Fulfilling Independence

To advocate for the rights and empowerment of people with disabilities providing needed services in order to increase their self-determination and independence.

Mission Statement SAILS Staff Executive Director’s Message Board of Directors’ Chairman Message 2006 Board of Directors Board’s Involvement Director of Programs and Resource Development SAILS 2006 Highlights Accounting & Financial Integrity Success: Kellie Grooms Success: Albert Ochoa Success: Maria D. Delgado Success: Mike Castillo Success: Kim Williams Success: Gilbert Nieto Success: Bobette Brown Success: Elvin Dane Bower Page 2 Page 3 Page 4 Page 5 Page 6 Page 7 Page 8 Page 9 Page 10 & 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19

Upper Row: Dan Moya, Sandie Flanagan, Mallika Rangarajan & Bruce Orey Front Row: Kathryn Ortiz, Gloria T. Banik, Kitty L. Brietzke, Mary Blake, Albert Pulido & Gloria Aguirre Not Pictured: Lorraine Hernandez, Ricardo Rivas & Casey Hamilton

Kitty L. Brietzke, J.D. Gloria T. Banik Mallika Rangarajan Ricardo V. Rivas, EA Gloria Aguirre Mary E. Blake Sandie Flanagan Kathryn Ortiz Casey Hamilton Lorraine Hernandez Daniel Moya Albert Pulido Bruce Orey

Executive Director Director of Programs & Resource Development Executive Administrative & HR Manager Accountant Receptionist IL Skills Coordinator I&R/Volunteer Coordinator ILS Specialist IL Peer Support Specialist IL/Deaf Support Specialist IT Technician CWIC Coordinator CWIC Coordinator


In 2006 San Antonio Independent Living Services (SAILS) celebrated twenty-five years of service to people with disabilities. SAILS continues to be “ON THE MOVE” providing a wide array of programs and assistance to those who are in need of our services. As a federally designated center for independent living, SAILS continues to provide the following core services: advocacy, independent living skills, peer support, and information and referrals. SAILS also provides benefits counseling through grant funds received from the Austin Resource Center for Independent Living (ARCIL) who received the funds directly from the Social Security Administration. This is a valuable resource for consumers with disabilities who desire to obtain employment. Additionally, SAILS collaborated with the City of San Antonio Department of Community Initiatives Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program to provide much needed free income tax assistance to numerous persons with disabilities. SAILS employs persons with disabilities who are experienced and understand the needs of the population we serve. SAILS consumers enjoy coming to SAILS to meet with staff for assistance and also attending the various functions that we host throughout the year such as our Annual Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) celebration, SAILS Picnic Fundraiser, Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon, support groups and more! Finally, our 2006 Annual Report is once again dedicated to our consumers who we serve on a daily basis. I invite you to learn about our programs and services at SAILS and enjoy the success stories shared by our consumers for this report. Their success is our success!


2006 was a most memorable and exciting year from my view as Board Chairman. We are certainly “ON THE MOVE” in a myriad of activities that impacted both our community and the lives of those SAILS tries so hard to support. First, our United Way Campaign was a success. Board and staff participation reflect a strong desire to continue to serve our community. Hats off to both the SAILS Board and staff on this wonderful achievement. SAILS continued to sponsor the largest City-wide Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) celebration and one of the biggest nation-wide. At the 16th celebration our keynote speaker was Mike Davenport who inspired the audience with his story about his three hundred and fifty mile ride completed in seven days via hand cycle. We were proud to partner with the San Antonio Lighthouse for the blind on this traditional event. The SAILS Board members and volunteers participated in the city’s annual Fiesta King William Fair and introduced the community to our secret “Caribbean Burgers.” My personal thanks again to the Board and friends of SAILS who provided superb support to our activity. This year the SAILS Board of Director’s convened at the San Antonio Lighthouse for the Blind for the Annual Retreat. Board members received information on the topic of cost allocation plans, independent living philosophy and board roles and responsibilities. This annual training provided to ensure a strong and ethical board in our continued support to the community. My most memorable highlight for 2006 was the SAILS 25th Anniversary Dinner Celebration held last October 13, 2006 at the Crowne Plaza hotel. It was a magical evening that SAILS shared with over 300 people representing organizations and individuals from San Antonio. Our keynote speaker, Ms. Sharon D’Eusanio touched so many with her inspiring personal story. Special thanks to our host 5 Maclovio Perez from WOAI TV. What a great launch into our next 25 years!!!.

