Lyft Offers Free and Discounted Rides on Election Day

The ride source service Lyft is partnering with national voting and non-profit organizations to provide low cost or free rides to individuals on election day. Many voters admit that transportation is their biggest obstacle to voting in local and national elections.

Lyft is available in all fifty states, but may not be available in local areas. Click here for a list of cities that offer Lyft service: https://www.lyft.com/rider/cities
The Lyft app is available on iOS and Android platforms.

The last day to register in vote in Texas for the November election is October 9th. You can pick up a voter registration application at various places like high schools and public libraries. You can also print a voter registration application here: https://webservices.sos.state.tx.us/vrapp/index.asp
You must register at least 30 days before the election in order to be eligible to vote.

In many cities the Democratic Party will also provide free rides to polling places. Persons with disabilities may also vote by mail.

For more information on Lyft’s #TheRidetoVote initiative, visit https://blog.lyft.com/posts/2018/8/22/get-out-the-vote
More details will be available closer to Election Day, which is Tuesday, November 6th.

Disability Focus Group Opportunity in the Austin Area

Travis and Williamson counties, which include the cities of Austin, Pflugerville, and Round Rock, are collaborating on a regional housing and economic opportunity study. They’ve hired BBC Research & Consulting to do the assessment. Disability Rights Texas has been asked to host a focus group session specifically for people with disabilities.

Event Information:
Location: Disability Rights Texas, 2222 W Braker Lane, Austin, TX 78758
Date: Tuesday, September 11th, 2018
Time 12:00 PM – 1:30 PM (1.5 hours)
Lunch will be provided.

If you’d like to participate, click here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSeslzsQ8lFceS9ZRH8Etrhak4GM_T53ss4y8ZX2MNtJ33SUEQ/viewform

National Association of Blind Merchants BLAST conference

The National Association of Blind Merchants will host it’s BLAST conference from November 13 – 16, 2018, in San Antonio, Texas, at the Hyatt Regency Hill Country Resort and Spa. Super Early Bird Registration is occurring now until August 13th; the cost to register early is $200. For more information call the National Association of Blind Merchants at 888-687-6226 or click on this link: https://blindmerchants.org/blast-2018-information/

Disability Voter Registration Week is July 16-20

July 16 – 20 has been designated as Disability Voter Registration Week.

You have to be at least 18 years old and a U.S. citizen in order to vote.
An application is required to register, but you only have to register once.
You can get a voting application at a public library, tax assessor’s office, high school, post office, or workforce commission office. You can also find the application online at https://webservices.sos.state.tx.us/vrapp/index.asp

Three ways to vote if you are elderly or have a disability:
1) Mail in ballot
2) Curbside voting (call ahead for this option)
3) in person voting at a polling location

Persons with disabilities may request an accessible voting machine, an interpreter, or they may bring an assistant to help them vote.

Everyone must bring a form of ID if they vote in person. This may be a voter registration card, Texas ID card, driver’s license, gun license, military ID, passport, paycheck, birth certificate, or bank statement.

For more information on voting for people with disabilities, please visit www.RevUpTexas.org or call the Voting Rights Hotline at 888-796-VOTE (8683)
The last day to register to vote in the November 2018 election is October 9th. Early voting begins on October 22nd. The election is on November 6th.

Texas Parks & Wildlife Department (TPWD) Disability-Related Resources

All of the programs within the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department can be adapted for seniors and persons with disabilities. Activities include but are not limited to fishing, archery, boating, kayaking, hiking, and biking.

In addition, organizations can apply for an Accessible Resources in the Community Outdoor Outreach Program grant to fund a variety of needs such as equipment, supplies, transportation, and staff. For more information about the grant, visit https://tpwd.texas.gov/business/grants/recreation-grants/community-outdoor-outreach-program-co-op-grants

The Texas Parks & Wildlife Department web site features the following links for wheelchair users:
Wheelchair-accessibility at parks: http://tpwd.texas.gov/state-parks/parks/things-to-do/wheelchair-accessibility-in-state-parks
Wheelchair-friendly events: http://tpwd.texas.gov/calendar/wheelchair-friendly
Please note that inclement weather can affect the accessibility of a park or outdoor space.

Sandra Heath is the Americans with Disabilities Act Coordinator at TPWD. She can be reached at 512-389-4818.
For more information about what the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department has to offer, visit https://tpwd.texas.gov/

College Scholarships for Texas Students who are Blind

Two advocacy agencies in Texas offer scholarships for students who are blind:

The National Federation of the Blind of Texas (NFBTX):
Deadline: August 15, 2018
Link: https://www.nfbtx.org/scholarships.php
For more information and questions, call the NFBTX office at 281-968-7733 or send an email to Lara Sowell, NFBTX Scholarship Committee Chair, at scholarships@nfbtx.org

American Council of the Blind of Texas (ACBT):
Deadline: July 7, 2018
Link: http://www.acbtexas.org/financial/financial.htm#ACBT%20Scholarship%20Program
For more information and questions, contact Dianna E. Carter, ACBT Scholarship Committee Chair, at ddcarter2000@gmail.com
Applications may also be obtained at Texas Workforce Solutions offices and Education Service Centers.

Free Diabetes Seminar at the Lighthouse of Houston

The Lighthouse of Houston will host the first in a series of seminars about diabetes on Friday, June 15, 2018, from 8:30 – 11:30 a.m. Presenters will include an ophthalmologist, a podiatrist, a registered dietician, a low vision doctor, and a behavioral health specialist.

Seating for this event is limited.
Please call Alma Segura at 713-284-8422 to register.

A light breakfast will be served, and there will be gift bags and opportunities for door prizes.

Opportunity for Texas Artists with Disabilities

Every year the Texas Governor’s Committee for People with Disabilities produces a poster for National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). Texans with disabilities are encouraged to submit artwork for consideration.

Do not send original artwork. Entries must be received electronically or through the mail by July 16, 2018.

The winning artwork will be displayed in the Governor’s Committee office permanently, and the posters will be distributed across the state. The artist will also be recognized at the Lex Frieden Employment Awards reception in October.

For more information, visit the NDEAM page at https://gov.texas.gov/organization/disabilities/ndeam_poster

ABLE Accounts Now Available

Individuals with developmental disabilities in Texas can now set up ABLE financial accounts. These accounts allow people with disabilities to save money for disability-related financial expenses without fear of losing state or federal benefits such as Medicaid and SSDI. In order to be eligible for an ABLE account you have to have a developmental disability that was diagnosed before the age of 26.

For more information about ABLE accounts:
• read the FAQ: https://www.texasable.org/faqs/
• visit the website: TexasABLE.org
• call for information at 844-489-2253; or
• send an email to: customerservice@TexasABLE.org

Campaign for Disability Employment Social Media Effort

The Campaign for Disability Employment (CDE) has started a social media effort to show people with disabilities at work. Post a picture of yourself at work on social media (Facebook, Twitter or Instagram) with the hashtag #ICanCDE.

Funded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy, the CDE is a collaborative effort among several disability and business organizations that is working to change attitudes about disability and employment.

Show the world what you can do!

For more information, visit https://www.whatcanyoudocampaign.org/news/.