Throughout India and the world, people with disabilities experience a quality of life much below that of typical citizens. For many, these experiences including segregation from their community, whether through discrimination or complete separation from family and community in segregated care facilities and institutions. Few community-based supports exist to enable people to stay in their communities and have equal access to society.
Keystone Human Services International has partnered with The Hans Foundation to strengthen the inclusion of people with disabilities in community life in India and to create the Keystone Institute India, an educational institute on disability, community, and innovation.
This national institute exists to provide training and consultation related to the creation of responsive community supports for men, women, and children living in India with disability. It focuses on supporting individualized alternatives to congregate care and institutionalization.
The Institute will work with others who care about individuals with disabilities: their families, advocates, allied organizations, and those with disabilities themselves. Leadership activities to seek, identify, and cultivate Indian leadership to head up the change movement for a more inclusive and just Indian society will be an important part of our work. The focus of this outreach is to improve the lives of those with disabilities by bringing communities together and developing responsive community-based supports.
By offering a framework for developing an inclusive society, the Institute will lay the foundation for welcoming people with disabilities into community life and for finding alternatives to institutionalization. Ultimately, it is our hope that this work will give new confidence to Indian communities that they can develop their own solutions that work for all people and establish a long term vision that will inspire, motivate, and create better life possibilities for all.