If a consumer of VAIL has a suggestion to improve your services, what are the mechanisms you employ to actually make that change?
So if there’s a consumer who is already using our services and is reaching out, as program director, I have an open door policy, open phone policy, and I can hear them out to listen to their suggestions. When you’re looking at a group setting, a lot of the time, [we] hold public events and seminars where we want people’s feedback. For example, The State Plan for Independent Living is the independent living plan that all the centers for independent living across the state have to follow.
Could you give me two names of partners you have for the community?
Westbrook Clinic with Valley AIDS Council and Texas Workforce Solutions.
[Other partners include] disability organizations [such as]:
RGVDSA, Capable Kids, Bebo’s Angels, Down By The Border.
How do you help consumers if they don’t know how to register to vote?
We’ve partnered up with what’s called REV UP Texas (Register, Educate, Vote, and Use your Power), and it’s specifically for voting disability rights. We provide trainings on how to register to vote, how to make sure you know important voting dates, and different voting deadlines on registration. VAIL also serves as a polling site.
How can the people within the community help advocate for VAIL? How can people within the community apply for your services?
I can think of two ways – one is spreading the word. [Refer] family members, people that they know, or somebody who might benefit from our services. Secondly, financial – [if you] know anyone or a business that could sponsor us, because we are a nonprofit, all the funds that we [receive] go right back to the programs. To apply for our services, all you have to do is either call our office (956)668-8245, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or send us a Facebook message and we’re going to respond asking general intake information, and [align a] program that’s specific to [your] needs.
Note: This article was transcribed for Juan by the editor. Trucha encourages people with disabilities to write for us! We will work with you in any capacity to make it happen.