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Disability Rights Texas files federal lawsuit against Gov. Abbott over school mask mandate ban

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Advocacy group alleges Abbott’s executive order unfairly harms kids with disabilities   Disability Rights Texas filed the first federal lawsuit against Gov. Greg Abbott over his ban on mask mandates, alleging that his executive order puts students with disabilities at risk. The advocacy group’s suit, filed Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for the Western… Continue reading Disability Rights Texas files federal lawsuit against Gov. Abbott over school mask mandate ban

Has AISD Cleared its Special Education Backlog, or Not?

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After July 1 deadline, 77 evaluations still not complete   On June 30, Austin ISD made an announcement: its once-egregious backlog of hundreds of uncompleted special education evaluations was “no more.” The backlog, which had prompted a lawsuit and the complete reorganization of AISD’s special-ed department, was “due to be cleared by the district’s promised deadline of July 1.”… Continue reading Has AISD Cleared its Special Education Backlog, or Not?

New law requires wellness checks during crises for the medically fragile who depend on power

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Caroline Cheevers still recalls the panic. With Winter Storm Uri killing power across Houston, there seemed no help for her daughter, Hailey, a medically fragile 10-year-old who requires electricity to power the ventilator that keeps her alive. Hotels were full or had no power. First responders were overwhelmed. And even though she’d signed up for… Continue reading New law requires wellness checks during crises for the medically fragile who depend on power

Fort Worth student with autism died after being restrained at school. What happened?

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Ebonie Baltimore got a call on March 1 from the group home where her nephew, Xavier Hernandez, lived. Something had happened to Hernandez at school, the caller said, and he’d been taken to the emergency room. When Baltimore and several other family members got to John Peter Smith Hospital, they were led to a private… Continue reading Fort Worth student with autism died after being restrained at school. What happened?

‘I don’t know who cares about us’: How Texas failed people with disabilities during the freeze

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Olivia Esparza grew desperate as she watched her daughter, Diana, get colder and colder in the February freeze. Diana, 20, has a condition called Rett syndrome and is non-verbal and non-mobile, and needs electricity to power the machines that keep her healthy: one that helps her breathe at night and another suctions saliva out of… Continue reading ‘I don’t know who cares about us’: How Texas failed people with disabilities during the freeze

Survey reveals what struggles Texans with disabilities had to deal with during the winter storm

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While the February winter storm impacted nearly all Texans, it put people with disabilities in perhaps the most difficult spots. A new survey revealed the stories of people who struggled to keep medical equipment on and temperature-sensitive medicine safe, along with everything else Texans had to do to survive the storm. Others with hearing or… Continue reading Survey reveals what struggles Texans with disabilities had to deal with during the winter storm

Austin ISD Sued Over Student Disability Evaluations

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Disability Rights Texas (DRTx) and Susman Godfrey LLP on Monday announced that they are filing a lawsuit against Austin ISD, claiming that the district is failing thousands of students with disabilities. The lawsuit claims that AISD has refused to address systemic issues impacting its evaluation system, including staff shortages and increasing backlogs of outstanding evaluations. They claim that over… Continue reading Austin ISD Sued Over Student Disability Evaluations

‘We Have No Safety Net’: Disability Rights Advocates Speak Out After Winter Storm

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Last week’s storm made it clear there’s no safety net for disabled Texans during a disaster. Advocates say that can be a death sentence. Like many Texans, Rafael Garcia couldn’t sleep while his power was out last week. He wasn’t just cold. He was afraid he’d stop breathing in the middle of the night. “I… Continue reading ‘We Have No Safety Net’: Disability Rights Advocates Speak Out After Winter Storm

They have chronic illnesses. Then, the power went out in Texas. ‘It’s been emotionally exhausting.’

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Freezing temperatures and winter storms have caused widespread power outages across the country leaving people with disabilities and chronic illnesses scrambling to find ways to access life-saving medical supplies and charge devices they depend on. Earlier in the week, more than 4 million in Texas alone didn’t have electricity after large shares of the state’s power plants… Continue reading They have chronic illnesses. Then, the power went out in Texas. ‘It’s been emotionally exhausting.’