Case Study: McAllen Texas Regional Texas Partners Class

Deborah Tomai and Mariela Rios live in Rio Grande Valley. They graduated from the first Texas Partners in Policymaking advocacy and leadership training, in Texas since 2006. They are committed to demonstrating change for people with disabilities and families in the RGV, by facilitating the first Regional Texas Partners in Policymaking in McAllen, Tx. This regional program will mirror the program in Austin, TX, with an RGV Texas twist of National Spanish speakers, Spanish books in the lending library and translators. The Austin and McAllen programs will be evaluated in the same way and the competencies and best practices will be equally met in both locations. We will have a single private group Facebook page, and opportunities for the classes to collaborate, share ideas and ask clarifying questions during a mid-training conference call. This is an exciting opportunity to bring training to a fast-growing population who is often underserved and overlooked for people with developmental disabilities and their families in RGV. Already, Deborah and Mariela are very busy planning the details for the training, attending a “train the trainer” introduction, collaborating with UTRGV and Easter seals RGV to identify candidates for the first class. Jan Brown, Program Coordinator for Texas Partners in Policymaking is traveling to the RGV to establish relationships with local agencies and legislators about the importance of the training and sustained change for people with disabilities and their families in RGV.

We measure our success by the impact made, in inclusion & integration; increased independence; productivity; and self-determination for all Partners participants and /or family members.