VELA is an Austin-born nonprofit. For the last seven years, our vision has been to create a community where all families of children with special needs thrive. Whether you are a parent, provider or community member, we can all play a role in building a community that celebrates and empowers differences. By providing hands-on programming, VELA empowers families of children with special needs, through the parent, for the child.
Mission & History
When told that your child has a special need, your life is forever changed. VELA was founded in 2010 with a mission to empower English-and Spanish-speaking parents of children with special needs. Research shows parent involvement is the greatest indicator of positive outcomes for children with special needs, yet parents report feelings of confusion, frustration and loneliness when navigating doctors, therapies and special education for their child. VELA is here to support families through this path.
VELA has served over 1,000 families of children with special needs 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 7 years, VELA has grown from a 100% volunteer run agency to having 5 staff, a strategic and diverse board, and a community of committed volunteers. Read more here.
STORYTIME: MEET Lian
Lian loves many things including his parents, dogs and pizza. When we met his parents, Rosa and Eric, we quickly saw where he got his brightness. They are warriors who have been through heart surgeries, diagnoses, very hard special education meetings and lots more with their son. Click here to read more about them and other families we are honored to serve!