Local & State Agencies

  • Texas Work Force Solution Vocational Rehab (Formerly DARS)
    Tynna Dixon or Toni Johnson

    Transition Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor
      1416 S. New Road
      Waco, TX 76711
      254-296-5200 (option 6) or 1-800-687-6903
    What is TWFS VS?
      TWFS VR helps persons with disabilities prepare for a job and become more independent. To be eligible for services, your disability must keep you from being able to work, and TWFS VR must conclude that you have the potential to get and keep a job after receiving services from TWFS VR. TWFS VR has developed a partnership with MHS to help students make a smooth transition after school ends.

  • HOT Region Mental Health and Mental Retardation Center (MHMR)


    24-Hour Crisis Hotline: 1-866-752-3451

    What is MHMR?
      MHMR provides services to individuals and families coping with mental illness, intellectual and developmental disabilities, developmental delays, and emotional conflict.
      MHMR provides: community support, respite, day habilitation, employment assistance and supported employment, and specialized therapies. MHMR also works with the following specialized services. Contact number for all services is 254-757-3933. Please see website for more details or what services they provide and eligibility criteria: www.hotrmhmr.org.
      • Intermediate Care Facilities for People with Mental Retardation (ICF/MR): provides group home living for individuals with developmental disabilities who are in need of a more structured living environment as they acquire skills leading to quality community involvement.
      • Home and Community Based Services (HCS): is a Medicaid Waiver program that provides specialized services to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in their home or in a home-like environment.
      • Texas Home Living (TxHmL): is a Medicaid Waiver program that provides specialized services to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in their home.
  • Children with Special Health Care Needs (CSHCN)
    • Inquiry line: 1-800-252-8023
    • Temple Regional Office: 1-800-789-2865
    • This agency works with children that have a primary diagnosis of a physical chronic condition or disability that has lasted or will last 12 months. They help children with special health-care needs and people of any age with cystic fibrosis.
  • Children’s Special Needs Network
    • 254-770-2353
    • www.special-children.org
    • This nonprofit organization (based in Belton) assists families and professionals in accessing appropriate services for children with physical or psychological needs.
    • Services provided include: a statewide conference, a loan closet, afternoon respite, in-home respite, home modifications, counseling services, medical equipment, camp scholarships, a newsletter, a resource library, and monthly parent and professional training workshops.
  • Heart of Central Texas Independent Living Center (HOCTIL)
    • 1300 Lake Air Dr., suite 7, Waco, TX 76710
    • 254-754-7050
    • www.hoctilc.org
    • This is a non-residential resource agency whose goal is to promote independence of persons with disabilities through “self-determination” and to advocate for persons with disabilities for equal access and participation in their community.
  • Central Texas Youth Services
    • 1-800-421-8336
    • www.centraltexasyouthservices.org
    • This is a non-profit organization that provides services to runaways, homeless and troubled youth and their families.
    • *Option House: 254-634-2085
    • Provides emergency shelter, food, care, counseling, medical/dental screening independent living skills training, information and referral.
    • *Star Counseling: 1-800-634-8336
    • Provides counseling services and crisis services to children, youth and their families ages 0-17 at no cost
    • *Project F.U.T.U.R.E.: 254-634-0117
    • Provides transitional living arrangements, education, job readiness training, independent living skills training, employment assistance, transportation, and case management for ages 16 - 21
    • *Safe Place, McLennan County: 254-217-1962
    • Provides counseling, emergency shelter, transitional living services, food and hygiene packs, information and referral services at no cost to eligible youth and their families 24 hours a day
  • Klaras Center
    • 1105 W. Jefferson Ave., Waco, TX 76701
    • 254-752-7889
    • This center assists children and youth ages 3 – 17 who evidence significant emotional and behavioral difficulties
  • The ARC of McLennan County
    • 1825 Morrow Ave., Waco, TX 76707
    • 254-756-7491
    • www.wacoarc.org
    • *After School Care
    • The ARC provides care and support for persons and families impacted by autism, mental retardation, and developmental disabilities; services include: after-school care, summer camp, adult self-advocacy, money management, social development and advocacy.
    • The Opportunity Center of The ARC of McLennan County
      • wacoarc.org/programs-and-services/
      • email: theopcenter@gmail.com
      • Facebook site: TheOpportunityCenter
      • A day program for adults on spectrum that Fosters social, artistic, vocational, volunteer and entrepreneurial development. They offer GR8 Expectations, 1 on 1 services and College Support. Open five days a week 10:00 – 3:00.
  • Friends for Life
    • 5000 Lakewood Dr., Waco, Tx
    • 254-772-7600
    • www.friendsforlife.org
    • Friends for Life is a 501(c)(3) charity that was founded in Waco, Texas in September of 1989 to improve the quality of life for seniors and people with disabilities, particularly those who are without family to care for them.
    • Mission Statement: Friends for Life helps the elderly and people with disabilities live independently as long as possible, protects and cares for those who are unable to care for themselves and brings generations together to enrich lives.
    • Areas of Service: Friends for Life serves the elderly and people with disabilities through five different program areas:
      • Guardianship
      • Money Management
      • Independent Living and Quality of Life Programs
      • Adult Day Care
  • Central Texas Helping Hands
    • 121 N. Hewitt Dr. Suite B, Hewitt, TX 76643
    • CTHelpingHands.com
    • 254-732-4455
    • Patty Robledo, Director
    • Stuart Castro, Executive Director
    • Mission Statement:
      To support seniors, adults with disabilities, and their families. We want all individuals to reach their full independence – with an emphasis on community involvement – by promoting the care for each adult with dignity and respect
    • Services:
      Central Texas Helping Hands is open to offer therapeutic and social activities under medical supervision during the day. Participants will engage in life-affirming activities like music, exercise, gardening, brain fitness, games, special events and community interaction. Loved ones are cared for while care givers go to work, school or simply receive respite.

