HARRISBURG, PA (December 3, 2015)-Keystone Human Services International, Harrisburg, PA, has begun a collaborative partnership with The Hans Foundation to strengthen the inclusion of people with disabilities in community life in India. This partnership establishes the Keystone Institute India, an educational institute on disability, community, and innovation.
This national institute will provide training and consultation related to the creation of responsive community supports for men, women and children living in India with a disability. It will also focus on supporting individualized alternatives to congregate care and institutionalization.
Over the next three years, the Institute will work with others who care about individuals with disabilities: their families, advocates, allied organizations, and those with disabilities, themselves. The focus of this outreach is to improve the lives of those with disabilities through bringing communities together and developing responsive community based supports. This outcome will create an environment where people with disabilities will have a home, friends, family, work, and meaningful roles in their communities.
Leadership development activities will also be an important part of the Institute’s work. Indian personnel will be employed and prepared through extensive training to serve as change-agents to teach others in-country in this important leadership role.
Throughout India and the world, people with disabilities experience a quality of life much below that of typical citizens. Many have been kept apart from their community, either by discrimination or by complete separation in segregated care facilities and institutions. Very few community-based services exist to support people to stay in their communities, and there are limited opportunities for people with disabilities to have true equal access to society.
The development of the Keystone Institute India will be a step toward creating a society where people with disabilities are included, valued, and have access to full, rich, meaningful lives.
Keystone Human Services International is part of Keystone Human Services, a not-for-profit organization that has been committed to creating environments where all people are valued and contributing members of their community for almost 45 years. Established in 1972, Keystone Human Services provides community-based services for individuals with intellectual disabilities, autism, and mental illness, as well as children’s services, Capital Area Head Start, and Susquehanna Service Dogs. Keystone provides services throughout Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and Delaware, as well as the Republic of Moldova, and has provided consultation and education in a number of countries, including Kazakhstan, Romania, Azerbaijan, and Russia.
The Hans Foundation (THF) is a charitable trust fund created to provide a source of charitable funds for nonprofit organizations in India. THF is committed to strengthening India by addressing the areas of health care, education, and disability. It holds a powerful vision of an India where human suffering is alleviated and a strong foundation for the future is built.