GOLD2024

disABILITYsa

Educate * Advance * Engage

aka Fiesta Especial® (disABILITYsa), disABILITYsa Creative Services   |   San Antonio, TX   |  www.disabilitysa.org

Mission

With a vision to help make San Antonio the #1 community where people with disabilities want to live, learn, work, and play; disABILITYsa's serves a mission is educate, advance, and engage individuals with disabilities by building connections, exchanging information, creating opportunities, and strengthening our disability community in the greater San Antonio area. disABILITYsa connects people with all types of disabilities and their families to information about local resources, programs and opportunities that promote independence and inclusion where they live, work and play. Programs and services are offered within and around the San Antonio area.

Ruling year info

2017

Co-Founder/Executive Director

Ms. Melanie R. Cawthon

Main address

PO Box 28243

San Antonio, TX 78228 USA

Show more contact info

Formerly known as

disABILITYsa.org

EIN

81-4443195

NTEE code info

Services to Promote the Independence of Specific Populations (P80)

Leadership Development (W70)

Disabled Persons' Rights (R23)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

To reduce or eliminate the barriers to inclusion and independence for children and adults living with a disability in San Antonio.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

AccessAbility fest

AccessAbility Fest is an annual, one day program creating a gateway to resources, opportunities and independence for individuals overcoming physical, developmental, sensory and mental health challenges.

Program Objectives
1. Increase awareness among people with disabilities about the resources, special opportunities, activities or discounts that are available to them in their own community.

2. Create information sharing and partnership opportunities for nonprofits and businesses to learn about each other in order to better serve people with disabilities and their families in our community

3. Increase awareness in the community about people with disabilities and their abilities to achieve success.

Population(s) Served
People with disabilities
Caregivers

The Fiesta Especial® Royal Court is a community engagement program of disABILITYsa providing a platform for Leadership and Life Skills Development for individuals who are ten (10) years of age and older. Participants work to develop the following Life Skills while representing the leadership and contributions individuals with disabilities make in the San Antonio Community in the areas of Social Skills, Leadership Development, Problem Solving Skills, Communication Skills, and a few other life skills including planning, community awareness, advocating, and decision making. This opportunity enables individuals with disabilities to participate in one of the long-standing traditions of San Antonio...Fiesta®, San Antonio's Party with a Purpose. The Fiesta Especial® Royal Court represents the community of individuals with disabilities at various Fiesta® events and activities while bringing awareness to one more segment of the beautiful canvas of people that make San Antonio a wonderful place to live, work and play.

Population(s) Served
People with disabilities

disABILITYsa.org is a collaborative online tool for sharing information, resources, ideas, and support between people with all types of disabilities; highlighting organizations and businesses that provide these services; and advancing public awareness, respect, and consideration for the success of people with disabilities. Since going live in 2007, disABILITYsa has given over 16,000 unique visitors access to useful information about programs, services, legislation, and “Real People” stories that impact individuals with all types of disabilities in San Antonio and surrounding communities.

Population(s) Served
People with disabilities

The abilitySTRONG Parade is a public expression of the belief that disability is a natural and beautiful part of human diversity in which people living with disabilities can take pride. Held on the streets of downtown San Antonio, where many parades have taken place, this event demonstrates our efforts to “develop a whole community of people with disabilities and allies who are proud to be who we are, who do not see ourselves as victims, who expect more from ourselves and those within our community, and who are committed to building an inclusive community that recognizes the dignity, humanity, and worth of all people.”

Population(s) Served
People with disabilities

Fiesta Especial® is a unique combination of Fiesta® experiences for children, adults and families of all abilities. It is an inclusive and educational experience that attracts special education classes, group homes and day programs from San Antonio and surround communities. The Fiesta Especial® Celebration Day program creates inclusive and educational experiences engaging individuals with disabilities in the Fiesta® experience through Community-Based Instruction (CBI). A CBI is an effective instructional method for teaching, in real-life settings and under the supervision of educators, the skills that students will need for functional daily living as productive adults. Community-Based Instruction (CBI) is a critical component of the educational program for these students, primarily because, as adults, the community is where they will need to use the skills they acquire during their school years. This program offers life skills and critical skills development for each participant. This program is unlike any other in that special accommodations are made for the attendees who participate to include an onsite Registered Nurse, onsite EMT Standby Unit, adult diaper changing stations, private tents for tube feeding needs, accessible games and more. Academic, communication, and social skills are incorporated in this CBI which may include advocating for oneself, making a purchase, utilizing public transportation, attending a community event, ordering food and practicing vocational skills.