Parent Resources

  • Texas Parent to Parent
    • 1805 Rutherford Lane, Suite 201, Austin, TX 78754
    • http://txp2p.org/
    • 1-866-896-6001
    • Texas Parent to Parent (TxP2P) is committed to improving the lives of Texas children who have disabilities, chronic illness, and/or special health care needs. TxP2P empowers families to be strong advocates through parent-to-parent support, resource referral, and education. In addition, TxP2P educates professionals about the unique needs of our children with the goal of improving care and opportunities for our children. Lastly, TxP2P is dedicated to championing the efforts of a diverse set of parent support groups and advocacy on behalf of our children’s well-being.
    • The heart of TxP2P is the parent-to-parent peer support model—parents volunteering to provide support and information to other parents. The parent-to-parent model ( P2P Best Practices) has been developed by and for parents to address the powerful emotions, new responsibilities, stress and isolation that parents and families face in caring for a child with special health care needs. Parent-to-parent support sustains parents as they develop the skills to manage the new demands on their families and themselves and to advocate effectively for their children.
  • PATH www.PartnersTx.org
    • A grant project of Partners Resource Network, Inc., one of three federally funded Parent training and Information Centers (PTI) serving Texas parents of children and youth with disabilities from the ages of 0-26.
    • Regional Coordinator- Kim Torres
    • ktorres@partnerstx.org
    • 210-884-3608
    • 2-1-1 Guide to Helpful Resources and Information: www.211texas.org
    • This guide answers questions about health and human services. 2-1-1 is the abbreviated dialing code for free information and referrals to critical health and human services provided by nonprofit organizations and government agencies in individual communities. One can also ask for 2-1-1 assistance in another city, and one can also request directories for other counties.


