Update on RESPECT and MORE Rally for Community Attendants

On March 8, 2017 over 100 people attended the RESPECT and MORE Rally/legislative briefing. Advocates, attendants, people with disabilities, representation of Texas Independent Living Centers and many other organizations were present. We had a great time at the luncheon even though the plight of the attendant is very serious.

National disability rights attorney Steve Gold addressed the group and a video “An Indecent Arrangement: Texas Attendant Services” was seen. Mark C. spoke about his inabilities to find an attendant that led to three hospitalizations and rehabilitation due to a pressure sore. These are real lives, real people that are dealing with this issue daily. Texas’ State Legislators continue neglecting the need in addressing the difficulty in recruiting and retaining Community Attendants. With competition from stores like Buc-ees and Dairy Queen (who start their employees at $12/per hour), the Medicaid and state funded home and community based attendant programs (which start and often keep attendants at $8/per hour)  can’t meet the needs of Texans that rely on attendant services.

After the luncheon/briefing, we marched over to the Capitol for a brief rally and then legislative visits.  The group delivered copies of petitions signed by thousands of Texans who support a $13/hour base wage for the Community Attendants.


All Night Vigil for the Death of Disability Rights

we are here at 11th and Congress in downtown Austin for an all night vigil. The state budget bills have ignored the call to raise attendant wages from $8 an hour to $13. Despite the fact fast food workers grocery baggers and gas station workers make more Texas thinks it’s unnecessary to raise the wages of these critical workers.  To see a video on this issue click here

The state is completely defunding the relocation services that help people in nursing homes move back into their own homes.

The state is also completely defunding In-Home and Family Support program, on of the most cost effective ones we have.  People on that program will just be out of luck.

The state is doing nothing about the over 100,000 people on waiting lists for community services.  Some of these folks have been waiting over a decade and now can just wait 2 more years.

We have folks here from El Paso, Austin, Kileen, Conroe, Corpus Christi and the Valley.  IMG_2579

Earlier we held a funeral in the Rotunda of the Capitol and a funeral march through the first floor.



Wednesday, March 8th at 11 AM at the Schmidt-Jones Family Life Center, Great Hall (2nd floor), 1300 Lavaca (NW corner of 13th and Lavaca), Austin TX 78701 for Lunch and the Legislative Briefing from 11 AM to 12:30 PM with a 1pm March. 

Your organization can sign organizational letter of support too!  Go here for a sample letter.  Send a copy to Cathy Cranston and she will make sure it gets to all who need to read it!

Final 2017 Respect and MORE Attendant Rally Press release


March 8 is international women’s day, and it’s also the day for the ADAPT – PACT RALLY FOR RESPECT AND MORE!  Come join us.


Over 68% of the 1.4 million people in nursing homes in the US are women.

 Nationally 65% of people receiving services and supports are women.

 Over 89% of paid workers in nursing homes and community based services are women.

The majority of Medicaid funded workers earn at least $2 less per hour than fast food or gas station workers.

Nationally over 60% of the 40 million unpaid family caregivers are women, 72% here in Texas.

Over 40 million households, 1 in 5, provide unpaid attendant services for friends or family.

·       Over 4.1 million of these households do over 40 hours of services per week.

·       Another 1.6 million of these households do over 20 hours of services per week.

·     Over 64% of these families work full or part time; over half of them had to adjust their work schedules to do so.

Free our grandmothers, mothers, aunts, sisters, wives, girlfriends, daughters, nieces, daughters-in-law, granddaughters…

“Who lives in a nursing home?  She is over 60, with disabilities.  Who is paid to provide long term services?  She works for minimum wages with no benefits.  She is more often a woman of color, and she is getting older and older, getting disabilities of her own.  Who performs this work unpaid?  She is young – she cares for her mother, her father, an older family member, a disabled child.  Or, she is old herself and cares for a spouse, a sibling, a child, perhaps still cares for a parent.

One of these women will be you.”

