Governor Perry to Release Executive Order at Disability Event
Chief of Staff McKinney to Announce Order Relating to Disability
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
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.