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Community Living

We advocate the full inclusion of people with disabilities by promoting comprehensive, quality community-based services as an alternative to institutionalization. 

man in a wheelchair weeding a gardenPeople with disabilities and families of children with disabilities must have meaningful information and real choices regarding where and with whom to live, choices in their daily lives and real opportunities to be independent and to actively participate in their communities. 

Our agency helps individuals when their rights to live in the community have been violated.  We protect and advance policies and encourage resources that focus on planning, development and provision of community-based services which are responsive to the individual needs of adults and children with disabilities and their families, and that support family life for children with disabilities.

View All Community Living Resources

Medicaid Program Service Cuts

In 2011, the Texas Legislature passed a state budget that makes significant cuts to the HCS, CLASS, MDCP and CBA Medicaid Waiver Programs. The cuts target higher cost service plans by setting new and much lower service caps on many critical services. Approximately 10,000 Texans will be affected. More information can be found on the Medicaid Program Service Cuts page.

Special Report

Transform State Residential Services for Persons with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
Legislative Budget Board submission to the 82nd Texas Legislature, January 2011

Success Story:


won the right to live in her community after a lifetime of institutionalization

In 1934, 16-year-old Opal had a brief psychotic episode and was committed to the Austin State Hospital. The shame and stigma of Opal’s mental illness and staff’s discouragement of visitation caused her family to drift away from her. Opal did not hear from her family again until 1985, when her nephew — whom she had never met — learned of her at a family reunion and decided to find her. He began a long battle to remove Opal from institutions, where she had been living for more than 50 years. With help from Disability Rights Texas, Opal got out of state institutions and won a $505,000 verdict against the Texas Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation for negligently subjecting her to “institutionalization syndrome.” Opal passed away on March 15, 2005, after spending several happy years in the community, reconnecting with old friends and family members.

Need Help?

CLICK HERE to complete an Online Intake Request anytime. Or call our intake line M-F, 9a - 4p at 1-800-252-9108. For help with VOTING RIGHTS, call 1-888-796-VOTE (8683).

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An Overview of Disability Rights Texas

Transcript File: An Overview of Disability Rights Texas