ADA25 Celebration a Big Success

The bus, with a picture of a woman marching with a sign saying "Separate is never EQUAL", hands handcuffed behind a wheelchair, and Road to Freedom" written above Keeping the Promise of the ADA,  and

The ADA25 Road to Freedom bus will be traveling across the USA all this year to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Photo by Jonathan Tilove


The ADA Celebration was a great success with over 400 attendees, despite the lousy weather.  There was dance, an educational panel, recognition of Texas Trailblazers for the ADA, a talk and short films from Lex Frieden – one of the folks who shepherded development and passage of the ADA, a beautiful photo exhibit of scenes from the struggle for the ADA, and a march to the Capitol behind the ADA bus.

In the days before the Celebration itself, the bus visited several local schools, Disability Rights Texas’ Fun Fest, a new accessible Capitol Metro transit stop, the CTX Ability Sports Complex in Hutto and 2 San Antonio sites with Eva’s Heroes.


A cake with the ADA25 logo set in it's white frosting. A small piece is removed from the front as if someone could not quite wait.

The ADA Celebration at the Bullock Texas History Museum was capped off with cake

To read more:




Austin City Council elections have finally finished and we have our first slate of district representatives and new Mayor.  Congratulations to all the winners!

Mayor: Steve Adler

District 1 Council Member: Ora Houston

District 2 Council Member:  Delia Garza

District 3 Council Member: Sabino Pio Renteria

District 4 Council Member: Greg Casar

District 5 Council Member: Ann Ktichen

District 6 Council Member: Don Zimmerman

District 7 Council Member: Leslie Pool

District 8 Council Member: Ellen Troxclair

District 9 Council Member: Kathie Tovo

District 10 Council Member: Sheri Gallo

Where do the winners stand on disability issues?  ADAPT’s DVAP (Disability Voting Access Project) sent all the run off candidates a survey on some disability issues.  Some answered, some did not.  Check out who said what and who didn’t say anything.  To see the survey answers go to the DVAP site.

This is the beginning of a new era for the Council and we wish them good luck and good disability policy as they begin their terms in the new year.


Anti-Discrimination based on Source of Income (Vouchers) PASSES!

Austin became the first city in Texas, but just one of a growing number of cities around the nation, to pass a Source of Income Ordinance on Dec. 11th.

The ordinance will forbid landlords from refusing to accept Vouchers (like Section 8/Housing Choice, Veterans, Tenant Based Rental Assistance/TBRA, etc.) as rental payment.

This will be a great benefit to folks with vouchers who have had a terrible time up to now finding places that will accept the vouchers.  In a survey done by the Austin Tenant’s Council this summer over 90% of apartment owners and managers whose rents are in the Section 8 price range, refused to take a voucher.The Apartment Association is up in arms against this ordinance, and has vowed to go to the Texas Legislature when it meets in January to get this kind of ordinance outlawed across the state, including in Austin.  We have also heard the Homebuilders have similar plans for Visitability requirements.  We will keep you posted as things develop, but we are counting on your support to support these important victories in Austin and in Texas.    



The Austin ADAPT tradition continues again this year, as the wheelchair Santa Clones set up shop by the Armadillo Christmas Bazaar at Palmer Events Center 900 Barton Springs Road.

The Armadillo Bazaar is open 11 am to 11 pm December 16 – 24th!.

This year ADAPT’s petition is in support of better wages for community attendants, so be sure and stop by to sign and show your support.

Handcrafted Art, Live Music, food and liquid refreshment abound.  There is even a post office inside the Bazaar (from 11am to 4pm).  Visit the Armadillo website for a schedule of performers and list of the MANY artists who are part of this event.

Did you miss the ADAPT-A-LEGISLATOR training? Fear NOT!

Texas 84th Legislative Session

begins Tuesday, January 13, 2015




ADAPT of Texas will be there and we hope you can join us, at least part of the time.  We will meet in the Capitol Cafeteria Tues. & Thurs. at 10 am and head out, so don’t be late.  

 If you missed the training we do OJT (On the Job Training) as well. 


                  WHERE: State Capitol Extension Cafeteria on Level E-1 

                    WHY: Funding for Community Services

                                  Increase Wages/Benefits for Attendants

                                  Accessible, Affordable, Integrated Housing

                                  25th Anniversary of the ADA         

                                  and more, as the need arises.  




 REGISTER TODAY!!!  512-442-0252

   Please RSVP by December 5, 2014  or


The 2,500 households who “won” the lottery for the Section 8/Housing Choice Vouchers will be announced around Dec. 13th.  HACA is processing the pre-applications now.

HACA doesn’t call the people picked so you have to check.  You can find out by visiting the HACA Section 8/HCV website


You can check from a computer, your smart phone, or you can come to the ADAPT office or other locations around town.   You will need your confirmation number or your Social Security number AND your date of birth.

The 19,174 pre-applications submitted represent families with about 40,000 people.  Nearly 10,000 were submitted within the first 24 hours of the waiting list opening.  Most were done using a smart phone.

Among the total number of households who applied, approximately:

6,000 families have the head of household or co-head with a disability

10,000 households included minor children,

1,700 included heads of household 62 years of age or older,

and more than 2,600 applicants are homeless.

Good luck to one and all that applied, and hopefully Austin will see just how much we need more affordable, integrated, accessible housing.


Please join the Personal Attendant Coalition of Texas (PACT) to recognize your work with persons with disabilities in our community.

Community Attendants  Equal Independence   Nominate someone today!

click here to go to nomination form

WHAT:  BBQ, Music by “Who‘s Your Daddy?”   Attendants of the Year Awards!    

WHEN:    Saturday October 18, 2014  4-6pm

WHERE:  Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, 1206 E. 9th  (Metro Bus Route 2 )

 *IMPORTANT*:     RSVP to Nancy or Cathy At ADAPT/PACT: 512-442-0252 to register for this free event.


Únase a la Coalición de Asistentes Personales de Texas – PACT – para reconocer su trabajo con personas en nuestra comunidad.

haga clic aquí para ir al formulario de nominación

QUÉ:         BBQ, Música de ”Whose Your Daddy?”,  Premios de Asistentes Personales del año!

CUÁNDO:   sábado, 20 de octobre  4-6pm

DÓNDE:    Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, 1206 E. 9th Street

Rutas de Autobús:    #2

IMPORTANTE:  RSVP antes de 15 de octobre a Nancy o Cathy En ADAPT / PACT: 512-442-0252  para registrarse. Gratis!

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!


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.