  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
    • The Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program pays benefits to disabled adults and children who have limited income and resources.
    • Apply online at https://www.ssa.gov/disabilityssi/ssi.html
      • Social Security Disability Income (SSDI)
        • To apply for a child...
          • Go to https://www.ssa.gov/disabilityssi/apply-child.html
          • Or call 1-800-772-1213
          • You will need to complete an Application for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) AND a Child Disability Report. The report collects information about the child’s disabling condition and how it affects his/her ability to function.
          • At this time, only the Child Disability Report can be completed online. Please contact us by phone or in person to schedule an appointment to complete the SSI application. We will help you in person or by phone.
        • To apply for an adult (18+)….
          • Go to https://www.ssa.gov/disabilityssi/

    Guardianship & Other Options

    • Guardianship Information
    • Videos and Toolkits: Supported Decision-Making Resources, Disability Rights Texas, available HERE
    • The ARC of Texas Fact Page: Alternatives to Guardianship: Supported Decision-Making Agreements, The Arc of Texas, available HERE

    Local Therapy Options (These are just a few....)

    • Pet Therapy
      • Angel Paws
      • www.angelpaws.info
      • 254-744-9926
      • Email- angelpaws@hot.rr.com
    • Equine Therapy
      • Reach Therapeutic Riding Center
      • www.reachtrc.org
      • 254-848-7888
    • Heart of Texas Therapeutic Riding Center
      • 310 Tours Rd., Ross, TX
      • www.hottrc.org
      • 254-749-2612
    • Elite Therapy Center (Waco Clinic)
      • 601 W. Loop 340, Waco, TX 76712
      • Phone: 254-399-TALK (8255)
      • Fax: 254-235-3408
    • Hope and Believe Pediatric Therapy
      • 6701 Sanger Ave. Suite 104, Waco, TX 76710
      • Phone: 254-848-6284
      • Fax: 254-848-4193
    • Behavior Therapy Central Texas Behavior Solutions
      • www.ctbs.co
      • (254)760-0494
    • Focus Behavioral Associates
      • 620 N. Robinson Dr.,Robinson, Texas 76706
      • 254-732-2262
    • Thrive Behavior Consulting
      • Brough.behavior@yahoo.com

    Where do I go?

  • Texas Identification Cards
    • Available at the Texas Public Safety Department, 1617 E. Crest Drive (759-7100)
    • Must bring: original or certified copy of birth certificate plus 2 other forms of identification such as (Social Security card, school records, high school diploma, transcript, or GED)
    • Cost: $16
    • Good for 6 years
  • Voter Registration Cards
    • Cards are available at the post office and in Government/Economic classes.
    • Registration can be done online: www.sos.state.tx.us
    • To be eligible to register in Texas, you must:
      • Be a U.S. citizen
      • Be a resident of the county
      • Be 18 years old (you may register at 17 years and 10 months)
      • Not a convicted felon
      • Not declared mentally incapacitated by a court of law
    • Selective Service Registration (for males)
      • Males are required by law to register within 30 days of their 18th birthday or as early as 3 months after 17th birthday. It is a felony not to register; not registering can result in fines up to $250,000 or 5 years in prison.
      • Males can register at the Selective Service website (www.sss.gov) or by mail
      • Forms are available at the post office.
    • Social Security Card
      • Social Security Administration
      • 6801 Sanger Ave., Waco, TX 76710
      • 254-741-2331
      • 1-800-772-1213
    • Local Driver's Education Programs
      • Central Texas Driving School
      • 7524 Bosque Blvd, Waco, Tx 76712
      • 254-751-1000
      • http://centraltexasdrivingschool.com
    • XLR8 Drivers Education – Parent Taught Online 504 and SPED Friendly Program
      • 254-751-1136
      • www.XLR8drivingschool.com
      • Austin Driving School
        • 611 Hwy 6, Waco, Tx 76710
        • 254-772-4897
        • http://austindrivingschool.com/ads-locations/waco/#1525820674887-1

