This handbook tells you about the rights and privileges you have if you are receiving services offered through the Home and Community-Based Services (HCS) program.
There are some basic ideas about your rights, including that:
- People have rights. Rights are what you can do and how you are treated based on federal and state constitutions, laws, and rules.
- Rights are not limited without due process. Due process is an opportunity to have a hearing or review to decide if there is a good reason to limit your rights or services.
- People are free from abuse and neglect.
- People have responsibilities. Responsibilities are your duties that you must try to do if you are able. Staff can help you learn about your rights and responsibilities.
All services are provided in compliance with the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, and in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.
Your rights under Texas law (Texas Health and Safety Code, Title 7, Subtitle D)
If you have intellectual or developmental disabilities and live in Texas, you have the following rights:
- You have the same rights as other citizens of the United States and this state unless your rights have been lawfully restricted. All citizens have, unless it has been restricted lawfully, the right to register to vote, to practice a religion, to keep your own possessions, to contract for something (such as buying a house), and to get married. You cannot be treated differently because of your disability.
- No one has the right to hurt you, take advantage of you, or ignore your needs.
- You have the right to live and receive services where you can make as many of your own decisions as possible. This may be with your family, with your friends, alone, or where there are people trained to help you.
- You have the right to go to public school until age 22.
- Before you receive services, a doctor or a psychologist must determine that you have an intellectual disability and explain to you what that means. If you do not agree with them, you can also ask for a meeting to review your case. You can ask for a second opinion that you would pay for with your own money. You can ask for services from other agencies and organizations.
- For issues that require consent, you should be able to understand what you are agreeing to. If you have a guardian, he or she may make decisions for you.
Your Rights in a TxHmL Program
- Before a guardian is named, you will have a court hearing with a judge. Only a judge can give you a guardian. That guardian may be a parent or another adult. This hearing is considered due process.
- If you are looking for a job and have the necessary skills to do the job, you cannot be denied the job because of your disability. If you have a job, you have the right to be paid fairly like everyone else.
- You have the right to have the treatment and services that are best for you. You can change your mind about any or all of the services you receive.