How We Began
Disability Rights Texas is the protection and advocacy agency for Texans with disabilities. Protection and advocacy agencies are sometimes called P&As. They were created in the early 1970s because of a national news story about Willowbrook, a large home in New York for children with disabilities. The news report by Geraldo Rivera (warning: video contains some disturbing scenes) showed poor living conditions and bad treatment of the children there. It led to the US Congress passing a law in 1975 saying that every state in the US needed to have an agency to protect and fight for the rights of people with disabilities.
In 1977, Disability Rights Texas opened its doors as the P&A for our state. Over time, our mission has grown with more laws passed giving more rights to people with disabilities. Watch this video to learn more.