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To do that, we ask people with disabilities, their families and friends, disability advocates and others to tell us about things that are most important to them.  

 

You can help by taking a few minutes to take our "What Matters to You" survey. Just go to www.DRTx.org and click on the link at the top of the page.

The Rights Times
Fall 2013 Edition
Welcome to the first-ever edition of the Disability Rights Texas quarterly newsletter. We look forward to providing news and resources that help people with disabilities understand and exercise their legal rights, ensuring their full and equal participation in society.
Settlement to Improve Lives of Thousands in Nursing Homes

An interim agreement was filed in August with a U.S. District Court that will improve living conditions for thousands of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities confined to Texas nursing facilities and receiving ineffective levels of care.  

 

The class action lawsuit was filed against the state of Texas by Disability Rights Texas on behalf of six individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, The Arc of Texas and the Coalition of Texans with Disabilities. In 2012, the U.S. Department of Justice joined the lawsuit as a plaintiff-intervener and played an integral part in negotiations.

  

Weil, Gotshal & Manges of Dallas represented the plaintiffs on a pro-bono basis alongside DRTx and the Center for Public Representation.  

 

"While there is still more to accomplish, we are pleased with the progress we have made and the fact that the parties are working together to ensure individuals with disabilities receive the level of care they need to live independently," said Garth Corbett, senior attorney at DRTx and co-counsel on the case. Read more... 

Free Event for Women Vets
Of the almost 2 million women veterans in the U.S., nearly one in five has a service-related physical or mental disability. Yet many do not seek the help they need.

That's why DRTx is hosting Women's VetConnect on November 16 in Austin. This free, one-day event will provide important information to women with disabilities who have served in the military about their legal rights and resources available to them.

For more information or to register, visit www.DRTx.org/events/womenvets or call (512) 454-4816.  
Law Firms Donate Time to Advance Rights of People with Disabilities
With thousands of requests for service every year and limited resources, DRTx relies on the generosity of private attorneys and law firms that donate time to help us serve our clients.

We'd like to thank Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP of Dallas for giving countless hours over the past few years in the class action lawsuit against the state involving nursing home services. We would also like to thank Sidley Austin LLP for its ongoing support in this litigation.

DRTx is grateful to both firms for their commitment to equal rights for people with disabilities.
Iraqi War Hero Told to Leave Store 
Iraqi war hero Adan Gallegos and his dog, Bootz

A decorated veteran who served in the U.S. Army in Iraq, Adan Gallegos returned home at the age of 22 with life-altering disabilities, including depression and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as a result of intense combat and exposure to an explosion.

 

In October 2011, Gallegos and his service animal, Bootz, entered Billy Bob's Beds in San Antonio. Rather than allowing him to be in the store as others without disabilities, the owner yelled, swore, and demanded that he and his service animal leave the store. The owner did these things even though Gallegos informed the owner that his dog is a service animal and was wearing an identifying vest. (View TV news coverage.

 

In 2012, DRTx filed a federal lawsuit on Mr. Gallegos's behalf against the store, and the parties have since reached a settlement.  

 

Gallegos went on to work closely with State Representative Jose Men´┐Żndez (Democrat, District 124) on the successful passage of a new Texas law ensuring that people who use service animals will have access for their animals in all Texas establishments.  

at governor's press conference, Adan's dog Bootz gives paw print of approval on new service animal legislation
Gallegos's service dog Bootz gives paw print of approval on legislation signed by Governor


Disability Rights Texas (formerly named Advocacy, Inc.) is a nonprofit organization that protects and advances the legal, human and service rights of Texans with a broad range of disabilities. We are designated as the protection and advocacy agency (P&A) for the state of Texas and rely in part on your generous donations to continue our work.