Lon Oakley, Jr. Chair

Carol A. Kelly Vice-Chair

Dr. Kathleen Fletcher Secretary

Jane A. Thomas Treasurer

Frann L. Wright

Lou Ann Williams

Patricia A. Gawlick

Andrew Galan

Thoa Vo

Leslie J. Hoy

Manuel G. Gonzalez

Hector Q. Martinez

Paulette A. Stidwell


Willie May Clay

Top Left: SAILS Board of Directors supported SAILS’ 25th Anniversary Dinner Celebration hosted October 13, 2006 at San Antonio’s Crowne Plaza Hotel. Board Chair Lon Oakley, Jr.(right) joins Dr. Brietzke, and keynote speaker Sharon D’ Eusanio and her spouse on stage.

Middle Right: The SAILS Board of Directors always enjoy fundraising at the King William Fair. Board members and volunteers served some great hamburgers! SAILS’ Vice Chair, Carol Kelly is pictured here with her husband.

Bottom Right: The SAILS Board appreciates all SAILS volunteers at the Annual Volunteer Appreciation Luncheon 2006. Board Chair Lon Oakley, Jr. is pictured presenting the awards (far left) while Dr. Brietzke snaps a photo.


Knowledge, awareness, self-determination and independence (control of your own life) is the basis for the independent living philosophy. SAILS’ services and programs emphasize that people with disabilities have the right to full inclusion, equal access and the choice to participate in all phases of community living. SAILS has over twenty-five years experience in providing self-help and self-advocacy services for consumers. Additionally, SAILS’ staff has over two hundred years of combined expertise and experience in assisting persons with significant disabilities. SAILS staff works with consumers with disabilities on an individual basis with advocacy issues, i.e.; housing, voting rights, transportation, employment discrimination and social security benefits issues to achieve their personal goals and remain independent. Consumers were assisted in groups also to learn techniques to improve their selfadvocacy skills and deal with issues themselves.
SAILS has 51% of staff and board members with disabilities. Seventy-one percent of SAILS staff are racial minorities and are fluent in Spanish and American Sign Language. SAILS services are offered free of charge to individuals with disabilities, any age and regardless of income. My job is to listen and be responsive to the needs of people with disabilities; as well as managing and supervising all program staff. Another important part of my job is to research, compile and submit proposals for additional funding for needed programs. A total of nineteen proposals were submitted this fiscal year with total funds requested in the amount of $1,179,296. SAILS received additional funding of $377,233 from these proposals.

350 300 250 200 150 100 50 0 Type of Disabling Condition 34 195 287 Cognitive Mental/Emotional Physical Hearing 113 52 74 94 Vision Multiple Disability Other

Services Provided to Individuals
Advocacy/Legal Services
Assistive Devices/Equipment Services

267 106 69 47 161 5067 32 12 191

Communication Services Housing, Home Modifications IL Skills Training Information & Referral Service Peer Counseling Service Technology Services Volunteer Income Tax Assistance

Some highlights are:

SAILS sponsored the 16th Anniversary celebration of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Attendance was over 300 participants. Thirty-five different agencies, organizations and businesses demonstrated their services or products at the event. SAILS and Coalition of Texans with Disabilities provided an informational meeting focused on accessible voting machines and provided training for persons with disabilities on voting procedures. SAILS co-coordinated the annual conference of Proyecto Vision, a program of the World Institute on Disability for leaders in the field of employment for Latinos and people with disabilities. SAILS works with more than 200 agencies, organizations and businesses to provide quality services to consumers. Four support groups have met monthly this year. Fifteen plus school districts and colleges have been provided transition information. Seventy-nine presentations in Bexar county and the twenty seven rural counties to explain about the Specialized Telecommunication Adaptive Equipment.

