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Friday, January 14, 2011

Action: Working to ensure that children with disabilities are protected in the state's budget and working on legislation to address the shortage of pediatric equipment in ambulance fleets

Submitted by: Senator Eddie Lucio, Jr.

Senate District 27

"Perske Pencil Portraits
"Children with disabilities are a gift from God to their communities. They teach the most important things in life - unconditional love and service. State law should help communities to serve children with disabilities. This session, I will be working to ensure that children with disabilities are protected in the state's budget. Children did not create the budget hole and cuts to services they rely on should not be part of the fix. I am also working on legislation that will address the shortage of pediatric equipment in ambulance fleets. By making sure ambulances are properly equipped with the tools needed to deliver treatment, all children - especially those with disabilities - will be able to get the kind of attention they need in the event of an accident.

It is my hope that Texas will become a leading light in the nation when it comes to both serving and empowering children with disabilities."


Linda said...

Senator Lucio's compassion for doing the most he can for those with disabilities is very obvious in the Senate Finance hearings. It is comforting to see how touched many on this committee are in regards to finding the funds needed to continue community supports not just for children but for everyone with special needs. They just need our help in finding where the money will come from. When testifying and telling our stories, he truly seems to have a strong interest in the cause.

Debbie said...

Thank you Sen. Lucio for your passion for doing the right thing! My son and I, along with other families have been going around this beautiful State of Texas talking to First Responders about children with disabilities; encouraging them to also do the right thing and have the right equipment to take care of our children, if they ever need the services of a First Responder in an emergency.

Tony Gilchrest said...

Senator Lucio's work to ensure that ambulances in Texas are properly equipped and that EMS providers have continuing education in pediatrics including training to care for children with special health care needs is essential not only for children with special needs, but for all children in Texas. There are currently no minimum standards in Texas for equipment on ambulances and many EMS agencies lack essential equipment to care for kids. In addition, continuing education is optional for recertification of EMS personnel in Texas and, when chosen, is too infrequent to be effective in maintaining competency.
Children with special needs utilize emergency services, on average, 50% more often than other children, and are more likely to need a higher level of care. Every citizen of Texas has a right to expect that their EMS agencies will be prepared to provide safe, timely, effective, and equitable emergency care for their child whenever and wherever it is needed.
Thank you, Senator Lucio, for working hard to establish reasonable minimum standards to improve the preparedness of our EMS system to provide emergency care for children with special health care needs and for all children across this great state.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Senator Lucio for working to protect funding for children with disabilities. I worked for over 20 years in Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) and funding for this program is so important. Providing services in the first three years of life is critical to a child reaching their full potential. Families of young children with disabilities need the support and guidance that ECI provides. Your efforts will make a difference in the lives of Texas children and families!

Anonymous said...

Thank you Senator Lucio, all the children of Texas need to be able to receive emergency responder care and treatment with proper equipment and training. Children with disabilities have even a greater need with the many ongoing health issues they may experience. Thank you for helping raise the standard of care.

Isela Wilson said...

My and I family thank you Senator Lucio for all you have done and continue to do for our children.
It is comforting to know that some one in your position is looking out for our children with disabilities. The proposed budget cuts to Medicaid waiver programs would be devastating to our being able to give our son the quality of life he deserves.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for supporting and advocating on behalf of all Texans who have a disability. You are respected by all, no matter where they choose to receive services, State Supported Living Centers and community supports.

Christina Silva said...

Sen Eddie Lucio Jr.
Thank you for your support. Our children with disabilities and their families need to be protected by any state's budget cut. Our son who is blind and has developments delay has been on the CLASS waiting list for 6 years.
Thank you again for you support.

Cecilia said...

Thank you Senator Lucio for your commitment and dedication to individuals with special needs. May God bless you and give you His favor in all you do.

john said...

Thank you for your support!My son needs every program that the state provides for children with disabilities. John Delgado

Anonymous said...

My daughter was born 12 weeks early. Feeling that her life is valuable, her hospital pulled out all the stops to save her. She survived this with cerebral palsy (a form of quadriplegia). Studies show that if one sits by age 2, they someday walk; if not, they never sit. She never gained the ability to sit.

My husband has worked for 42 years for the phone company; I worked there for 17 years there but quit when our daughter aged out of after-school care. I became a volunteer and scout leader.

We have had a life of lifting her, bathing her, taking her to the bathroom, feeding her, being her homework scribes, driving her to thousands of therapy sessions, getting her through surgeries, purchasing wheelchairs, lifts, ramped vans and other durable medical equipment.

She has been a very dedicated student, dictating every word of work, both to us and to a computer. She graduated from high school with eight AP courses. She attended four years of college, graduating with three humanities majors, by dictating every paper. Her campus job was to work in the writing center, helping students to develop their papers.

She has become very valuable to her church, the theatre community, and the disability community. She has served on important advisory committees in Texas and in Washington DC. After college, she found a part time job which doesn’t begin to pay for attendants, surgeries, equipment, or cost of living.

What services have she received from Texas? Halfway through high school she came to the top of a waiting list for CLASS attendant care. This was valuable because her college day was so long. Seven years later, it looks like these supports that get her out of bed, to work, and through her day are in jeopardy.

Now I have a few questions. Why would Texas count her life as valuable at birth, but not as a hardworking, gifted young adult? Why is Texas educating students with disability well under IDEA and 504, yet is willing to send them to institutions as they graduate ---especially when CLASS costs a third of an institution? Why would Texas give services to a child when their parents are in their fifties and take it away when they are in their sixties and seventies?

As you think of people on the interest list, and often assume they are not qualified, think of them as being so disabled that they will never sit. Think of their parents as ‘hardworking’ and ‘exhausted’. For a child who has finished their education, remember current successes of having been educated under IDEA; don’t assume a previous, uneducated generation. Consider these young adults to be extremely valuable to the community, to the tax base, and to Texas.

They have no place being locked away in an institution. Use the rainy day fund and raise revenues!

Cecilia said...

Yea!! I love the previous posting & agree completely. Our children can be productive members of society with the right services & supports.

Use the rainy day fund, if necessary.

Susan Skyler said...

Thank you Senator Lucio for your attention and compassion. You truly make a difference to us on a personal as well as a professional level.

Susan Skyler

Tamara Ishee said...

Thank you so much for caring about our children. They are all angels from God. My 7 year old daughter with Down sydrome is a blessing to our family. She has taught us how to find the pure joy in life! Please urge your fellow legislators to oppose cuts to critical services for our families.

Anonymous said...


You are truly a champion in supporting the rights and opportunities of Texas citizens with disabilities, and the elderly; and working to fix the injustices against the citizens disguised as good laws, but actually not in their best interests. Frank & Chila on behalf of GRADE.