The Texas Center for Disability Studies (TCDS) is home to 10 projects and 15 staff. The TCDS staff have shifted fairly seamlessly to telework and projects are continuing to serve the Texas community. Below is a summary of how each project is moving forward.
- Texas Technology Access Program (TTAP) – The TTAP provides information and assistance on accessible technology. Demonstrations and short-term device loans are temporarily on hold due to the elevated need for sanitization and precautionary measures. The TTAP works with 16 demonstration centers in Texas to grow knowledge and use of assistive technology statewide and is becoming more connected to agencies and stakeholders during this period.
- Institute for Person-Centered Practices (IPCP) - Person-Centered Thinking (PCT) Mentor Laura Buckner meets regularly with four out-of-state PCT Trainer Candidates weekly to practice PCT skills and continued learning and the trainer certification process.
- Texas Sibling Network (TSN) – The TSN shifted all meetups to online platforms. The TSN completed two successful state-wide meetups and have more planned in the coming months. A Futures Planning Webinar is in development and staff regularly share resources with all members of the TSN that may be helpful during the pandemic.
- Texas Education Agency Stakeholder Project (TEA) – The TEA project moved in-person meetings to an online platform to continue the stakeholder engagement as further guidance is developed by the funding agency.
- Parents and Children Working Together (PACT) – The PACT project ended this month and data is being analyzed.
Health and Wellness
- Healthy Relationships – Healthy Relationships paused trainings and seminars due to the social distancing measures and the end of the school year.
- Road to Recovery (R2R) –The Road to Recovery Master Trainer/Learning Community postponed the first 3-day training and began meeting virtually. Trainers from all over Texas are gathering bi-weekly to form a cohesive cohort, learn how each will be using the Road to Recovery curriculum, and discuss resources, questions, and concerns. Staff plan to reschedule the 3-day training event when the opportunity is available and reasonable.
- Disability & Disaster – This effort is participating in Texas Department of Emergency Management weekly calls, a research collaboration housed in the University of Colorado, and weekly calls with federal partners. The TCDS created a COVID Quick Tip video series and compiled a comprehensive COVID-19 guide of state and local resources.
- E4Texas – E4Texas shifted to an online program by utilizing Canvas, Zoom, and other online technologies. Students are able to fulfill their internship requirements through the creation of "Population Presentations" that identify the population they were serving before the COVID-19 pandemic through a research-based project. Staff continue to interview and prepare for E4Texas 2020-2021 through online application and interviewing. Staff will continue to provide online instruction until it is safe to meet in person.
- Disability Studies – Disability Studies facilitates courses online, even prior to COVID-19. The program is working with partners to plan for the possibility of online presentations for Disability Awareness events and is working with Services for Students with Disabilities to support online graduation for Disability Pride graduates.