The Navigate Life Texas (NLT) website, a project supported by the Texas Health and Human Services (HHS), was created to inform and empower parents of children with disabilities or special health care needs. Healthcare, education, insurance, medical diagnoses, transition to adulthood and how to connect with other parents are among the many topics found on NLT. Here, parents share their perspectives on challenges and rewards they have faced revealing their valuable first-hand experience.
Navigate Life Texas was developed by parents, for parents. Most of the content is written by parents of children and adults with disabilities or special health care needs.
In 2009, The Texas Legislature created the Task Force for Children with Special Needs (Task Force). They charged the Task Force with developing and implementing a five-year plan to address the needs of parents of children with disabilities or special health care needs.
In 2012, Texas Health and Human Services conducted state-wide research to obtain information for the project. Parents, caregivers, advocacy groups and nonprofit organizations recommended that health care, family, education, insurance, diagnoses, finance, and the difficulty of struggling with a diagnosis journey through transition to adulthood become major topic areas of focus.
The initial funding for the NLT project was through the Texas HHS Balancing Incentive Program. HHS launched the NLT website in 2015, using this research plus resources from other state agencies: Department of Aging Disability Services (DADS), Department of Family Protective Services (DFPS), Department of State Health Services (DSHS), Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services (DARS), Texas Education Agency (TEA), Texas Juvenile Probation Commission (TJPC), Texas Correctional Office on Offenders with Medical or Mental Impairments (TCOOMMI), Texas Youth Commission (TYC), parent support groups, and subject matter experts. The NLT project continues to be federal and state funded.
Finding Our Way Together by connecting parents with parents and providing resources to support families.
“I wish I had this, 5 years ago when we were starting out."
"It's very well organized, definitely something we’ll be looking at to refer parents to, especially the links.”
“The school information really helped me prepare for my son’s IEP.”
“It’s really hard and you’re going to have some hard, awful days, but there are going to be more really good days than those really bad days.”
"It's not complicated. It’s simple. You can find the information quickly without having to navigate too much. A lot of time it's hard to use technology. I like that I can find the information under the place where I look immediately."
"It's not complicated. It’s simple. I like that I can find the information under the place where I look immediately."
"This site makes me feel calm about helping our children. It relieves our doubts. I find it very friendly, easy, easy to understand, in the language that I can read. It has all the options that I can see clearly and simply."
"This site makes me feel at ease and is so important for parents!"