Skip to main content

Our Pillars

Impact

Impact YAI is committed to sharing our person-driven approach with governments, nonprofits, and organizations around the world. Our work builds community-inclusive opportunities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) worldwide.

YAI International addresses the barriers children and adults with I/DD face all over the world.

No One Left Behind

Even among people with disabilities, those with I/DD, co-occurring mental health diagnoses, or complex support needs are often marginalized. With YAI’s expertise, you can ensure that all people, regardless of their needs or diagnosis, can become valued members of their community. YAI field experts work with global allies to end institutionalization, promote inclusion in local communities, and build person-driven support systems. Most recently, YAI International has worked in Chile, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, and South Korea.

Sustainable Development Goals

YAI has consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council and frequently contributes to the international conversation on the rights of people with I/DD at conferences, summits, and at the invitation of foreign governments. Following the Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (CRPD) and its underlying human rights standards, YAI International addresses the barriers children and adults with I/DD face all over the world. This includes presentations by people with I/DD at the UN Headquarters and participating in consultations for the NGO committees to the CRPD and UNICEF.

Contact Us

Partner with YAI International to promote inclusion and accessibility across the globe.

international@yai.org  
(+1) 212.273.6247

George Contos

YAI CEO

People are at the heart of everything YAI does. No matter the type of service being provided, we approach each person with a philosophy that is strength-based and person-driven. Our programs are grounded in evidence-based practices and built around improving the overall quality of life of people with I/DD by meeting their desired outcomes.

 

Capacity-Building Expertise

With more than 60 years of experience, YAI’s staff of 4,000 operate over 300 programs that support children and adults with I/DD at every facet of their lives. We can support accessible global development by drawing upon the entirety of our expertise, which includes:

Developing Inclusive Support Systems

  • Community-integrated living
  • Vocational training and paid employment
  • Accessible and inclusive healthcare
  • Family supports
  • Assessment and service eligibility
  • Person-driven support planning
  • Classroom education

Providing Education and Training

  • Advocacy and human rights awareness campaigns
  • Education for people with I/DD
  • Family education
  • Professional trainings
  • Providing accessible information, using “easy read” and social stories
  • Conference presentations and panel discussions

Implementing a Policy Framework—Roadmaps for Governments

  • Develop an assessment structure
  • Build a best practice service system
  • Include the whole lifespan, from early diagnosis, to achieving personal life goals, to end-of-life rights and supports

Promoting Inclusion and Accessibility

Deinstitutionalization is a key step in building inclusive communities. For children, this means strengthening family supports and access to education. For adults, it means creating flexible, community-integrated living, working, and socialization opportunities. YAI has experience implementing programs of all scopes and sizes, taking specific cultural needs into consideration.

Creating Inclusive Communities

  • Varied residential opportunities
  • Healthcare services with providers who understand I/DD needs
  • Employment opportunities
  • Family support programs
  • Classroom education for school-age children
  • Recreational and cultural opportunities

Removing Barriers to Human Rights-Based Inclusion

  • Changing minds—raising awareness for person-driven supports
  • Education on identity, relationships, sexuality, and life skills
  • Creating I/DD-accessible information
  • Providing training and access to technology