DADS is committed to ensuring that people with disabilities have access to meaningful employment services in the community, especially integrated competitive employment.

This Employment First principle guides DADS services for people with disabilities and helps put them on a path towards self-sufficiency through full participation in community life. Learn more about the Employment First principle:

DADS is also a member of the State Employment Leadership Network (SELN), a cross-state cooperative venture of state agencies committed to improving employment outcomes for people with disabilities.

The Employment First Task Force, authorized by Senate Bill 1226 (83rd Legislature, Regular Session, 2013), was established by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission executive commissioner to:

  • promote competitive employment of people with disabilities and
  • the expectation that individuals with disabilities are able to meet the same employment standards, responsibilities, and expectations as any other working-age adult.

Read a summary of the Employment First policy established by SB 1226 and of the responsibilities of the task force in PDF.

Read the Employment First Task Force Biennial Report.

Membership

Employment First Task Force Members
Name Organization, Title Task Force Category * City
Linda Logan
Public Policy Specialist
Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities Advocate Austin
Stephanie Sokolosky
Chair
Texas Council on Autism & Pervasive Developmental Disorders, Vice Chair Provider Harlingen
Carline Geiger
Vice Chair
Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services (DARS), Program Manager DARS Austin
Chris Botello Target, Cashier Individual Austin
Luis Enrique Chew Upper Rio Grande Workforce Development Board, Board Member Individual El Paso
Diego Demaya Memorial Hermann Healthcare System, Independent Living and Resource Utilization Division, Southwest ADA Center, Director of ADA Technical Assistance and Human Resources Consultant Individual Houston
Norine Jaloway Gill **

The Arc of Texas, Governmental Affairs Committee Chairperson

University of North Texas, Workforce Inclusion and Sustainable Employment, Lead Instructor

Family Seabrook
Kendra Kerbow MHMR of Tarrant County, Advocacy and Support Services, Services Liaison Individual Fort Worth
Tanya Lavelle ** Easter Seals Central Texas, Senior Manager of Advocacy Provider Austin
Linda Levine **

Texas Parent to Parent, Board Member

APSE- Association of People Supporting Employment First, Member

Autism Society of America and Autism Society of Central Texas, Member

HHSC IDD System Redesign Advisory Committee, Member

HHSC Consumer Directed Workgroup, Member and Chair of Service Expansion Committee

Family Bee Cave
Linda Litzinger** Texas Parent to Parent, Public Policy Specialist Family Austin
Stephanie Myers University of Texas, Deputy ADA Coordinator Individual Austin
Elaine Roberts Dispute Resolution Center Individual The Woodlands
Leah Rummel ** United Healthcare Community Plan/Insurance Company Employer Austin
April Watson-Horton Ability Solutions, Inc., Owner Family DeSoto
Lori Williams   Individual San Antonio
Robert Williams ** Easter Seals of Greater Houston, Supported Employment Program Manager Family Houston
April Young Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC), Office of Health Policy and Clinical Services, Policy Analyst HHSC Austin
Marc Mullins Texas Department of Aging and Disability Services (DADS), Center for Policy and Innovation, Employment Services Coordinator DADS Austin
Kristen Jones Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS), Child Protective Services – Developmental Disability Specialist DFPS Austin
Reese Carroll Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS), Program Specialist DSHS Austin
Susan (Susie) May Texas Education Agency (TEA), Federal and State Education Policy, State Transition Coordinator/Program Specialist TEA Austin
Reagan Miller Texas Workforce Commission (TWC), Workforce Development Division, Division Director TWC Austin
Vacant To Be Determined Individual To Be Determined
Vacant To Be Determined Individual To Be Determined
Vacant To Be Determined Advocate To Be Determined
Support Staff
Name Organization, Title Task Force Category * City
Rita Inman DADS, Program Initiatives
and Grants Administrative
Administrative Support Austin
Chimere Clemons DADS, Program Initiatives and Grants, Program Specialist Support Austin

* Individual = Individual with a disability
Family = Family member of an individual with a disability
Advocate = Advocate for individuals with disabilities
Provider = Representative of a provider of integrated and competitive employment services
Employer = Employer or representative of an employer in an industry in which individuals with disabilities might be employed

** Previous participant in Promoting Independence Advisory Committee, Subcommittee on Employment for People with Disabilities.

To learn more

Contact SE.Questions@dads.state.tx.us