• •

Total of 849 persons served
Gender of Persons Served Female Male 53% 47%

Native American Asian African American Hispanic Caucasian 3 2 125 307 412

SAILS surpassed the goal set last year to increase our budget to $800,000.00, and although we received special one time grants to meet the needs of those disabled persons affected by Hurricane Katrina, our fiscal budget exceeded this mark by over $40,000.00; bringing our 2005-2006 operating budget to $840,275.00.

The following Balance Sheet reflects our financial position as of September 30, 2006:

Assets Cash and cash equivalents Grants receivable Prepaid expenses Expense breakdown: Property and equipment – at cost – less accumulated depreciation Salary and Wages 439,067
Fringe Travel Equipment Supplies 45,161 20,730


15,495 62,471 4,910 40,948

$ and Net Assets $


Liabilities 7,228

Accounts payable and accrued expenses Contractual Services 16,192

25,815 36,271 16,852

Advance from:


Department of Assistive & Rehabilitated Services (DARS)
Total Expenses 709,925 Transition to the Community

Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities Total net assets





Functional Expense Distribution Independent Living Services ILS/Katrina Benefit Counseling Specialized Telecommunication Assistance Program General and Administration
518,069 138,884 133,910 25,036 37,161 853,060
3% 4%

Fund Distribution

Independent Living Services ILS/Katrina

16% 16% 61% Benefit Counseling STAP General and Administration

Annual Budget at a Glance
$900,000.00 $800,000.00 $700,000.00 $600,000.00 $500,000.00 $400,000.00 $300,000.00 $200,000.00 $100,000.00 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006
Fiscal Year Ending

Operating Budget

SAILS conforms to Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) as set by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, (AICPA).

150 presentations to organizations, agencies and consumer groups about Social Security benefits.

Mary Blake-IL Skills Coordinator

Kellie Grooms attended her first Independent Living workshop at SAILS on September 8, 2005. At the time, she was a resident in a local transitional housing program. Since that time she has made remarkable progress toward self sufficiency. We, at SAILS, have been part of a team as Kellie describes, “that has been reaching out through the years to pull me from the pain that had become my life”. Now Kellie has her own apartment and is attending San Antonio College pursuing an Associates Degree. It should be noted that she is maintaining “Cum Laude” grades. Her goal is to return to the community the hope and freedom from drug addiction that was given to her. Kellie feels that her experiences will provide the insight to others. Kellie has taken positive action to make her dreams come true. We are proud of her.

“The staff at SAILS encouraged me to go forward and not let my disability take over my life.”
Mr. Albert Ochoa Albert has been attending Independent Living classes at SAILS for several months. He has learned to grow and live successfully with several physical disabilities and depression. With the assistance of several support systems. Mr. Ochoa recently moved from a shelter to his own apartment. He is actively involved in his progress. He said “the workshops at SAILS made me want to go to college.” A Music Business Major, he attends San Antonio College maintaining good grades. He further commented that “it wasn’t easy to go to school initially because family members had to help me. I am not obligated to go to school, but I do not want to stay on SSI for the rest of my life. I don’t want to get stuck. I want a house, car and a good future. Thank God for SAILS for caring and being helpful and taking the time to help us. The future is bright for Albert. Our best wishes are with him as his dreams unfold to become reality.


“I feel very comfortable attempting to work.”

Maria D. Delgado

In April 2007, I, Maria Delgado came to SAILS office to speak to someone concerning my employment options. I was referred to Mr. Albert Pulido, a Community work Incentive Coordinator for SAILS. Mr. Pulido explained the changes in the Social Security Disability rules and regulations and also about the TTW (Ticket to Work from Social Security) and the TWP (Trial Work Period) along with the others changes from Social Security initiated. Mr. Pulido encouraged me to take the job I was offered and try to see if I could succeed. Mr. Pulido also checked with Social Security to see if I had all nine months of my Trial Work Period (TWP) and how long I could receive my Social Security check. Thanks to SAILS I feel very comfortable attempting to work and knowing that if I can't complete the job, my SSA benefits are still available if I need them.

