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Austin, Texas


Contact Information

If you, your business, or organization are interested in becoming a part of the Disability Initiative Workgroup, please contact  Alpha Balde of Foundation Communities at [email protected].

If you are already a member of the Disability Initiative Workgroup and have questions regarding the IRS participation, then please contact  David Davila at [email protected].


 
Disability Initiative Workgroup - Activities for 2012

The Greater Austin Disability Workgroup completed its 4th quarterly meeting on January 27, 2012. Representatives from various agencies attended the 2-hour workgroup meeting held at the Workforce Solutions, Capital Area building. The first part of the meeting included a presentation on NDI/REI tour by Katie Metz followed by a presentation by Martin Kereithi of Capital Metro. Kareithi’s presentation focused on the efforts of Cap Metro is taking to address the impact of the new recertification process on people with disabilities who heavily relying on public transit.

In an effort to make the Workgroup more action-focused, the planning group decided to change these meetings into issue-focused break-out sessions in which participants discuss issues, highlight resources and take leadership towards their an issue area of interest. The 3 broad issue areas are:

  • Financial/Economic
  • Employment/Training
  • Housing/Transportation

Each issue group will be spearheaded by a select leader who is charged with identifying and following up on action plans with group members, recruiting more participants from the field, and presenting updates subsequent quarterly workgroup meetings.

Representatives in attendance at the January meeting came came from the following organizations/businesses:

  • ARCIL of Central Texas
  • Capital Metropolitan Transportation Authority
  • D-Verse Solutions
  • Foundation Communities
  • Internal Revenue Service
  • Maximus
  • Workforce Solutions,Capital Area
  • Workforce Solutions, Rural Capital Area
  • Texas Dept of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services
  • Texas Department of Insurance
  • Texas Veterans Commission

The next quarterly meeting is scheduled for April 25 from 11am-1pm at Workforce Solutions, Rural Capital Area in Round Rock, Texas. Please RSVP to [email protected] if you’d like to attend the event and obtain the current address. Important: Workforce Solutions-Round Rock has recently relocated. So please e-mail Greg Madsen for address information.

Foundation Communities administers the Community Tax Centers, the largest of its Financial Stability Programs, that offer free income tax assistance to low-and-moderate income residents in Central Texas. We offer our services out of multiple locations during the filing season and operate a year-round service at our flagship site—the Community Financial Center. During filing season 2011, Community Tax Center ‘s 600+ IRS-Certified volunteers helped clients file nearly 17,000 tax returns, claim nearly $30 Million in federal income tax refunds, of which $11 Million was due to the Earned Income Tax Credit. Our services helped clients save over $2 Million in tax preparation fees.

Over 2,000 clients served by our program last season have at least one person with a disability in the household including 377 Deaf/Hard of Hearing, 108 blind, 170 wheelchair users, and 1,397 with another disability. Website: http://www.communitytaxcenters.org/

 
2011 Events

March 10 - NDI's Michael Roush and Katie Metz traveled to Austin, Texas last week to co-host an REI Tour Workgroup meeting with the Internal Revenue Service and Foundation Communities. At the meeting, attendees discussed strategies on how to increase outreach to persons with disabilities on VITA/EITC services and Financial Education.

Photo of Alpha Balde from Foundation Communities, Michael Roush from NDI, Kathleen Bushnell from IRS SPEC, Katie Metz from NDI, Jamie Stewart from IRS SPEC, and Norma Walker from Foundation Communities