June 2006 Update
Steps to Support for All seeks to serve all individuals who receive services through
the Department of Aging and Disability Services in
Steps to Support for All is an
association with an educational mission. Its members include leaders in
our communities, former legislators, professionals who serve Texans who are
aging or disabled, family members of, and individuals with, disabilities. The primary
focus of Steps to Support for All is to encourage
better funding and promote a broader, more effective, array of services for
those who have disabilities or are seniors.
Through the sharing of accurate information, Steps to Support for All has earned the respect of many around our state. It has become a unifying association. Steps began as a means of providing factual, unbiased information. New members joined the mission so that they might help pull resources and programs together for the common good rather than striving to "win" money for one program at the expense of another (i.e. state schools programs over community-based services). Through Steps to Support for All, members with children in state schools work alongside members with children in community living arrangements. The strength of our association lies in the experience and honesty of its members. Each member's sincere desire to best serve ALL those in need is our unifying factor.
Our association is still relatively new. It began in the fall of 2004 and the scope of its mission and its membership have blossomed. It is difficult to gage the actual membership of the association since our primary method of joining together is via Internet exchanges. Each post sent to 100 members is generally sent on to many, many others. In the spring of 2005 we were asked to become stakeholders for Texas Health and Human Services Commission, so I gather our voices were definitely heard and respected during the general legislative session of 2005.
Due to the extensive Steps network, valuable links are forming and new projects begun. Through Step contacts, the Come Read with Me project for life-long learning has joined forces with Texas Women's University,
Steps to Support for All does not always call members to action, but often uses the individual members or their local groups as a resource for gathering information and support. Steps members came together following hurricane Katrina to alert one another of possible resources and specialized help around our state. Because of the expertise of various Step members and the organizations to which they belong, crises information was developed, posted on the Steps website, and sent to hospitals and crisis centers, (Crisis referral page, Strategies for helping children with autism cope with upheaval). In addition, the location of special housing for the special needs families was made available. Cook Children's Hospital in
Where are we now and where
are we going?
Current Steps to Support for All:
Step members are already working individually to support
those in need; the association of Steps to Support for All enables members to
share their wealth of expertise and their compassion for All for the betterment
of the whole.
Martha Kate Downey
Learn about the association Steps to Support for All. http://www.mkdowney.com/ef.html. We are working together to improve services for those who are aging or have disabilities. Please join us!