SAILS helped Mike Castillo understand the Social Security Disability rules about returning to work

Mike Castillo In July 2003, I went in to SAILS office and inquired if they could help me to understand the Social Security Disabilities rules and regulations concerning working and retaining benefits. I had not worked since late 1989 due to an injury at work. I kept in touch asking for clarification, information and for any rule changes. In November 2004 I started working part-time, this was my first job since 1990 and I was unsure if I could complete the job and still keep my benefits. Mr. Pulido and I discussed all the changes that Social Security had initiated and the affects of my employment. I called again in January 2007 to make Mr. Pulido aware of that my employment hours were increased in September 2006 and also requested information regarding the programs SSA Ticket to Work and the nine month Trial to Work. Mr. Castillo is truly a success story!

“I gained a lot of knowledge at SAILS”

Kim Williams

While serving my internship at SAILS, I gained a lot of knowledge in the field of a Deaf Support Specialist. It was a struggle to stay afloat. At one point and time my health and family issues became more than I could bear. I had given up at this point. I learned a lesson in all this from Lorraine, that God never puts more on you than you can bear, these are his way of testing you in life. I took that information and stored it in my memory bank. I still use that bit of knowledge until this day. When assisting consumers, at first I became overly sensitive of their reactions about what was happening in their lives. I have come to learn that the reaction was never directed towards me and I strive now to continue to do my best work for the consumers of SAILS.


“I am grateful to SAILS staff for their help”.

Gilbert Nieto

Mr. Gilbert Nieto received advocacy assistance from SAILS. Here are his words of gratitude: “I am so pleased with all of the help that my wife and I have received from the staff at SAILS. Mary Blake and Lorraine Hernandez and Alice Mann went out of their way to help us. We attended workshops to discuss how to eat healthier and we even had the privilege of attending a state conference in Austin. Lorraine’s advocacy letter helped me get increased disability benefits through the Veterans Administration. Both my wife and I are grateful for an agency such as SAILS.”


“I am very happy to have my independence back”.

Mrs. Brown smiling in her new home
I was in two different nursing homes for over 9 months. I am happy to say that my transition from nursing home to residential living was made smoothly and with pleasure over a year ago. The paperwork and explanations were done in the nursing home by the transition team, so there was nothing my family or I had to worry about. I am not an exception, everyone gets the same special treatment. At 67 years young I did not feel I was ready to give up, but scared of what I could not do. SAILS’ Bridge to Independence program staff did all the work. They set me up with my Home Health care to make sure they were aware of my being released from the nursing home. The team also informed my family. I can say how wonderful the transition was because of all the assistance I received. I want to also thank my sister Penny for all the work she had to do before I came home. My son Doug was excited and thankful that I was going home also You never really know how good you have it until meeting a group of individuals that do not know you personally and yet have such compassionate feelings that you can actually sit back and know all is going to go well. They don’t drop the ball! My thanks to everyone who had a hand in my transition. If you get the notice that you are accepted don’t have second thought about going home Go FOR IT!. Thanks Bobbette Brown

This fiscal year 43 individuals successfully relocated from nursing homes to community-based living

“I am very happy to be back with my family”.

Mr. Bower resting in his new home Elvin “Dane” Bower, age 37, was involved in a motorcycle accident in 1998. He received a severe brain injuries and he is a quadriplegic in a comatose state. Dane lived in a nursing home foe over eight years with his family by his side everyday. Finally, our Angel from SAILS, Sandie Flanagan came into our lives and became our sole supporter and advocate in Dane’s transition from nursing home on December 19, 2006. He was finally able to celebrate Christmas at home with his family again. Dane’s family would like to thank Mrs. Flanagan, SAILS and their staff and his personal providers, Kevin and Jamel also. Dane is now home in a more loving and relaxed atmosphere. As they say….there is no place like home.

Fulfilling Independence
San Antonio Independent Living Services (SAILS) 1028 S. Alamo Street, San Antonio, TX 78210 (210) 281-1878 phone (210) 281-1759 fax (800) 474-0895 www.sailstx.org
This Annual Report was made possible by grants from the following sources: Rehabilitation Services Administration 59% Relocation 16% Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services 21%

Specialized Telecommunications Assistance Program 4%