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Senator Judith Zaffirini: District 21
Press Release
February 16, 2012
Contact: Will Krueger
(512) 463-0121
Senator Zaffirini Announces Grant for College Disabilities Program

(AUSTIN) — Senator Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, announced today (Feb. 16) that Texas A&M University will receive $225,000 for the first year of a five-year grant from the Texas Council on Developmental Disabilities (TCDD) to develop an inclusive postsecondary education program for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

"As Chair of the Senate Higher Education Committee, I am delighted that persons with disabilities pursuing postsecondary education will benefit from this funding," Zaffirini said. "Specifically, they will receive specialized support and services not usually offered at higher education institutions, including specialized assistive technology, communication and self-advocacy training."

The new program will include rigorous academic courses and enrichment classes that will serve as a pathway to careers in human services. What's more, it includes a full year of training and supervised, field-based experience leading to a certificate and job placement.

"This program is designed to help persons with disabilities pursue careers and live productive, fulfilling lives," Senator Zaffirini said. "It is my hope that other higher education institutions will use the program as a model and look to its manual as a guide."

TCDD is a 27-member board dedicated to improving the lives of more than 450,000 Texans with developmental disabilities. The Council provides a variety of activities, including grant projects, technical assistance, public awareness and leadership training, to enable people with disabilities to live, attend classes and work in the community.

More information on TCDD and its projects is available via or 800/262-0334.

Z photo

SENATOR JUDITH ZAFFIRINI, D-Laredo, is Chair of the Senate Higher Education Committee and a member of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee. Shown here with Regina Blye, Executive Director for the Texas State Independent Living Council (SILC), Senator Zaffirini champions legislation and funding that help persons with disabilities live healthy, productive lives.