Mission & History

When told that your child has a disability, your life is forever changed. Acronyms, paperwork and meetings become your new normal. VELA was founded in 2010 with a mission to empower English-and Spanish-speaking parents of children with special needs to move through all this confusion to create the best for their families. Research shows parent involvement is the greatest indicator of positive outcomes for children with disabilities, yet parents report feelings of confusion, frustration and loneliness when navigating doctors, therapies and special education for their child. VELA is here to support and equip families through this path.

VELA has served over 1,000 families of children with disabilities across 55 zip codes through free courses and wraparound services. We have big plans for VELA as we continue to grow. Check out our Strategic Plan. Regardless of income, language, and/or culture, our families share a powerful commonality; they want to create the best possible outcomes for their children. In the last years, VELA has grown from a 100% volunteer run agency to having 6 staff, a strategic and diverse board, and a community of committed volunteers. Read more here. 

Super Hero Kid portraits for in Austin Texas.  Vela supports families with children with disabilities providing educational classes for parents to navigate the educational and healthcare system.  Photography provided by


Feeling confused & overwhelmed? We see you. Join VELA for a free interactive virtual 4 session course to understand your child's IEP, learn what questions to ask and how to create the best for your child (especially now!). Gain support, strategies and resources.

Dates: 9/30, 10/7, 10/14 & 10/21
Must attend all 4 Sessions: Meets 1x/week for 1.5 hours
Afternoon and Evening Courses Available.

Register on Zoom for Afternoon Course (2-3:20pm)
Register on Zoom for Evening Course (6-7:30pm)