Stephanie Thomas



PACT, the Personal Attendant Coalition of Texas, is really busy these days.  PACT has started a Texas Attendant Project to recruit attendants and supporters of attendants to add their voices and faces to the call for decent wages for community attendants in Texas.  TAP contact people will be working in nine regions around the state, TAP will be working with the Texas Centers for Independent Living (who have been terrifically supportive) and other community groups in addition to many individuals.  Click here for more info.

There is a petition in English and Spanish you can download and collect signatures of folks who support better wages.

There will be a Respect and More Community Attendant Rally and briefing:

Wednesday, March 8th at 11 AM at the Schmidt-Jones Family Life Center, Great Hall (2nd floor), 1300 Lavaca (NW corner of 13th and Lavaca), Austin TX 78701 for Lunch and the Legislative Briefing from 11 AM to 12:30 PM with a 1pm March. 

Your organization can sign organizational letter of support too!  Go here for a sample letter.

Final 2017 Respect and MORE Attendant Rally Press release


The Texas Legislature is back in town and ADAPT is back at the Capitol to educate them on many disability issues and perspectives.  This is a participatory event that lasts 180 days.  And ADAPT wants you there!

Aside from the budget, which is super tight this time around, thanks to legislators dedicating large amounts of the state’s revenues to Texas Department of Transportation (TX DOT), ADAPT is focusing on $13 an hour min. wages for community attendants; increases and improvements to community based services for people with disabilities; making sure TNCs (like Uber, Lyft, etc.) don’t discriminate against us; accessible, affordable, INTEGRATED housing (with no services required); and a host of other issues that will likely come up.  Also TX DOT is under Sunset Review and ADAPT wants to be sure they serve persons with disabilities in their future efforts, especially since they are being given so much dough ray me.

Visits, testimony at hearings, guerilla theater, the sky and our imagination are the limits.

Come join us. We believe the grassroots must be heard. You know more about all this than you think you do, and you can learn even more.  We meet at the Capitol Cafeteria (inside the Capitol on the E-1 level) every Tuesday and Thursday morning at 10 am and you can just drop by and join us; but don’t be late — we move out for action pretty darn quick!

ADAPT Participates in Local Marches

Last weekend ADAPT was busy on the streets of Austin.  We were one of the hosts at the One Resistance March on Friday night for which a large group of local organizations got together to march and share information and concerns about the radical turns being taken by the federal government.  In addition to the march through downtown, in which about 7,000 people participated, representatives of many at risk groups spoke about their specific concerns, and a wall of barriers was torn down.  Danny Saenz spoke for ADAPT and Heiwa Salovitz participated in the wall tear down; both represented us proudly highlighting many disability issues!  Cathy Cranston and Robin Hoffpauir carried a PACT/ADAPT banner in the march.  It was all about supporting one another, resisting efforts to harm our people and mobilizing for action.  Lots of other ADAPTers turned out as well!

Saturday, among the 50,000 people at the Women’s March in Austin there were many ADAPT folks sprinkled in the crowd.  Being short in a massive crowd of primarily standing people, we operated on trust and the knowledge that there were others out there cause it was a trifle difficult to see each other.  But we met many supporters of disability rights.  Bob Kafka was especially pleased to see Katie (who used to be a VISTA at UCP TX) carrying a huge My Medicaid Matters sign.  There were lots of other people with disabilities and non-disabled supporters in the crowd.  The energy and intensity were terrific and we encourage one and all to go to the Women’s March on Washington website and sign up for follow up actions.  If you are interested in following up on disability issues locally contact ADAPT or call 512-442-0252.  We are meeting at the Capitol Cafeteria (inside the Capitol on the E-1 level) every Tuesday and Thursday morning at 10 am and you can just come and join us; but don’t be late — we move out for action pretty darn quick!


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!

WHAT:  BBQ, Music by “J and J”  and gifts for attendants

WHEN:    Saturday October 15, 2016  4-6pm

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

 *IMPORTANT*:     RSVP  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.

QUÉ:         BBQ, Música de “J and J”,  Regalos de Asistentes Personales 

CUÁNDO:   sábado, 15 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  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 kaye@beneketx.com)


(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!