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Protecting and Advocating for the Rights of Texans with Disabilities Since 1977
Older African American man using a walker in his home.

June 2023 Newsletter:

Opening Doors to a More Inclusive Society

Sometimes legal rulings impact many lives. The U.S. Supreme Court's Olmstead Decision on June 22, 1999, was one of those game-changing moments. Why was it so important for people with disabilities?

Right to Community Living

Olmstead ensures the right of individuals with disabilities to live in their communities, not institutions. Previously, many were isolated from family, friends, and communities. The ruling acknowledges their right to community inclusion, offering choices like homes or group homes over institutions.

Putting People First

The decision also prioritizes services in less restrictive environments, promoting freedom and independence. It shifts focus from institutions to community-based services, empowering individuals to make decisions and receive support for a fulfilling life.

Holding States Accountable

The ruling mandates states to provide community-based services and facilitate transitions from institutions. States must ensure support for people with disabilities to thrive outside institutions. This encourages investment in community services, enabling independence, employment, education, and community participation.

Texas Lawsuit

In 2010, Disability Rights Texas (DRTx) filed a lawsuit against the state of Texas on behalf of plaintiffs with disabilities who say they were unnecessarily institutionalized. Though the parties entered an interim settlement agreement in 2013, ongoing talks were unsuccessful. The lawsuit was eventually re-classified as a class action and went to bench trial in October 2018. We are still waiting for a verdict.

Share Your Story to Create Change

Are you worried about ending up in a nursing home or institution because you can't find the care you need to stay in the community? If you are a person with a disability or a person who is aging, ADAPT of Texas wants to hear from you. Your personal story will help advance advocacy efforts for more community services so people can live independently.

Learn more about the history of the Olmstead case and how the Department of Justice continues to enforce it.

Looking for Leaders

Want to know how you can get involved in the work we do? We are currently taking applications for two important volunteer leadership roles.

Mental Health Advocacy Advisory Council

Consider applying for our PAIMI Council which advises DRTx on policies and priorities to be carried out in protecting and advocating for the rights of those with mental illness. (PAIMI = Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness.) Learn more about the role and how to apply. Applications due by July 31, 2023.

Board of Directors

As the governing body for DRTx, our Board of Directors provides effective, independent, and ethical leadership to ensure our agency meets its responsibilities to clients and the broader disability community. Learn more about the Board's responsibilities and how to apply. Applications due August 31, 2023.

3 photos of past DRTx clients. Support Texans with Disabilities all year long. Lone Star Champions of Access.

Feel like you can't give because you can't give much? Consider setting up a monthly donation for $10 or $20 through our Lone Star Champions of Access program. For just the price of a few cups of Starbucks coffee, you can give each month which adds up to more than $100 for the year.

Your donations help us create a more inclusive Texas for children and adults with disabilities who deserve the same opportunities in life as everyone. Learn more about becoming a Lone Star Champion of Access.

Get Help from DRTx

Statewide Intake Line: 1.800.252.9108

Sign Language Video Intake Line: 1.866.362.2851

´╗┐Purple Video Intake Line: 1.512.271.9391

Our regular intake hours are Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. If you can't call then, or if you can't get through due to high call volume, you can complete our online intake form anytime. 

DRTx Quick Links

Disability Rights Self-Advocacy Resources

DRTx Website

Ways to Support DRTx



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Disability Rights Texas is the federally designated legal protection and advocacy agency (P&A) for people with disabilities in Texas. Its mission is to help people with disabilities understand and exercise their rights under the law, ensuring their full and equal participation in society. Visit for more information.