Population(s) Served
People with disabilities
Non-adult children

The Conversation 360° creates an open and safe platform for an interactive dialog on the issues individuals living with a disability in San Antonio face that create barriers to inclusion, independence, and a superior quality of life. This discussion creates a dialog for improvement, identifying ways in which the San Antonio community can take action toward filling the gaps, creating awareness, advancing public attitudes, and creating a community of inclusion for all citizens.

Population(s) Served
Adults
People with disabilities

disABILITYsa Creative Services offers marketing design, layout and printing services for nonprofit organizations serving children and adults living with a disability in the San Antonio community. By doing so, we are able to help fulfill the mission of disABILITYsa to strengthen the nonprofit organizations that serve individuals living with a disability in San Antonio.

Population(s) Served
People with disabilities

Webinars, workshops, panels and presentations on a variety of topics impacting businesses and organizations that serve individuals with disabilities.

Population(s) Served
People with disabilities

The Service & Leadership Program identifies opportunities and provides training for individuals with disabilities who are interested in serving the San Antonio community by engaging in volunteerism, service on nonprofit boards, and participation in strategic conversations about the future of our community. While there are other opportunities for people with disabilities to learn to advocate for themselves, there are few programs that expect, encourage, and empower these citizens to advocate for and serve others.

VOLUNTEER PROGRAM
A team of individuals as we get together and volunteer in our local community. Volunteer service activities will be selected in areas of human services, arts, culture, animal services and more! disABILITYsa will work to provide the supports necessary for individuals of all abilities to participate.

PUBLIC SERVICE
Work to create awareness, encourage, and provide necessary training to engage individuals with disabilities to serve on City Government Committees, Commissions, and Councils.

BOARD LEADERSHIP
Matching individuals with disabilities to board service opportunities and the necessary training and support systems to encourage successful service.

Population(s) Served
People with disabilities

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Total number of free admissions

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

People with disabilities

Related Program

Fiesta Especial® Celebration Day

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Number of children and adults with disabilities who received free admission to the Fiesta Especial Celebration Day community-based instruction program.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

EDUCATE: Share information, resources, ideas and support between people with all types of disabilities and the organizations that serve them.

ADVANCE: Advance public attitudes, awareness, respect and consideration for success of individuals with disabilities.

ENGAGE: Engage individuals with disabilities as active participants in their communities.

STRENGTHEN: Strengthen organizations that provide services which benefit people with disabilities.

disABILITYsa works to educate, advance, and engage individuals living with a disability in the San Antonio area by connecting them to information about local resources and programs and by creating opportunities that promote independence and inclusion where they live, work and play.

disABILITYsa creates and maintains collaborative partnerships with other disability service organizations and city entities.
disABILITYsa has a team of knowledgeable staff and volunteers well versed in disability issues.
disABILITYsa fills a gap, providing an overarching coordination between disability sectors.

Over the past two year period, disABILITYsa has:
* Created a platform for conversations between community members, both with and without disabilities, to affect change in San Antonio that benefits those with disabilities. Conversations have been around employment, transportation, safety, success, voting, and others. Some of the change that has resulted from these conversations include plans to put in place incremental measures to make the city's website more accessible to hold over until the total revamp of the site in 2020. The American Red Cross (local chapter) is reviewing their sensitivity training and procedures for approaching homes to make their services more inclined toward individuals who are deaf, and more people with disabilities are now registered to vote!
* Initiated an annual celebration of the belief that disability is a beautiful and natural part of the human diversity in which people living with a disability can take pride through the abilitySTRONG Parade.
* Increased the participation of individuals with disabilities in the Fiesta Especial Celebration Day by 500 attendees, actively engaging greater numbers of individuals in community celebrations.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We collect feedback from the people we serve at least annually, We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, It is difficult to find the ongoing funding to support feedback collection

Financials

disABILITYsa
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

disABILITYsa

Board of directors
as of 03/07/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Ms. Jane Paccione

San Antonio Area Foundation

Term: 2024 - 2026

Sandy Liwang

Alcoa Electronic & Electrical Solutions

Jane Paccione

San Antonio Area Foundation

Ryan Markmann

Transitions Teacher, NISD

John Heard

Heard & Smith LLP

Albert Sawyer

X8, LLC

Marissa Gonzalez

The Fuentes Firm, P.C.

Claudia Diaz

United Healthcare

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? No
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 3/7/2024

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person with a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

Disability

We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Equity strategies

Last updated: 03/07/2024

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.