It is with great pleasure that I introduce you to Disability Rights Texas, the state protection and advocacy agency for people with disabilities in Texas. We are a private, nonprofit legal firm and a registered 501(c)(3) organization.
As someone who has lived with a disability since childhood, I understand the vital importance of securing protections for people whose personal rights and freedoms are threatened or violated.
I believe the disability rights movement is a civil rights movement. And Disability Rights Texas is on the frontlines of this movement. Our mission is to protect the rights of people with disabilities in a variety of ways — advocating on their behalf through the legal system, championing important laws and policies that advance their rights, and supporting the day-to-day service issues that affect the quality of their lives.
People with disabilities are fully functioning and authentic members of society. From a dollars-and-cents viewpoint, people with disabilities make up more than 20 percent of the workforce. Beyond that, they have important contributions to make to our communities. So when their rights are restricted and opportunities denied, we all miss out on the full richness of society.
That is where Disability Rights Texas steps in. We help protect people with disabilities from the myriad forms of discrimination that limit their full and equal participation in society — because all people have dignity and worth.
Mary Faithfull, Executive Director
About Mary Faithfull
Mary Faithfull brings her personal and professional experience to the job of leading Disability Rights Texas in its mission to advance the rights of people with disabilities. As a person living with a disability, Faithfull knows firsthand the need for and the importance of the services provided by the agency. Faithfull believes that the right supports and services, combined with enforcement of disability rights laws, level the playing field so that people with disabilities can be fully integrated and contributing members of their communities.
Faithfull graduated from Southern Methodist University before earning an M.S. in rehabilitation counseling from the University of Texas Health Science Center in Dallas. Following graduate school, she worked for the Institute of Rehabilitation and Research and served on the faculty of Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. She joined Disability Rights Texas (previously named Advocacy Inc.) in 1985. During her tenure with the agency, she has worked with clients to access services from state vocational rehabilitation agencies, coordinated a special project to transition students from special education to community living, and managed the Houston regional office. She was named executive director in 2001. In this role, Faithfull oversees a dedicated staff of more than 100 people in offices located across Texas.