Housing Education and Advocacy for Rural Texans (HEART)
Effective July 1, 2018, Texas SILC accepted an award from TCDD and started the HEART project. HEART, in collaboration with Centers for Independent Living VAIL and DIA, will increase advocacy for people with disabilities and increase access to integrated, affordable, and accessible housing within the community of their choice. Specifically, Project HEART will achieve this goal by sponsoring the following activities:
- Creating systems change by increasing the number of people with developmental disabilities on housing boards, commissions, advisory committees, and other planning bodies;
- Providing leadership and advocacy training that increases the skills of people with and without developmental disabilities; and
- Developing housing coalitions were created to increase the number of housing opportunities for people with developmental disabilities.
Financial Support for Leadership Development & Advocacy Skills Training in Rural Areas is provided by the Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities, with Federal funds made available by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Administration on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. $85,000 (84%) DD funds; $16,560 (16%) non-federal resources.
The Covering All of Texas
The Covering All of Texas Project provides various supports and services to Texans with disabilities to obtain a COVID-19 vaccination if they choose. Covering All of Texas will employ several strategies to serve as a logistical bridge to provide health benefits for individuals with disabilities.
The Good Measure Project provides the resources to reform the State Plan for Independent Living evaluation process and ensure that individuals receiving services have an elevated and essential role in how Independent Living services are evaluated. Good Measure is designed with equity in mind for individuals with disabilities to ensure time and effort of sharing expertise, experiences, and feedback are compensated appropriately. This project is designed to engage people with disabilities throughout the process to harness their knowledge and use their collective intelligence to define evaluation questions, and methods and guide how these results improve planning and programs.
The Good Measure Project outcomes provide for future State Plan for Independent Living to include an evaluation system based on community engagement. Meaningful and equitable engagement with the populations served by the State Plan is an essential step of ensuring full participation, access, and accountability in the work of partners and communities. The Independent Living Philosophy is founded on the principles of choice and involvement of the individuals the programs are intended to serve. Inclusion necessitates Texas SILC work, ensuring access and meaningful participation in all elements of our responsibilities. Previously, Texas SILC has limited performance beyond evaluation requirements. Good Measure’s support ensures Texas SILC’s evaluation furthers the services of people with disabilities and those in the most vulnerable communities.
Good Measure also aims to learn and develop community outreach methods and expand on Texas SILC’s current disability community partners. While Texas SILC has a host of partnerships, including but not limited to the Disability Policy Consortium and the Texas Independent Living Network, the project purpose is to gather community-based feedback on the State Plan and Independent Living Services that are independent of current partnerships. Good Measure Project has assisted in developing a community-based, ground-up methodology to gather input, monitor, and evaluate the SPIL and the framework of services and use lessons learned to assist other Centers for Independent Living in the delivery of Independent Living Services.
Getting Fit to Live, Work, and Play! is a five-year initiative that aims to improve quality of life for all people with disabilities through education and access to health and fitness programs and information. The project is funded by the Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities, and housed and operated by the Texas State Independent Living Council’s local partners, Brazos Valley Center for Independent Living (CIL), LIFE/RUN CIL, and Volar CIL. These partnerships ensure that our services are designed, directed, and delivered by qualified people, many of whom have disabilities themselves.Getting Fit to Live, Work and Play! has a three-tiered approach to developing programs that improve health. The first tier focuses on increasing the availability of and access to fitness programs for people with disabilities. The second tier connects people with disabilities to established health programs in pilot areas. With help from trained professionals, project participants develop and execute fitness plans to help them reach self-defined goals. The final tier focuses on increasing awareness of the importance of health and fitness programs for people with disabilities.
Financial Support for the Texas SILC Health & Fitness project is provided by the Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities, with Federal funds* made available by the United States Department of Health And Human Services, Administration on Developmental Disabilities. *$245,000 (80%) DD funds; $52,000 (20%) non-federal resources.
Partnering Centers for Independent Living
All activities are guided by the Independent Living (IL) movement. The IL movement advocates for the empowerment of people with disabilities to make their own decisions and life choices to the greatest extent possible. It also advocates a person’s right to live in the least restrictive environment, with the same rights and privileges as other people.
Getting Fit to Live, Work, and Play! holds strong to this movement while promoting peer support, self-help, self-determination, equality, and positive systematic change within the program.
The Brazos Valley Center for Independent Living is a consumer-based and controlled, cross-disability, cross-cultural, and non-residential, private nonprofit corporation (Pending 501 (c) (3) status). BVCIL serves the counties of Brazos, Burleson, Madison, Robertson and Washington. The organization’s mission is to promote the full inclusion and participation of individuals with disabilities in all aspects of community life.
The health and fitness program at BVCIL is community-based and uses pre-established community wellness programs to create a comprehensive structure that both improves consumer health and facilitates participation in a wide variety of local activities.
- Walking Group
- Cooking Class
- Meditation / Stress Management
LIFE/RUN Center for Independent Living is a non-profit organization committed to empowering people with disabilities to exercise self-determination as they strive to conquer the physical and attitudinal barriers in achieving a life of dignity, equality, independence, and full inclusion. Founded in 1988, LIFE/RUN serves the counties of Lubbock, Hale, Hockley, Lamb, Lynn, Crosby, Garza, Floyd, and Terry.
LIFE/RUN operates a health and fitness program that focuses on in-house activities take place in the Larry C. Gardner Activity Center. The center contains fully accessible exercise equipment and serves as a forum for social and recreational activities that promotes the mental aspects of wellness, as well as encourages physical fitness and nutritional health. The gym is open from 1:30 to 6:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday.
- Healthy Cooking Class
- Tai Chi
- Resistance Bands
- X Box Sports
- X Box Dance Central
Volar Center for Independent Living is located in and serves El Paso. Volar’s mission is to serve as advocates for human and civil rights and to empower people with diverse disabilities to live the lives they choose. Volar provides four core services: information and referral, skills training, peer counseling, and advocacy. In addition, based on the needs of El Paso, Volar CIL offers transportation training, relocation services, assistive devices, and support services.
Volar’s health and fitness program is community-based. Like the Brazos Valley Center for Independent Living, Volar uses resources throughout El Paso to engage their consumers in physical activities, social events, and nutritional education. Using the community as a resource allows consumers to engage their surroundings and ultimately enables each consumer to become more involved in his or her city.
- Walking Group
- Cooking Class