ADAPT of Texas is pleased to invite you to a READING and CONVERSATION with HAROLYN ROUSSO

Friday April 11, 2014

3:30 to 5 pm

Don't Call Me Inspirational book cover

At the ADAPT Office 1640 East 2nd ST, Austin, TX 78702

Writer, painter, educator, social worker, psychotherapist and activist woman with CP who has worked in the disability rights field, with a particular emphasis on issues of women and girls with disabilities, for more than 25 years.

From early childhood, Rousso struggled to find her place in the world… When she writes of the psychotherapy institute where she was training asking her to leave… she, and her reader, recognize the prejudice she has faced. …its painful honesty is affecting. — Publisher’s Weekly, December 24, 2012

“The book follows her journey from ‘passing’ – pretending that she didn’t have cerebral palsy – to embracing her disability. In the late ’70s, she began exploring her disability identity, and she writes with honesty and power.”  –Jewish Woman, Winter 2012

“I’ve known Harilyn Rousso as a powerful activist and gifted artist, but with this revelatory book, she becomes something even more rare: a storyteller who conveys her uniqueness, and so helps us to discover our own. This book is irresistible to read, honest, insightful and universal.”
– Gloria Steinem

Join us for an informal discussion and sharing of ideas and experiences.

The ADAPT office is located on East 2nd ST at the corner of Chalmers, between Chicon and Comal Streets.

Buses 17 and 330 go right by the office

Victory! Disability Rights finally included in Civil Rights Summit

Disability rights are civil rights group group shot(photos by Kaye Beneke


(April 8, 2014 – Austin, TX) Disability rights advocates gathered to hold a press conference near the LBJ Presidential Library where a national Civil Rights Summit is taking place.  The Summit which the library is holding to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the enactment of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and acknowledge it’s legacy.  Presidents Jimmy Carter, William “Bill” Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama will be addressing the conference, among many others.

To commemorate the impact of the Civil Rights Act, workshops cover a variety of other topics, including: Gay Marriage, Immigration Policy, Music and Social Consciousness, LBJ and MLK, Fulfilling a Promise, Realizing a Dream, Leveling the Sports Playing Field, Heroes of the Civil Rights Movement, Social Justice in the 21st Century, Women: How High is the Glass Ceiling?, and Education: The Ultimate Civil Right.  Despite having been contacted over 2 months ago to see if disability was going to be included, Summit organizers were not planning to include this important legacy.  However, at the 11th hour, thanks to the speedy and united response from the disability rights community from across the country, Summit Organizers finally found a place to include disability on one of the panels at the Summit.

So today members of the disability rights community and our allies gathered to celebrate this victory, the 50th Anniversary of the Civil Rights Act and the importance of the Americans with Disabilities Act and disability rights movements. Speakers included: Bob Kafka – ADAPT, Regina Blye – TX SILC, Cema Mostroleo – SafePlace, Stephanie Thomas ADAPT, Dennis Borel -CTD, and Jim Harrington – TX Civil Rights Project.  We recommit to continuing our civil rights struggle.  In addition, we celebrate the ADA, great liberation legislation for 52 million Americans, which will see its 25th Anniversary next year.

Thank you to ALL who attended and all who wrote, called, emailed or otherwise contacted the Summit organizers.  AND thank you to Lex Frieden, one of the unsung heros of the ADA, who will ably represent us at the Summit on Thursday.

Nothing About Us Without Us!

New Disability Voting Website

The Disability Voting Action Project of Texas, DVAPT, has launched a new website. .  DVAPT a non partisan effort focused on educating Texans with disabilities and their allies on issues effecting disabled Texans, our voting rights, access to voting and voter education.  DVAPT has many exciting projects in the works so check out the website for updates and get involved.


January 30th Austin City Council amended the single family building code to include Visitability standards.  Starting in July 2015 ALL new single family and duplex homes will have to have:

  • a no step entrance (back, side, front or garage door);
  • an accessible path through the first floor;
  • a 32 inch clear bathroom or half bath on the the first floor and
  • light switches, electric outlets and other environmental controls between 48″ and 15″ (the same as in public buildings and newer apartments.)

