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Edrak and YAI Seeing beyond disability logos side by side

For immediate release 

APD, MHRSD, and Edrak welcome YAI, an American Social Service Organization, for Comprehensive Training in Person-Centered Support 

Riyadh (10-17-2022) -- A fundamental goal of the Authority of People with Disability (APD) is to enable Saudis with disabilities to enjoy lives of dignity that are fully integrated into society. APD and the Ministry of Human Resource and Social Development (MHRSD) have selected Edrak to guide a national transformation in services for children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Edrak, which offers development, training, and consulting services to educational institutions across the Kingdom, has partnered with YAI, one of the oldest and largest disability providers in the United States, to lead a three-week training for providers seeking to improve the quality of support for children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  

More than 1.45 million Saudis—7 percent of the total population—have a disability, from cognitive and learning disabilities to Autism Spectrum Disorder and Down syndrome. YAI, which uses a human rights lens for its trainings, will guide participants to understand how services can empower people with disabilities to make their own decisions aided by high-quality personal support. 

“Saudi Arabia has taken the proper steps to build a model system for people with disabilities,” said Abdullah Airsheed, Edrak’s Chief Executive Officer. “In YAI, we have identified a unique source of expertise that compliments the existing assets of the Saudi system. Working collaboratively with YAI over the coming six months, I am confident our system will reach the next level of excellence.” 

Founded in 1957, YAI offers person-centered services to more than 20,000 people with disabilities and their families every year. YAI’s model, drawing on existing strengths so people with disabilities participate fully in the life of the community, is aligned with APD’s objectives as well as the expectations of the United Nations Conference of State Parties to the Convention of the Rights of People with Disabilities (CRPD), which the Saudi government ratified in 2008. APD’s goals also reflect the larger aspirations of Vision 2030. 

YAI’s New York-based trainers have devised a comprehensive curriculum based on their assessment of existing services in the Kingdom and APD’s aspiration to build a world-class model of support. Topics include “Working with Adults on the Autism Spectrum,” “Community Inclusion and Integration,” and “Working with Families: What Professionals Need to Know.”

To speak with YAI staff or learn more about this training, members of the press should contact: 
In the US: Kamana Shrestha email:
In Saudi Arabia: Peter Taback email: 

To speak with Edrak, please contact:  Abdullah Airsheed, Chief Executive Officer, Edrak, at

ABOUT YAI: Founded in 1957, YAI remains at the forefront of an extraordinary movement aimed at empowering people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. YAI and its network of affiliate agencies offer children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities a comprehensive range of services. YAI is committed to seeing beyond disability, providing opportunities for people to live, love, work, and learn in their communities. YAI’s 4,000 employees provide supportive housing, education, medical, dental, and mental health care, job training, community integration, and social enrichment for more than 20,000 people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and their families, in New York, New Jersey, and California.