Category Archives: Health + Ability

All-Texas News | Mental Illness

New House report calls for increase in mental health resources across state
  • The report by the Texas House Select Committee on Mental Health warned that current resource levels are inadequate to support mental health initiatives across areas like education, healthcare, and criminal justice.
  • The cost of the effects of insufficient mental health resources—both financial and human—is expected to climb as the state continues to grow, and the state has begun to focus on behavioral healthcare reform to confront those costs.
  • Recommendations include increasing the use of telemedicine, increasing resources to jail diversion programs, rural healthcare reform, increasing the rate of hospital construction, healthcare-practitioner education incentivization, and increasing access to substance abuse counseling and other resources.
Read

Interim Report 2016: A Report to the House of Representatives 85th Texas Legislature

Coverage

(Image Credit: Marjorie Kamys Cotera/The Texas Tribune)

South Texas News | Children with Disabilities

Investigation finds Houston ISD intentionally underserved students with disabilities
  • Only 7.26% of HISD students are enrolled in special education programs—significantly lower than the national average of 13%—and students of color in particular suffer from under-identification for special education services.
  • While HISD officials praise the statistic as an example of the effect of early intervention, an investigation by the Houston Chronicle finds that the low rate was achieved through deliberate discouragement, delay of student evaluation, position elimination, and budget cuts, effectively denying fair education to students in need.
  • The decrease in service to students with disabilities came as a result of an arbitrary benchmark (8.5%) for special education enrollment that the Texas Education Agency set unscientifically, but HISD went further to set even lower standards after that goal was met.

Read:
Denied: Houston schools systematically block disabled kids from special ed” (The Houston Chronicle)
Angry parents in Houston and Dallas turn out at forums, demanding end to special education target” (The Houston Chronicle)

Watch:

Source: KXAN YouTube

See also:
U.S. Feature | Students with Disabilities (Outlas)