Welcome to VAIL!

Woman and Man in Wheelchair in tech lab Front View of the VAIL Building Mario in water in Mobi-Chair and his wife Front view of VAIL-South Texas in Laredo Man in wheelchair and women awaiting bus under canopy Deaf Staff Member signing to another using Facetime on iPad Navigator students in training class.

Did You Miss Lidia’s Graduation?

Lidia Teran Gutierrez, a VAIL Staff Member under the CLASS (Community Lidia Grad PixLiving Assistance & Support Services) Program, has earned her Master in Rehabilitation Counseling, and and invited you to join her online to share in her commencement exercises Saturday, May 9th at 10:00 am.

If you were unable to catch the live Commencement Exercises, you still can see Lidia graduate! Follow the link below and move the placement indicator to number 2:50:40, or near there. Click the play button, wait a minute or two, and her turn will come! Congratulations Lidia!

Texas Tech School of Allied Health Sciences Commencement

Do You Qualify for a Special Insurance Enrollment Period?

Even though the Special Enrollment Period for those who didn’t know they would get a penalty on their federal income tax for not having insurance ended April 30th, there are other situations that can qualify a person for a Special Enrollment Period.

VAIL Navigators are currently assisting consumers who qualify for a Special Enrollment Period or need to make changes to an existing application. Special Enrollment Periods are granted to those who experience a life changing event such as losing a job, getting married or divorced, or changes in income.

For help, talk to a VAIL Marketplace Navigator. For more information follow the link:

Marketplace Page

Survey for Mothers with Physical Disabilities

UMass Medical School wants to learn about the health care experiences of mothers with physical or mobility difficulties during pregnancy.

Are you a mom with a disability? Follow the link to answer a few brief screening questions to find out if you are eligible take part in the survey.

Survey for Mom’s with Disabilities

For More information about the Survey, check out the Flyers in English and Spanish. They may be printed out and shared with others.

English Survey Flyer

Spanish Survey Flyer

Share Your Concerns About Transportation Accessibility!

The Transportation Works: Assess and Deliver team is traveling across Texas to collect data about access to public transportation for people with disabilities living in rural and small urban areas.

They want to:

  • Gather consumers’ transportation experiences by conducting public hearings and surveys
  • Identify the access barriers and unmet needs for consumers, notably people with disabilities and seniors, who use public transportation to get to school or work
  • Build an understanding of the present state of transportation services in Texas

This information and these stories will be included in a comprehensive transportation needs report which will be presented at the Transportation Works: Assess and Deliver Summit in August 2015 and used to shape transportation accessibility and reliability for individuals with disabilities throughout Texas.

Please help by taking the anonymous transportation consumer survey and enter to win $500!

Transportation Survey – English

Transportation Survey – Spanish

The $500 gift card drawing will be held June 15, 2015.

People with Disabilities Have the Right to Vote!

Learn more about voting rights of people with disabilities. Watch the Video at YouTube from Disability Rights of Texas by following the link below:

Vote Video: Disability Rights Texas

There are certain requirements all citizens must meet before they can vote in Texas. Follow the link below to see how to meet these requirements.


Teresa Stern, VAIL Staff Member, had this to say about her first voting experience: “Voting can be very scary when it’s your first time and if you also have a disability. The first time I voted, I didn’t know what to do. My father told me who to vote for. He told me not to discuss with anyone who I am voting for. That was many votes ago, and after that first time, I always planned ahead so I would feel confident voting. Since that first time, I have always decided for myself who I want to vote for. I am a registered Voter; I listen to the candidates and vote for the one who most represents the things I believe in; and I always check with my voting place to see if anything has changed to be sure they will have the accommodations I will need to vote. Then I am ready to vote!”

Board Member Mary Jo Klein Passes Away in McAllen

VAIL staff, board members and consumers will sorely miss Mary Jo Klein, who was a founding member of VAIL in 1988, and served on the VAIL Board of Directors for the next 26 years.   She was instrumental in establishing the solid and ethical foundation upon which VAIL continues to operate.

Mary Jo Klein, Board Member

Mary Jo Klein

Through the years she participated in advocacy and accessibility marches and rallies to foster awareness of the barriers that people with disabilities face in the community.  She was always the sunshine in board meetings, and she approached advocacy with that same big smile.   She had a gentle approach, but a deep commitment to removing barriers that prevented her and her neighbors from accessing large areas of the community.

Mary Jo’s loyalty and dedication were an inspiration to VAIL board and staff.

Follow the link to read the obituary and have the opportunity to sign the Guest Book online.