In 1998 Austin passed similar requirements for single family homes that were built with city assistance.  Since then over 7,500 visitable homes have been built and only 10 waivers were needed.  With such a successful track record, ADAPT, the Austin Mayor’s Committee and other disability groups felt it was time for the next phase.  Many of the affordable housing developers also supported this effort.  We are proud that Austin has taken this important stride toward integration and inclusion, and we are elated that persistence has paid off.  We want to acknowledge and thank Eleanor Smith and Concrete Change for their leadership in the Visitability movement.

Cookies Benefit ADAPT!

Khira Patel, a 13 year old entrepreneur, has launched a website Cookies for A Cause, which sells cookies and 50% of the proceeds go to ADAPT of Texas.  We met Khira and several of her classmates when they were working on a website competition.  Their topic was ADA Legacy and they interviewed many ADAPT folks and other disability rights leaders.  We were impressed by their questions and delighted when their team won 2nd place in this international competition.  Now they are helping us with some other outreach and history projects.  So buy the cookies and keep your eye out for other exciting new developments.

Angel HealthCare Agency Commits to Make Right a Wrong!

Austin, TX, December 5, 2013.  Personal Attendant Coalition of Texas (PACT) and ADAPT of Texas combined forces to send a message to Angel HealthCare to “Stop the Bullying” of attendants as well as the elderly and disabled clients they assist.  Angel HealthCare threatens clients, including those on Medicaid, and attendants with a $5000 fine if they leave the agency within a year of each other.  Twenty ADAPT/PACT members rolled into the offices carrying signs reading “You Don’t Own Me”, “Medicaid Doesn’t Allow Me to HAVE $5,000″, “Shame on Angel”, “Angel or Devil” and similar messages.  The group demanded a meeting with Mollie Francis, Executive Director of Angel HealthCare in order to convince her to drop Angel’s onerous policy of fining people $5000 or any amount. “Ms. Francis became angry and went back into her office.” said Danny Saenz.  “But the co-owner and Chief Financial Officer, C.B. Francis came out and willingly discussed the issue and agreed to end the discriminatory policy.”  He agreed that the policy was indeed unfair and signed an agreement saying that Angel HealthCare will discontinue using this part of the contract.

This is a big win for consumers and attendants that use Angel HealthCare as their home care agency.  We also hope this sends a message to other home care agencies that this form of intimidation of clients and attendants will not be tolerated.

– Cathy Cranston



The first two in a series of disability rights posters are now available!  Perfect for holidays gifts and New Year’s inspiration.  Order yours now.  Order form is on the Support Us page

poster1rightsseries poster2power200Display your pride in decades of activism with the first two releases in ADAPT’s “Rights Worth Fighting For” original poster series.  Make a statement in your home or office and help sustain ADAPT’s powerful nationwide grassroots advocacy for all Americans with disabilities.  Each 18″X 24″ poster is only $10, shipping included.  Order 11 or more posters for a 10% discount.


ADAPT of TX Wins Chronicle Best of Austin Award!

ADAPT of Texas has just won a Best of Austin 2012 Award from the Austin Chronicle.  Named Best Champions for Equal Access in their Crictic’s Picks the Chronicle says:

ADAPT has been championing the rights of disabled folks for decades.  Over the last few years, our local branch of these awesome activists launched lawsuits across Texas to expand access to public places for folks with disabilities. Lots of local faves – including bars on Sixth Street, legendary restaurants – and the Domain shopping center, are on that list. Let’s get rolling, folks!

Thumbs up logo for the Austin Chronicle's Best of Austin 2012

Hey, isn’t it time you got with a winner!?!  Come join us and advocate for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  Access is a Civil Right!  We Will Ride!  Free Our People!  Our Homes, Not Nursing Homes!



We have links to 2 new great videos, one on ADAPT and Freeing Our People

and one on the PACT and attendant issues.

Links are on the About Us page.  (And they are captioned too)