The Latest from Seen and Heard: IDD Community

We’ve been hard at work this month! We posted 2 new videos. 

Pic of Lisa talking

Lucky in Love 

  • Our ally, Lisa, shared about her relationship with her boyfriend. 
  • She told us how they decided to be together.
  • Her hopes for the relationship include getting married and buying a house. 

Why Mistakes Matter 

  • James shared that it is important to be honest about life’s challenges.  
  • James said that we should not sugarcoat our lives. 
  • James reminded us that we all learn from our mistakes. 

Subscribe to our YouTube channel for more great videos! Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok

#IDD #txcdd #SelfAdvocacy #Relationships

Share Your Impact Stories!

Seen and Heard: IDD Community is a grant-funded project. That means we need to show we are making a difference. Please share your stories of impact. Click the link below. You don’t need to tell us your name. Just tell us how our work has helped you, changed your mind about something, or made you feel better.

We want to keep making an impact. Click the link to share your story:

My Impact Story

Lift Up Self-Advocate Voices at SXSW EDU 2023!

Thanks for joining us for Amplifying Self-Advocate Voices with Storytelling by James Meadours. We are thrilled to be a part of SXSW EDU 2023.

We are building a community of self-advocates. We want people with disabilities to share their experiences. We are teaching them to use social media to do that.

Please join our social media community to help us reach our goals. 

  • Follow, like, and share our work.
  • Tag us in self-advocate videos you create. Use the hashtag #SelfAdvocateStories
  • Join our mailing list for news and free resources.

Find us here:

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Thank you for your time. We look forward to connecting with you!

#SelfAdvocateStories #SXSWEDU #Neurodiversity #IDD #txcdd

The Latest from Seen and Heard: IDD Community

Logan talking about flirting.

This month we learned about:

Hiding Sexual Assault

James shared problems he had talking about his sexual assault. He was afraid to talk to his parents or others. He felt scared and overwhelmed.


Our ally, Logan, shared his thoughts on flirting.  Logan talks about how you can tell if someone is flirting or just being friendly.

Subscribe to our YouTube channel for more great videos! Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok.

#IDD #Txcdd #Neurodiversity #Flirting

Build Your Life with Virtual Peer Support!

Our peer support specialists have been hard at work. We’ve posted three new videos to our YouTube channel. Check out our Virtual Peer Support playlist:

  • Intro to Peer Support
  • Employment Peer Support
  • Transportation Peer Support

You’ll learn how these things can help you build the life you want. You’ll learn how to get services in Texas. Most of all, you’ll be inspired by our team’s stories!

While you’re there, be sure to subscribe to our channel. That way, you’ll be the first to see new videos.

Special thanks to Cara Weber, Shelbi Davenport, James Meadours, Anand Iyer, and Adrean Avilla!

Texas Partners in Policymaking Now Accepting Applications

Texas Partners in Policymaking (Partners) is now accepting applications for the 2023-2024 program year. The application period opened on Jan. 26, 2023, and will close on March 25, 2023.

Partners is an innovative statewide leadership development program for people with developmental disabilities (DD) and family members of people with DD. During the training program, participants learn from local and national experts about topics such as:

  • community living
  • disability history
  • employment
  • inclusive education
  • the Texas Legislature, and more

Participants will also learn tactics and strategies to advocate for disability issues and impact policy change. In addition, participants complete a capstone project of their choosing that impacts their community. 

Graduates often serve on boards, councils, task forces, and advisory committees. Some run for elected office. Partners aims to advance systems change — creating, working toward, and achieving a vision of shared values regarding people with disabilities in communities across Texas. 

The program consists of six two-day training sessions held monthly from September to April. There is no cost to participate in the program and Texas residents are eligible to apply. The deadline to apply is Friday, March 25, 2023.To learn more about the program, visit the Apply webpage on the Texas Partners in Policymaking website. For additional updates, you can follow Partners on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

The Latest from Seen and Heard: IDD Community

Picture of James Meadours

This month James taught us about:

Feeling Not Worthy of Life

  • Feeling like you aren’t worthy of living
  • Feeling that life isn’t worth anything
  • Not feeling guilty about what happened in your life

Negative Ways of Coping

  • Negative ways of coping with loss
  • Not having the help or support you need
  • Helping when a person experiences a lot of trauma

If you are part of the LGBTQ community and are feeling like hurting yourself, you can call, text, or visit The Trevor Project any time for help:

Have you seen this website Helping Survivors of Sexual Abuse & Assault? They have lots of information about sexual abuse and assault. If you want to learn more about the types of sexual assault, learn how you can stay safe, or get resources, they have it here:

Subscribe to our YouTube channel for more great videos! Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok.

#IDD #Txcdd #SexualAssaultSurvivor #Neurodiversity

Lessons from the Peer Support “Dream Team”

Peer Support Specialists Ashley Sattler, Katie Sheffield, and Lisa Simmons presented with Project Director Cynthia Burrow at The Arc of the US’s 2022 National Convention in November. The session was titled “Building Better Lives Together: Peer Support that Works.” We shared our successes and challenges with a packed room. Many people were already working to bring peer support to their states. Many were excited to start the process.

If you missed our session and want to learn more, visit the Our Resources page and download our PowerPoint presentation under the “Peer Support” category. Or, email Cynthia Burrow to learn more.

The Latest from Seen and Heard: IDD Community

James talking about being afraid

This month James taught us about:

Finally Telling What Happened

  • Talking to a woman from a rape crisis center
  • Feeling safe about sharing his experience and feelings 

Hiding Sexual Assault

  • Talking about hiding his sexual assault from his mother

Did you know RAINN can help people know what some of their options are after a sexual assault? Go here to learn more: 

Subscribe to our YouTube channel for more great videos! Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok.

#IDD #Txcdd #SexualAssaultSurvivor #Neurodiversity

The Latest from Seen and Heard: IDD Community

This month, James taught us about:

Let Loved Ones Challenge Themselves

  • How families can encourage people with IDD to challenge themselves
  • Let them figure out who they are

Subscribe to our YouTube channel for more great videos! Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok.

#IDD #Txcdd #SexualAssaultSurvivor #Neurodiversity