DARS stakeholders, consumers, staff members and service providers work together on meaningful opportunities to provide input on agency policies and services. This collaboration has helped DARS establish a legacy of compassionate service.

Councils, Committees and Boards

DARS Council

The DARS Council helps the DARS commissioner and the Texas Health and Human Services executive commissioner develop rules and policies for the agency. The council is composed of nine members of the public appointed by the governor. To be eligible for appointment to the council, a person must have demonstrated an interest in and knowledge of problems and available services related to early childhood intervention services or to people with disabilities, including those who are blind, deaf or hard of hearing.


  • Lee Chayes, Chair
  • Donald D. Roy
  • Judy Scott
  • Diego Demaya
  • Jon Arnold
  • Tommy G. Fordyce
  • Dr. Thomas Grahm
  • Aureka Sanders

Rehabilitation Council of Texas (RCT)


The RCT advises DARS on policy and the scope and effectiveness of vocational rehabilitation (VR) services and eligibility requirements. The RCT works with DARS VR programs to develop and review state goals and priorities. The RCT also contributes to the preparation of state plans for vocational rehabilitation. Council members are appointed by the governor.


  • Martha Garber, chair
  • Joyce Delores Taylor, vice chair
  • Rene Gonzalez
  • Karen Stanfill
  • Mark Schroeder
  • Joe Tims
  • Rana Anderson
  • Brent Pitt
  • Yvonne Batts
  • John Cage
  • Roger Cortez
  • Cheryl Fuller
  • Saul Herrera
  • Casey D. Hertel
  • Bruce H. Hooper
  • Troyon "Troy" Myree
  • Scott Bowman

State Independent Living Council

The State Independent Living Council (SILC) partners with DARS to develop, approve and implement the State Plan for Independent Living. The Texas SILC leads, promotes and advances the independent living philosophy and advocates for the rights of people with disabilities. The governor appoints council members, with the majority being people with disabilities.


  • Shannon Alexander, Bryan
  • Martha Bagley, Austin
  • Jim Batchelor, Cooper
  • Jim Brocato, Beaumont
  • Ralph Jones, Harlingen
  • Paul Luther, Georgetown
  • Mack Marsh, Cedar Park
  • Colton Reed, New Braunfels
  • Terri Richard, Austin, ex-officio
  • Lynn Richard, Austin
  • Jonas Schwartz, Austin, ex-officio
  • Karen Swearingen, Rowlett
  • Wesley Yeager, Austin, ex-officio

Board for Evaluation of Interpreters

The Texas Board for Evaluation of Interpreters advises the DARS Office for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services on administering the interpreter certification program. The DARS commissioner appoints the board members.


  • Sharon Grigsby Hill, Fresno, chair
  • Laura Hill, Tyler
  • Clarice Bosson, Wimberley
  • Deborah Martinez, Irving
  • Sherri Roberts, College Station
  • Alaina Webb, Joshua
  • Todd Agan, San Antonio

Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) Advisory Committee

The ECI Advisory Committee advises the DARS ECI program on developing and implementing policies that constitute the statewide ECI system. The governor appoints the committee members.


  • Richard Adams, M.D., Dallas, chair
  • Holly Sanchez, McKinney, chair-elect
  • John Cissik, McKinney
  • Sarah Abrahams, Austin
  • Terrie Breeden, Austin
  • LaShonda Brown, Houston
  • Katrina Daniel, Austin
  • Amanda Davis, Buffalo, DARS Council representative, ex-officio
  • State Rep. John Davis, Houston
  • Emily Dean, Abilene
  • Alferma Giles, PH. D., Sugarland
  • Jenny Hinson, Austin
  • Barbara W. James, Austin
  • Manda Lee-Waldrep Hall M.D., Austin
  • Diane Kazlow, McKinney
  • Laura Logan Kender, Lubbock
  • Barbara Knighton, Spring
  • Katherine "Kathy" Lee, Temple
  • Karen Meyer, San Antonio
  • Pamela M. Perez, El Paso
  • Rumisha Rice, Houston
  • Pattie Rosenlund, McAllen
  • Harvey Salinas, Corpus Christi
  • Lynn Sullivan, Fort Worth
  • Benna Timperlake, Corpus Christi, ex-officio
  • Philip Warner, Austin, ex-officio
  • Laura Warren, Austin