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h1>North Texas vs. the World

Dallas Morning News – Article Misses Attitudes Towards a Whole Population That Limits Growth In Region

fI read an interesting article in the Dallas Morning News Points section a few Sundays ago. Titled: “North Texas vs. the world” (citation below) it addressed economic issues, global competition and our region. Focusing primarily on the area’s economics, it pointed out that the region faired fairly well over the past couple of years, but we still have some economic challenges.

The article commented that the two major economic centers – Dallas-Plano and Fort Worth-Arlington metro areas – can no longer afford to compete against one another…

When looking at our North Texas area, I’ll define it as the following counties: Dallas, Collin, Denton and Tarrant, I think we have a social issue that affects not only the people living here, but potential talent, their families and companies from either relocating or remaining here.

That problem is how we care for those individuals that are disabled or have intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).

While the State of Texas has focused attention on reducing the populations of State Institutions.  Virtually nothing has been accomplished in reducing the potential homelessness and abuse of people with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD) that live in the community.

Previously, disabled individuals lived out their lives living with their families. This is no longer the case. Disabled individuals are living longer, and are expected to outlive their parents! This is the first generation of adults living with IDD that will be living outside their family’s housing and outside of institutions as adults.

Census data and community input shows that 20% of caregivers in Texas are over the age of 60, and 35% are aged 41-59.

How big is the problem?

According to test standards and studies, about 2.7% of the Texas population (or about 679,000 people) are at or below an IQ score of 70 (the legal level for Mental Retardation) and have some degree of intellectual disability.  (Source: Texas DADs 2/11).

When you combine this with fact that Texas has the 2nd lowest percentage of households with retirement income at 13.6% (2009 census data) it should make you shudder.

85% of parents of adult children with disabilities have fears about their child after they die. (Easter Seals, Living with Disabilities Study)  Parents are being faced with the choice of having to bankrupt themselves so their adult disabled child will not become homeless.

If you were an individual, family member or company looking to relocate, would you consider the North Texas region?

I suspect not. What are your thoughts?

Take the poll and post your opinions.

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Article citation:

Dallas Morning News, Sunday, April 1, 2012, Points section, Page 6P

http://www.dallasnews.com/opinion/sunday-commentary/20120330-richard-florida-and-james-spaniolo-north-texas-is-stronger-together.ece

  • Note: this link will allow you to view the article if you have a subscription. The DMN does not make it easy to find their published articles. It took me multiple attempts! I am not sure if there is a way to see the article if you are not a subscriber 😦
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