Governor Abbott as proclaimed this week Helen Keller DeafBlind Awareneness Week. This week is especially meaningful for our clients and team here at the HandsOn Program of Mission Road, offering us an opportunity to celebrate the progress, care and future of the clients in our care who share diagnoses including blindness, deafness and IDD (intellectual developmental disability - formerly mental retardation).
 
Our HandsOn program provides quality residential care and day activities for personal who are deaf-blind with multiple disabilities. The serves are designed for individualized training that facilitates the acquisition and/or enhancement of skills in communication, personal care, daily living skills and recreation.  Services are provided in the least restrictive environment while promotion the safety, care and welfare of all participants.  HandsOn merged with Mission Road Ministries August 1, 2016
 
CLICK HERE to read the 2016 story of by Melissa Fletcher Stoeltje at the Express-News.
 
Helen Keller DeafBlind Awareneness Week - June 26 - 30, 2017
Helen Keller was born on June 27, 1880. At 19 months old she contracted an illness, the exact nature of which is unknown that left her completely deaf and blind. After searching for help, the family found Anne Sullivan, a recent graduate of the Perkins Institute for the Blind who helped Keller overcome tremendous barriers with her ability to communicate. Over the 49-year relationship between teacher and pupil, Keller became a world famous lecturer, author, and activist. In 1984 President Ronald Reagan established Helen Keller DeafBlind Awareness week. In his proclamation he commemorated Helen Keller as “America's most renowned and respected deaf-blind person. Her accomplishments serve as a beacon of courage and hope for our Nation, symbolizing what deaf-blind people can achieve.”

On June 21st the Governor’s Committee on People with Disabilities will celebrate the upcoming DeafBlind Awareness week with the Health and Human Services Commission at a lunch and learn session from 11:00-1:00 at the John H. Winters Building, 701 West 51st Street, Austin, TX 78714. The community lunch and learn will include a panel discussion with parents of children with deafblindness and individuals with deafblindness, as well as providers. 
 
In recognition of DeafBlind awareness week the GCPD proudly shares Governor Abbott’s proclamation:

STATE OF TEXAS.  OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR
A childhood illness left her deaf and blind, but the loss of sight and sound could not keep Helen Keller from achieving incredible things. With the support of her family and her teacher, Anne Sullivan, Ms. Keller grew from a child who could not communicate into a woman who read five languages, wrote books, gave speeches and even acted in a film.

Helen Keller’s inspiring life and incredible personal gifts brought awareness to the condition of deaf-blindness and demonstrated that people with multisensory disabilities could lead full lives.  From the provision of employment-related assistance to the availability of supportive technological devices, significant progress has been made in ensuring that all Americans have the tools to realize their potential. Increasingly, today’s deaf-blind individuals have specially trained interveners and support service providers who supply the best possible opportunities for those with disabilities to communicate, access information and participate fully in their communities.
At this time, I encourage all Texans to participate in this deaf-blindness awareness campaign by commemorating Helen Keller’s birth, acknowledging the many contributions of Texans who have disabilities and learning how to best offer support to Texans with multisensory disabilities.
 
We all have important roles to play in building the Texas of tomorrow.
 
Therefore, I, Greg Abbott, Governor of Texas, do hereby proclaim June 25-30, 2017, to be Helen Keller Deaf-Blindness Awareness Week in Texas, and urge the appropriate recognition whereof. In official recognition whereof, I hereby affix my signature this the 6th day of June, 2017.
Greg Abbott, Governor of Texas

The Governor's Committee on People with Disabilities (Committee) provides GovDelivery updates for informational purposes on a variety of disability related issues for a diverse audience. Updates may include information provided by external sources. The inclusion of this external information does not constitute an official endorsement or approval by the Committee or the Office of the Governor of any information, policy, product, or service offered by an external source.

HandsOn - Photo credit: Jerry Lara /San Antonio Express-News