Deyanira Isassi-Velasco

Program Manager and Professional Mentor

Deya grew up in Mexico City and then moved to Monterrey where she graduated and married before moving to Austin, where she has lived for the past 34 years. Deya’s most important and rewarding role is and has been to be a mom of two wonderful children on the autism spectrum. Deya holds a BSc degree in Agricultural Engineering and a master’s degree in Human Services as well as a Certification in Advanced Mediation. Professionally, Deya has been fortunate to be part of great organizations that share her belief that access to relevant information and supports improves the outcomes and quality of life for individuals with disabilities and their families. For more than 25 years Deya has served her community through various community organizations. As a staff member of the Arc of the Capital Area, Deya advocated for more than 250 families with disabilities and of low socio-economic means (primarily Spanish speaking) in the educational system, promoting special education rights, supervising emotional support groups for families of children with disabilities and supporting collaboration between schools and parents. At CASA of Travis County, Deya supervised more than 30 volunteers appointed to represent in court the best interest of children under the care of child protective services. Deya published a parent-to-parent support model for families of children with disabilities in Mexico. More recently, she collaborated with Safe Place Austin in creating “Promotion of Justice - An Essential Resource Guide for Responding to Abuse Against Children with Disabilities”, a document intended to provide essential knowledge of autism for first responders and the judicial system.