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The Texas Health and Human Services Commission created the Office of Disability Services Coordination in January 2021.
Disability Services Action Plan
In response to one of the initiatives in the 2020 Texas Health and Human Services (HHS) business plan, Blueprint for a Healthy Texas, HHS has developed an action plan to improve the system and delivery of services for Texans with disabilities (PDF).
In fiscal year 2020, HHS staff hosted seven disability listening sessions across the state to gain insight from clients, providers and advocates about their experiences and challenges navigating HHS, as well as opportunities to improve.
Through the feedback received, and research and information from several other agency reports, HHS identified achievable opportunities to improve agency coordination to make it easier for individuals, families and providers to navigate the HHS system for disability services. In all, 27 recommendations across four initiatives were found to be achievable within one to five fiscal years. The initiatives include:
- Training and support
- Policy and rules
- System redesign
Phase two of the disability services action plan has begun and HHS is evaluating each of the 27 recommendations to determine when, over the next five years, implementation will occur. Each recommendation slated for implementation will have to meet the following criteria:
- Have a variety of ongoing projects across the disability continuum and across disability communities
- Generally feasible
- Balance internal resources, such as fiscal impact and staff bandwidth
Status reports of each implemented project will be published here.
For questions or ideas regarding the action plan, email Medical_and_Social_Services@hhsc.state.tx.us.
Direct Service Workforce Development Taskforce
The Direct Service Workforce Development Taskforce is in direct response to the HHSC-published Community Attendant Workforce Development Strategic Plan (PDF) pursuant to 2020-21 General Appropriations Act, House Bill 1, 86th Legislature, Regular Session, 2019 (Article II, Health and Human Services Commission, Rider 157), commonly referred to as Rider 157.
The plan contains strategies and data relating to recruiting, retaining, and suggestions for ensuring adequate access to the services of community attendants. More specifically, the strategic plan includes information about the community attendant workforce in Texas, feedback collected from stakeholders during a cross-agency forum and through an online survey and the HHSC’s long-term goals and recommendations to address challenges faced by individuals receiving or providing community attendant care.
In February 2020, a stakeholder forum was held with the key stakeholders to gain awareness of new ideas on projects, approaches and collaborative relationships to build the direct service workforce. HHSC proposed a to convene a workforce development taskforce to explore ideas that require long-term effort. The taskforce will also provide oversight of the implementation of Rider 157, including creating detailed timelines and benchmarks for the separate projects listed in Rider 157.