Life is full of transitions, and one of the more remarkable ones occurs when we get ready to leave high school and go out in the world as young adults. When an individual has a disability, it’s especially helpful to plan ahead for transitions. The Arc provides services that ensure that parents of children with developmental disabilities have access to essential information and support for all of life’s transitions.  The following services are offered at minimal or no cost:



Alternatives to Guardianship

As defined by the Texas Probate Code, guardianship is a legal process used to provide protection for adults who are incapacitated. The Probate Code defines an incapacitated person as: “An adult individual who, because of a physical or mental condition, is substantially unable to provide food, clothing, or shelter to himself or herself, to care for the individual’s own physical health, or to manage the individual’s own financial affairs.” The Arc of the Capital Area, along with The Arc of Texas and The Arc of the United States, believe that the majority of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) can manage their own affairs with informal assistance and guidance and do not need a guardian. People with IDD can be supported in many ways to make their own decisions without taking away their rights through a guardianship. Learn more about alternatives to guardianship by reading the documents below. Each of the documents is provided in three formats: For Families, For Self-Advocates, and For Self-Advocates with Dyslexia. In addition, each of these documents are available in English and Spanish.


More Information

Cited by The Arc of Texas
Supported Decision Making Information Sheet (English)
Supported Decision Making Agreement (English)
Supported Decision Making Information Sheet and Agreement(Spanish)

Want more information on alternatives to guardianship?
Give us a call.

Caleb Alford
Manager of Case Management



Now accepting applications.  Must be able to participate via technology virtually.

English Application

Spanish Application

Admission Criteria:

  • Person with disability must be 18 on or before the final court hearing in Mid-May. Exact Date TBD
  • Person with disability must live in Travis County
  • Person applying for guardianship must fall under 250% FPL (total household gross income): check this link https://www.safetyweb.org/fpl.php
  • Cost: $200.00 program fee

First FREE session is TBD

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

FREE Spanish Speaking Session, TBD

While most adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities can manage their personal and financial affairs with informal assistance and guidance from family and friends, others need legal protection. Cost prevents most low-income families from obtaining the legal counsel they need to establish guardianship of their child once they reach adulthood.

Without guardianship, individuals with disabilities could be left financially, medically, and legally responsible for actions they may not understand or intend to happen. For instance, such individuals may be persuaded to sign a lease on a car or home without fully understanding the consequences or financial obligation. Decision-making ability regarding medical care may also be impossible for some people with disabilities. Without a legal guardian, they are often vulnerable to inadequate or misdirected medical procedures. For example, a parent may be restricted from making decisions pertaining to the medical needs of their loved one with a disability once they reach age 18.

With support from the Travis County Probate Court and local attorneys providing pro bono assistance, The Arc of the Capital Area staff assists families in completing court-required documents while coordinating and attending meetings between prospective guardians, pro bono attorneys, and the bonding company. Prospective guardians participate in a series of workshops led by The Arc and legal experts to educate them on guardianship requirements in preparation for their court appearances.

Do I qualify?
Clients must have a developmental disability or a child with a developmental disability and reside in Travis County.
Note: We are currently working to expand our Guardianship program to include Williamson county, but do not serve individuals outside of Travis County at this time. For guardianship services in Williamson County, contact Sharrion Threadgill, Williamson County Probate Court Coordinator, at 512.943.1681.

Is there a charge?
Please call The Arc of the Capital Area at 512. 476.7044 for income eligibility standards and related fees.

When should I start thinking about guardianship support?
It is recommended that people/parents desiring to obtain guardianship begin researching the requirements near the child’s 16th birthday. Early preparation helps potential guardians as they enter the process. The Arc of the Capital Area’s guardianship services are available when the child is 18 years of age or older.

How do I get on the waiting list?
Persons who are interested in participating in The Arc of the Capital Area’s Guardianship program should contact The Arc of the Capital Area at 512. 476.7044.

What happens after I am placed on the waiting list?
Each year, applicants are invited to participate based on the order of the interest list and the potential ward’s birth date. At this time, applicants are asked to submit proof of household income in order to determine program eligibility. Participants are given a schedule of monthly workshops to be held in preparation for their guardianship hearings.







Educational advocacy-sevices

Educational Advocacy Services

The Arc of the Capital Area’s Educational Advocacy program provides short-term Special Education advocacy and support to elementary, middle and high school students diagnosed with an intellectual or developmental disability, and their families. Our educational advocates work with students, their families and the personnel at the student’s school to help them succeed, and to empower parents and families to learn to navigate the Special Education system and be better able to support their children throughout their education. Services are available in English and Spanish.

Educational Advocacy

  • Attend and advocate for the student and their family at up to two Admission, Review, and Dismissal (ARD) and Manifestation Determination (MD) meetings
  • Review the student’s Special Education plan to ensure that he or she is in the most appropriate educational setting
  • Assist in development/modification of client’s Individualized Education Plan (IEP) and Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP)
  • Educate guardians about their rights within the Special Education system

Home Based Support

  • Make up to two home visits to work with families on their own time, to read and review the student’s IEP and BIP and ensure that they agree with the child’s education plan
  • Work with parents to identify and suggest modifications to education plans, if necessar
For more information visit www.arcaustin.org

contact us at 512-476-7044


Training & Workshops


The Arc provides trainings and workshops for parents, individuals with disabilities and other community agencies around Transition Topics, Alternatives to Guardianship and Guardianship, Special Education, Life after High School or 18 + programming, maximizing benefits, Medicaid Waivers or any topic requested along the continuum of care.  Trainings can be done at The Arc facility; in school settings; for parent support groups; for agencies in the community.

More information

Contact Us

Get in touch and let us know how we can help you.

For more information, contact:

Diana Trevino

Director of Contracted Services and Quality Assurance
512.476.7044, ext. 207