Legal Aid Awarded Grant to Educate Texans on Alternatives to Guardianship

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MERCEDES, Texas – November 10, 2015 – Texas RioGrande Legal Aid (TRLA) has been awarded a $5,370 grant from the Texas Bar Foundation to create a new initiative to educate families and professionals on the alternatives to guardianship, a legal relationship where one individual is appointed to make important decisions for another.

The funds will go to the creation of a unique Guardianship Outreach and Education project aimed at educating caregivers, families, and teachers of children with disabilities about the alternatives to guardianship, including agreements that allow a person with a disability to continue making decisions about their own lives while having a formal support network to assist in the process.

“There are alternatives to stripping people with disabilities of their rights to make their own decisions,” said TRLA Executive Director David Hall. “In order to do that, it’s important that their families and professionals know about the process and how to provide support.”

TRLA attorneys will develop bilingual educational materials to review the alternatives to guardianship, give guidance on forms that need to be completed to initiate those options, and provide other important information regarding supportive decision making. Additionally, TRLA will conduct training for special education programs in Webb County, Central Texas, and the Corpus Christi area to review the materials with special education teachers, professionals, therapists, and families of children with special needs. Private attorneys will be provided with the materials and training to give guidance and assistance to families as they utilize these new tools.

Added Hall, “With the support of the Texas Bar Foundation, this new initiative will go a long way towards helping people with disabilities maintain their independence.”

Since its inception in 1965, the Texas Bar Foundation has awarded more than $16 million in grant to law-related programs. Supported by members of the State Bar of Texas, the Texas Bar Foundation is the nation’s largest charitably-funded bar foundation.

Established in 1970, Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, Inc. (TRLA) is a nonprofit organization that provides free civil legal services to low-income and disadvantaged clients in a 68-county service area. TRLA’s mission is to promote the dignity, self-sufficiency, safety and stability of low-income Texas residents by providing high-quality civil legal assistance and related educational services. For additional information, visit www.trla.org.

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