Department of Neighborhoods
Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities

Press Release


Mayor Annise Parker Kicks Off 3rd Annual Disability Awareness Month with Local Elected Officials and Community Organizations



October 4, 2011 -- In an effort to raise awareness about disability issues and promote positive perceptions about the diverse contributions and abilities of America's workers with disabilities, the City of Houston Department of Neighborhoods/Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities and community partners will host the 3rd Annual Disability Awareness Month Celebration on Friday, October 7, 2011, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.  It will be held at the Metropolitan Multi-Service Center Auditorium, 1475 W. Gray, Houston, Texas 77019.



This year's (2011) campaign theme is, "Synergy for Inclusion."   In addition to honoring outstanding  individuals with disabilities, this event will acknowledge   persons and agencies/organizations that have stepped up to the plate to level the playing field for disabled citizens by addressing and removing barriers; providing programs/services and offering employment opportunities.


“We believe everyone should be given the opportunity to participate fully in our economy," said Catherine Flowers, Director, City of Houston Department of Neighborhoods.  "That is why we work to remove physical and attitudinal barriers for Houston’s residents."


Featured Guests:

Annise Parker, Mayor of Houston; Gene Norman, KHOU 11 Chief Meteorologist (Emcee); Dr. Alma Allen, Texas State Representative; Garnett Coleman, Texas State Representative; Jo Virgil, Member, Texas Governor's Committee on People with Disabilities; Wanda Adams, Houston City Council Member, District D; Jolanda Jones, Houston City Council Member, At-Large 5; Brenda Stardig, Houston City Council Member, District A; Adrian Garcia, Harris County Sheriff; Woodhaven Baptist Church for the Deaf (along with Pastor Craig and choir); Dr. Margaret "Peg" Nosek, Baylor College of Medicine (History of MMSC); Shawn Powell-Furillo (speaker); Addie Lasseigne, Best Buddies Ambassador; Houston Community College's VAST students; Larry Green, HoustonWorks USA; and Honorees: Felix Martinez , Edward Washington, Troyon Myree and Karl Hearne



During the 82nd Texas Legislative Session, HB 3616 was passed—designating October as Persons with Disabilities History and Awareness Month. Various public and private agencies formed a stakeholder planning group to highlight the importance of disability history to our state and nation and to celebrate full inclusion and participation of Texans with disabilities. The stakeholder group included representatives from the Department of Aging and Disability Services, the Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services, the Texas Governor's Committee on People with Disabilities, the ARC of Texas, Coalition of Texans with Disabilities, Disability Rights Texas, Every Child, Inc., Texas Council of Developmental Disabilities, Texas Education Agency, and Disability Studies from the University of Texas.


Community Partners:

The City of Houston Office of the Controller, Parks and Recreation Department and Commission on Disabilities; Easter Seals Greater Houston;Barbara Jordan Endeavors Corporation; Executive Business Connections; Greater Houston Business Leadership Network; Gulf Coast Community Services Association; Houston Center for Independent Living; Houston Housing Authority; MHMRA/Collaboration for Action and Workforce Solutions


Event Partners:  

Tammie Lang Campbell, Founder and Executive Director, Honey Brown Hope Foundation; Attorney Marc Whitehead; Shar-day "Marcom Pro" Campbell; Texas Medicaid Infrastructure Grant/Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services; The H.E.A.R.T. Program; Randall's and Joe's Crab Shack