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Governor Perry to Release Executive Order at Disability Event

Chief of Staff McKinney to Announce Order Relating to Disability Issues


AUSTIN, TEXAS April 17, 2002
Disability advocates and leaders will be the first to learn of Governor Rick Perry’s Executive Order relating to the disability community, to be announced April 18 at an annual scholarship event sponsored by the Coalition of Texans with Disabilities (CTD). Dr. Mike McKinney, the Governor’s chief of staff, will announce the Executive Order on the Texas implementation of the U. S. Supreme Court Olmstead decision. The important Olmstead decision directed that individuals with disabilities should receive services in community settings whenever appropriate and available.

“By strengthening the avenues for community-based alternatives, Texans with disabilities and their families are offered more choices and greater access to support systems that best fit individualized needs,” Perry said.

CTD established the Kenny Murgia Memorial Scholarship to honor the memory of Kenny Murgia, one of Texas’ youngest disability advocates. This scholarship consists of a cash award to be used towards college, and allows the recipient, a Texas high school senior with a disability, the opportunity to meet with prominent disability advocates.

This year’s winner, Suzonne Kakoolaki of Mayde Creek High School in Katy, exemplifies the spirit of both Kenny Murgia and CTD. In addition to her work in the disability community, Suzonne works hard to be a role model for her peers. “I hope that I have shown my fellow classmates a lot about persevering in the face of overwhelming adversity and open peoples’ eyes to what people with disabilities face everyday,” said Suzonne, a person with a visual impairment.

CTD will also announce updates on Team Everest ’03, CTD’s campaign promoting 50 years’ progress in advancing the rights of people with disabilities by sending a team of people with disabilities to Mt. Everest. The first Challenge Trek Team members will be introduced and Gary Guller, Austin mountaineer and Challenge Trek Team leader, will be a featured speaker.

The event will be held on April 18th, from 6-8 pm, at the Omni Southpark in Austin. For further information on the event, Team Everest ’03 or applications to join the Team Everest ’03 Challenge Trek Team, please call Dennis Borel at the CTD offices at (512) 478-3366.

Press Contact:
Dennis Borel
Project Director
(512) 478-3366