EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — A state legislator from El Paso and her legislative director are being honored for their work by the Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities (TCDD).
Representative Mary Gonzalez, who represents El Paso County’s House District 75, is being recognized alongside a group of lawmakers and staffers as TCDD Legislative Champions for efforts on disability-related issues during the 87th session of the Texas Legislature.
Ted Raab, Gonzalez’s legislative director, is also being honored.
Gonzalez is a longtime advocate for raising awareness on disability issues in Texas, specifically regarding education.
She helped advance House Bill 159 (HB 159), which will improve staff training and development for educators to serve students more effectively.
Gonzalez served as House sponsor for the COVID-19 Special Education Recovery Act (Senate Bill 89), which requires school districts across the state to prepare supplemental materials to the written statement of a student’s individualized education program (IEP) for school years impacted by the pandemic.
Additionally, Gonzalez has worked on House Bill 828 (HB 828) that would require disability studies as part of the curriculum in public schools; House Bill 1163 (HB 1163) that would prohibit the use of restraints on public school students who receive special education; and House Bill 168 (HB 168) that would prevent childcare providers from discrimination based on disability, while also improving services for children who have disabilities.