In 1978, a diverse group of disability advocates met in Houston, Texas with the goal of forming a statewide, consumer-run disability advocacy organization. These visionary Texans recognized that it was important for people with disabilities to have their own organization, a coalition that would work to break down the barriers to full inclusion in all aspects of society. The Coalition of Texans with Disabilities was born from this principle. The 1970s witnessed a surge of organization and activism among disability advocates across the country, but CTD is one of a handful that have survived to the present and even thrived.
Through our relationships with fellow advocates, our outstanding record of supporting public policy that benefits Texans with disabilities, and our commitment to innovating new programs and events, CTD continues to work toward a barrier-free Texas in the 21st century. Through our advocacy work, we have made substantial progress in Texas public policy the concerns people with disabilities. Since 1978, we have:
- expanded the number of facilities that are in compliance with architectural barriers building codes.
- written and secured adoption of a state plan for critical personal assistance services.
- secured the adoption of the Telecommunications Relay System (TRS) and Specialized Telecommunications Assistance Program (STAP).
- contributed input into the new operating rules for the Texas Department on Housing and Community Affairs to promote more accessible units in subsidized housing.
- secured a mandate for the transportation-disadvantaged to have a seat on all Texas transit authorities' boards.
- secured a franchise tax credit that provided an incentive to employers to hire a person with a disability.
- collaborated with state agencies and advocates to develop a Medicaid Buy-In pilot program, which provided alternatives and removed the disincentive of hiring people with disabilities.
- worked to remove motorized wheelchairs from the Motor Vehicle Code; to give personal assistants more latitude; and to eliminate the cumbersome annual reporting requirement for a retired educator with a permanent disability.
- successfully advocated for rededication of hundreds of millions of dollars in funding to community services for Texans with disabilities during the 78th legislative session (2001).