Legless Lizard Tour de Tejas
The Legless Lizard Tour was a 950-mile hand-cycling trip across the state of Texas achieved by polio and lung cancer survivor Mikail Davenport, 56. Davenport accomplished the epic journey without the use of his legs and towed his wheelchair behind his hand cycle. The 25-day trek from El Paso to Beaumont gained attention from all over the country.
Davenport’s goal of this ride was to raise awareness of important disability issues then facing the Texas Legislature, including maintaining accessible voting rights for the 4.5 million Texans with disabilities, whether the State must comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, and reducing community services waiting lists. “CTD deliberately designed The Legless Lizard Tour de Tejas to occur during the 80th Texas Legislative Session”, noted CTD Executive Director Dennis Borel.
In a difficult, contentious session, CTD reported positive outcomes on five of their six target issues:
- Voting rights for people with disabilities were preserved
- HB2216 was passed, guaranteeing that structurally modified personal vehicles for people with disabilities will remain available
- Funding was appropriated to establish two new centers for independent living to support community living for people with disabilities.
- $107 million in state funds were appropriated to reduce the waiting list for community services
- Provisions were passed to increase wages for community care attendants in accordance with increases in the federal minimum wage rate.
“Most Texans react in disbelief that the State claims sovereign immunity for its acts of discrimination based on disability and we are very disappointed that legislation to end this onerous practice was not passed,” said Borel. "Still, we are deeply appreciative of the legislators who fought hard to gain ground on these critical state budget items... There is no doubt that citizen contact played a significant role in the success of the disability policy issues and the Legless Lizard Tour was part of that."
Legless Lizard de Tejas Partners include: the Partnership for Prescription Assistance, the CTD Board, Touch of CLASS, Inclusion Solutions, Evercare, Bicycle Sport Shop, and Bike Texas.