mandated driving courses taught by private contractors. Five deaf students who couldn't get anyone to provide sign-language interpreters sued the state, and their case could redefine the state's obligations for ensuring accessibility.

Austin State-Supported Living Center employee Tamika Mays is shown with resident Rebecca Hadnot in 2011.
Austin State-Supported Living Center employee Tamika Mays is shown with resident Rebecca Hadnot in 2011.

Senate Votes to Close Austin Institution

The Austin State Supported Living Center will be the first closed, but more are to come as the state continues moving away from residential centers for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

 

People with disabilities protest at the Texas Capitol against budget cuts to home and community-based services on March 1, 2011.
People with disabilities protest at the Texas Capitol against budget cuts to home and community-based services on March 1, 2011.

Conservatives Join Push to Pay Care Workers More

Personal attendants help the elderly and disabled with daily tasks ranging from rising and eating to bathing and going to the bathroom. For that, the state pays them about $8 an hour. Gov. Greg Abbott and some fiscal conservatives want to raise their wages.

After her father was injured in a fire, Eva Bonilla took him into her home and cared for him until his death in 2010.
After her father was injured in a fire, Eva Bonilla took him into her home and cared for him until his death in 2010.

As State Ages, Families Face Caring for Elderly

Eva Bonilla's story is one version of an oft-told tale. When her ailing, elderly father had nowhere else to go, she quit her job and brought him into her home. As Texas ages, more children will do the same, and experts worry that their skills and resources will be tested.

 

A patient at Sagebrook Health Center, a nursing facility in Cedar Park, kneads putty to build fine-motor coordination and dexterity. Officials from Sagebrook and other facilities have raised concerns about a proposed rule that would have the state close nursing homes found to have the highest-level violations of federal quality standards on three separate days over 24 months.
A patient at Sagebrook Health Center, a nursing facility in Cedar Park, kneads putty to build fine-motor coordination and dexterity. Officials from Sagebrook and other facilities have raised concerns about a proposed rule that would have the state close nursing homes found to have the highest-level violations of federal quality standards on three separate days over 24 months.

"Three-Strikes" Proposal Spurring Debate over Nursing Home Regulation

Legislators in 2015 are poised to take up a proposal that would have the state close nursing homes that rack up high-level federal violations on three separate days over a two-year period. 

People with disabilities rally at Texas Capitol opposing budget cuts to home and community-based services. March 1st, 2011
People with disabilities rally at Texas Capitol opposing budget cuts to home and community-based services. March 1st, 2011

Disability Rights Advocates Call for More Community Care

Disability rights advocates encouraged state legislators to expand community-based care and in-home nursing at a Tuesday Senate hearing. They also raised questions about a new computer-based program to track care services.

Austin State-Supported Living Center employee Tamika Mays is shown with resident Rebecca Hadnot in 2011.
Austin State-Supported Living Center employee Tamika Mays is shown with resident Rebecca Hadnot in 2011.

TribBlog: LBB: State Must Improve Care For Disabled

The way Texas is currently providing care for people with disabilities — keeping all its state institutions in operation, despite increasing demand for community-based care — is not cost effective, and should be changed, according to an analysis released by the Legislative Budget Board on Wednesday. 

Austin State-Supported Living Center employee Tamika Mays is shown with resident Rebecca Hadnot in 2011.
Austin State-Supported Living Center employee Tamika Mays is shown with resident Rebecca Hadnot in 2011.

Discharged?

Advocates for shuttering Texas' institutions for people with disabilities say they have a big plus in their column this session: the state’s giant budget crunch. 

Health care assistant Crystal Kreig plays a card game with Steve Parker (center) and Eulalio Alvarada (right) at a group home operated by D&S Residential, Inc. Companies like D&S used to handle case management for their clients, but a budget change sent that responsibility to local Mental Retardation Authorities.
Health care assistant Crystal Kreig plays a card game with Steve Parker (center) and Eulalio Alvarada (right) at a group home operated by D&S Residential, Inc. Companies like D&S used to handle case management for their clients, but a budget change sent that responsibility to local Mental Retardation Authorities.

A Conflict in Care?

For years, the state paid private providers who care for people with disabilities to handle their clients’ case management. But an 11th-hour change inserted into the budget last session stripped them of that responsibility, giving it instead to quasi-governmental Mental Retardation Authorities — and potentially creating a conflict of interest.