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Families of Children with Special Health Care Needs Gather for First-Ever ‘Navigate Life Day’

Navigate Life Texas

Austin,Texas (PR MediaRelease) July 31, 2015

The Task Force for Children with Special Needs (TFCSN) and the Texas Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) announced that Aug. 1 will be the first-ever “Navigate Life Day,” a special observance to celebrate Texas families who have children with disabilities and special health care needs.

This awareness day is part of a month-long education campaign to introduce Texans to NavigateLifeTexas.org, or AvancemosJuntosTexas.org in Spanish. The new website is the first in the country to provide comprehensive, relevant information about how to care for children with disabilities and special health care needs, from diagnosis through adulthood

TFCSN and HHSC have partnered with Texas Parent to Parent as well as non-profit organizations, parents, and other stakeholders to host multiple Navigate Life Day events during August. These events are being held in communities across the state to help families connect with one another and learn about the new website.

“We want to celebrate the launch of this valuable new tool for families of children with disabilities and other health care needs,” said Mary Jo Miller of Texas Parent to Parent. “We believe Navigate Life Day is just the beginning of a larger grassroots movement to help educate families about resources like NavigateLifeTexas.org. It is also a meaningful way to help families build support systems in their own communities.”

Background

NavigateLifeTexas.org was designed for parents, by parents. Until now, there was no single source for people to go to for comprehensive, relevant, and accurate information about children with disabilities and special health care needs. Extensive research showed that parents and professionals believed a comprehensive website was needed. NavigateLifeTexas.org fills this gap by offering information such as how to talk to doctors and school officials, how to find financial help, and how to find community support.

Research conducted as part of the website project indicates most, if not all, parents who have children with a disability or special health care need feel some sense of isolation. NavigateLifeTexas.org provides relevant information for these parents as well as a robust search function that can help them locate services and support groups within their ZIP code or county and elsewhere in Texas.

Children with disabilities and special health care needs are not defined by race, color, or socio-economic status. This is an issue that affects all Texans. According to Texas Parent to Parent, more than 900,000 children in Texas have a disability or special health care need. Nearly 250,000 children have conditions that consistently affect their daily activities.

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The mission of the Texas Health and Human Services Commission is to maintain and improve the health and human services system in Texas and to administer its programs in accordance with the highest standards of customer service and accountability for the effective use of funds. HHSC oversees the operations of the health and human services system, provides administrative oversight of Texas health and human services programs, and provides direct administration of some programs.

Enrique Marquez
Texas Health and Human Services Commission
Communications Director
512-424-6951
Enrique.Marquez@hhsc.state.tx.us

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