DARS became a state agency in 2004 as a result of House Bill 2292 of the 78th Texas Legislature, but DARS has a long legacy of compassionate service dating back to 1929. Although there have been many changes over time, a common thread throughout the years is strong and compassionate leadership.
"For 86 years, the public Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) program in Texas has served a purpose like no other agency or commission. Consumers receiving VR services have become successful, independent and contributing members of society. There is not a more noble career than that of serving people with disabilities in the public VR Program."
– Max Arrell, Commissioner of the Texas Rehabilitation Commission
"I take continuing pride in the Office for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services (DHHS) and its quest to remove communication barriers. DHHS has made tremendous advances in serving the deaf and hard of hearing community and is reaching an even greater number of people in that community through outreach services and the Resource Specialist program."
– David Myers, Executive Director of the Texas Commission for the Deaf and Former Director of the Office for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services
"The true legacy of Texas Early Children Intervention (ECI) can only be measured by the profound difference in the lives of the families and children that we served. ECI was there for them in their time of greatest need."
– Mary Elder, former Executive Director of the Interagency Council on Early Childhood Intervention and former Deputy Commissioner of DARS
"The 2003 legislature directed the creation of DARS with the expectation that the quality of service to Texans with disabilities would be greatly enhanced. The focus on excellence in service began with bringing all staff from the four legacy agencies to an understanding that "Excellent Service, Every Customer, Every Time" was the focus of all units and all employees. The result was that, by 2010, Texas had the best rehabilitation services in the nation."
– Terrell I. Murphy, first DARS Commissioner
"DARS services have such a powerful and positive impact for the individuals and families we serve. In fact, they can change people's lives. Being a part of DARS had an impact on me as well. Getting to work alongside such dedicated staff, and knowing that our work helped people of all ages with disabilities achieve greater independence, was the most rewarding experience I had in public service."
– Debra Wanser, second DARS Commissioner