    College Information

    • How do I apply for colleges of interest?
      1. Go to www.applytexas.org
      2. Create a new account (make sure it is a something you can remember or put the login info in your phone)
      3. Click “My Applications” once logged in
      4. Click “Create a new application now”
      5. Follow the steps to fill out applications with your college(s) of interest
    • MCC Disability Services Completion Center
      • 1400 College Dr., Waco, TX 76708
      • Jana Bennette
      • 254-299-8122
    • TSTC Disability Services
      • Located in the Student Services Center
      • 3801 Campus Dr., Waco, TX 76705
      • Marilyn Harren or Jennifer Foster
      • 254-867-3600
    • FAFSA
      • Completing a FAFSA is the first step in applying for most federal, state, and college-provided financial aid for students. It stands for Free Application for Federal Student Aid because it is filed with the US Department of Education, but most state-sponsored and college-sponsored aid requires the same FAFSA filing, so it is not only for federally sponsored student aid as the name might imply.

        The FAFSA is used by aid providers to determine the amount of the student's Expected Family Contribution (EFC), which is the amount that they expect the student's family could contribute toward the student's college education. EFC varies from student to student since it is based on the specific financial situation of the student and often of the student's parents as well.

        The FAFSA is often 100+ questions long and can cover various areas such as the student's family situation, the student's educational background, the student's educational plans and prospective colleges, the student's finances, the student's spouse's finances, and the student's parents' finances. Whether or not parent financial information is required depends on whether or not the student is determined to still be a dependent of one of their parents.

        Once the FAFSA application is completed and filed, a federal processor will examine all the information provided and pass the examination results on to the financial aid offices of the preferred colleges listed on the FAFSA.

        In short, the FAFSA is often the first step in applying for your share of the billions of dollars in student financial aid that are available every year, including scholarships, grants, low-interest loans and work-study programs. We can help prepare and file your FAFSA now, on the web or over the phone. Start today and file with confidence, using our proven assisted service.
      • http://www.fafsa-application.com
      • If you need help filling out the FAFSA: Free Service
        • Contact: Rolando Rodriguez
        • Title: Waco Foundation-MAC Program & Scholarship Coordinator
        • Phone: 254-752-9457

    If you have been within the foster care system-

    • Texas Department of Family Protective Services:
    • Information on waived (free) college tuition and fees
    • https://www.dfps.state.tx.us/Child_Protection/Youth_and_Young_Adults/Post_Secondary_Education/college_tuition_waiver.asp
    • Contact Information for Regional Preparation for Adult Living (PAL) Coordinator: Tacolya Singletary 512-834-3111
    • *This contact can send you a signed tuition fee waiver letter for the registrar’s office at your college.

    Employment Help

    • Texas Workforce Commission
      • 1416 S. New Road, Waco, TX 76711-1335
      • 254-754-5421
      • www.twc.state.tx.us
      • This state agency oversees and provides workforce development services to employers and job seekers.
  • HOT Goodwill Industries, Inc.
    • 1700 South New Road Waco, TX 76711
    • 254-753-7337
    • www.hotgoodwill.org
    • Goodwill works with those who have disabilities and disadvantages by expanding their opportunities and capabilities through employment and training programs.
      They offer the following employment resources: resume writing, job search assistance, interview skills training, goal setting, employer expectations, career exploration, job retention, and job opportunity boot camp.
      Goodwill offers classes every week.
      The Learning Center is open Monday – Friday from 8a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
  • Aramark at Baylor University
    1. Go to the website: dining.baylor.edu to down load an application for employment, or visit 1919 S. 1st St., Waco, TX 76706 to pick up or drop off an application.
    2. Must be 18 years old to be eligible for employment.
    3. Some begin work with a job coach provided through MHMR or Texas Workforce Solutions, and some begin work independently.
    4. Most hires are made in August before the school year begins, but there is always some turnover.
    5. Hours usually are 11-3 or 5-9 Mondays through Fridays.
  • Job Corps Texas
    • 800-733-JOBS (5627)
    • If you have any other questions or concerns, please feel free to contact Kim Johnson, Transition Specialist at Midway ISD.
    • Phone Contact: 254-761-5680 ext. 3001
    • Email: Kimberly.johnson@midwayisd.org