Service & Outreach
The Center has many ongoing community service and training projects that are all designed to increase quality of life, support self-determination and diversity, and/or facilitate community integration for people with disabilities and their families.
These projects address a broad range of family and consumer needs.
Aggie Disability Awareness
Aggie Disability Awareness (AAA) is a voluntary and interactive 3-hour seminar designed to increase:
- Awareness, and
- Respect for people with disabilities at Texas A&M.
AAA will promote positive, equitable, accepting attitudes toward people with disabilities both on campus and in the surrounding community.Learn more
Aggie Guide Dogs and Service Dogs
Since 1997, Texas A&M students have been training puppies to become service dogs through Aggie Guide Dogs and Service Dogs (AGS). With the help of these students, dogs learn how to obey and behave in public places, as well as respond to commands unique to service dogs. AGS members provide services to the community via education and therapy dog programs.Learn more
Brazos Valley Center for Independent Living
Promoting the full inclusion and participation of persons with disabilities in all aspects of community life.
Provided by a five-year federal grant from the Rehabilitation Services Administration, the BVCIL is a cross-disability consumer-directed organization that will provide peer counseling, independent living skills instruction and other support services to individuals with disabilities in the Brazos Valley.
The BVCIL will be a part of a state and nationwide network of Centers for Independent Living. As a community outreach organization affiliated with the Center on Disability and Development, the BVCIL will also provide:
- Opportunities for graduate student training,
- Research opportunities, and
- Demonstration projects that address community quality of life issues for people with disabilities and their families.
A weekend adventure for children with disabilities and their siblings.
LIFE stands for:
- Independence, and
- Friends through Experiences.
These values embody the spirit of Camp LIFE.
Camp LIFE creates an integrated setting for children with disabilities and their siblings to participate in a barrier-free camp adventure held twice a year in the fall and spring. Many of the counselors at Camp LIFE are undergraduate students in a special education teacher training program at Texas A&M. Participating as a counselor provides these future teachers an opportunity to teach social, recreational and independent living skills by spending a weekend with campers with disabilities in a non-classroom setting.
A low counselor-to-camper ratio ensures that each camper receives the support they need to fully participate in all activities. Campers engage in activities such as:
- Horseback riding,
- A ropes course,
- A climbing wall,
- Engaging with animals at a petting zoo,
- A zip line,
and much more!
Children with disabilities aged 5-21 and their siblings are eligible to attend Camp LIFE. To keep the camp affordable, fees are charged on a sliding scale based on combined family income. Applications are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.Learn more
Coach to Communicate
The Coach to Communicate project provides a webinar and face-to-face/online parent coaching sessions at no cost for parents, caregivers, teachers, and service providers of children with autism spectrum disorder. Participants will be instructed on how to improve the communication skills of their children.
This project serves Texas parents, caregivers, teachers, or service providers who have a child up to age 22 with autism spectrum disorder or similar characteristics and who need assistance with communication skills.Learn more
Directory of Community Resources in Texas
Find disability resources and community services throughout Texas. Customize your search by:
- Zip code,
- Keyword, or
Leadership, Employability, and Advocacy Project (LEAP)
Project LEAP provides training and experiences to youth with disabilities to help develop leadership and advocacy skills. 30 high school juniors and seniors are selected to attend a 10-day educational program. Participants learn the history of the disability rights movement, engage in career activities and explore assistive technologies. They will tour the State Capitol, meet with state-level officials and have one day of mock legislative sessions.Learn more
Purposeful Life: Family Training
The Center on Disability and Development (CDD), Down Syndrome Association of Brazos Valley (DSABV), Families of Autistic Children Engaged Together for Support (FACETS), and the Brazos Center for Independent Living (BVCIL) are hosting a free workshop series for parents and family members of children with exceptionalities.Learn more
Research and Education on Disability and Disorder
Project REDD was created in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita in response to the overwhelming needs of over 400,000 individuals with disabilities that were displaced to Texas following the disaster.
The mission of Project REDD is to:
- Conduct high-quality research and evaluation on how disasters affect individuals with disabilities and their families, and
- Provide training and workshops on the topic of disability and disaster for organizations, service providers, and at professional conferences.
Project REDD collaborates with other researchers exploring psychological constructs related to the effects of disaster. The project has produced a “Disaster Acronym Guide” and the “Texas Guide to Supports and Services for Individuals with Disabilities and Their Families Affected by Disasters”. Over 10,000 of these guides have been distributed to:
- Emergency management personnel,
- Case managers,
- Volunteer organizations,
- County extension agents, and
- Citizens throughout Texas.
Project REDD faculty present at professional organizations and engage in ongoing research on the effects of disaster on individuals with disabilities and their families.Learn more
Whose Life is it Anyway?
This exciting training event brings together parents and students to learn how person-centered practices lead to plans that support students in their pursuit of a happy life based on what is important to them.
As parents we want to make sure all our children are safe. If all we think about is health and safety, how will our loved one discover how they want to live their life?
Contact Luis Castillo for more information: