The Interagency Task Force for Children with Special Needs, supported by the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, today launched a new website — NavigateLifeTexas.org — to help families who have children with disabilities and special health care needs.

NavigateLifeTexas.org was built for anyone who needs to find relevant, comprehensive, and accurate information about services in Texas for children with disabilities and special health care needs. The site was designed by parents, for parents, but it’s a valuable resource for caregivers, clinicians, professionals, and support groups as well. A Spanish version of the site is at AvancemosJuntosTexas.org.

The website streamlines the process caregivers take to find information they need to help their loved ones who have special health care needs, and it covers subjects that range from early diagnosis to adulthood.

“Easier access to current and reliable information will empower more parents to be effective advocates for their children,” said Donna McCamant, who serves on the task force. She is also the mother of an adult daughter with multiple disabilities. “While the website is not an end-all, it does provide a wide range of information, from how to talk to your doctor to what transitioning to adulthood looks like. It can act as a roadmap.”

“NavigateLifeTexas.org provides relevant and reliable information for parents as well as HHSC staff who are helping parents research information,” said HHSC Deputy Executive Commissioner Patricia Vojack.

The Texas Legislature created the task force and directed it to improve the coordination, quality and efficiency for the delivery of services for children with disabilities and special health care needs. The task force’s top priority is helping parents become more informed and empowered, which led to the creation of NavigateLifeTexas.org.

Categories on the website include “Diagnosis and Healthcare,” “Insurance and Financial Help,” “Family Support,” “Education and Schools,” and “Transition to Adulthood.” Visitors can enter their ZIP code to search for support groups, services, and events that are specific to their region. The data provided on the site has been vetted by parents, physicians, parent organizations, subject matter experts, and state agencies.

The task force also has launched a statewide education campaign designed to inform people about the new site. The campaign will culminate August 1, which has been designed “Navigate Life Day.” On that day, families, businesses, local governments, hospitals, health advocacy groups, and faith-based organizations across Texas will celebrate children with disabilities and special health care needs and their families. These agencies and organizations will also host community outreach events to spread the word about NavigateLifeTexas.org.