YAI International

More than one billion people around the world live with some form of disability. People with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) are often excluded from their local communities and are more likely than the rest of the population to suffer abuse and exploitation. Even within the disability community, people with I/DD are subject to discrimination.  

Over the years, an immense range of supportive services have been developed that integrate people with disabilities into the community. YAI, one of the pioneers in the field, has more than 60 years of experience providing services that empower people with I/DD by creating opportunities for living, loving, working, and learning. YAI assists organizations and governments seeking to build, adapt, or improve programs and services for people living with I/DD. Recent projects include engagements in Chile, Jordan, and South Korea. YAI offers training programs on a broad range of topics in the I/DD field, and can customize content for specific audiences and needs.

LIVING – Creating community-inclusive housing and eliminating institutions

Children and Families 

YAI assists in developing

  • Community and family services
  • Respite opportunities for families in crisis 


YAI assists in developing community-inclusive 

  • Independent living skills training
  • Residences with around-the-clock supervision
  • Supportive housing opportunities  

YAI: IRA Find out more about individualized residential alternatives (IRAs):

LOVING – Designing supports for social lives and sexual health

Intimate Relationships and Sexuality

YAI supports organizations in developing

  • Policies and services on relationships and sexuality
  • Trainings for individuals, groups, and facilitators on intimate relationships and sexuality

Social Skills  

YAI provides trainings to develop expertise on

  • Autism 
  • Building friendships 
  • Communication and social boundaries
  • Crisis intervention  
  • Person-centered philosophy 
  • Recreation programs 
  • Self-advocacy  
  • Transitioning to independence  
  • Travel training 
  • Yoga and mindfulness 

Find out more about YAI’s person-centered philosophy:

WORKING – Supporting vocational services and paid employment

Vocational Services 

YAI assists in developing

  • Community-based day habilitation programs
  • Internship and volunteer programs 
  • Work skills development 

Paid Employment 

YAI creates opportunities for 

  • Job coaching programs  
  • Paid employment through outreach and advocacy with local businesses 

Find out more about the services offered at a day hab:

LEARNING – Providing individualized education to students with special needs


YAI has expertise in supporting students with special needs from 5-21 by

  • Assisting in integrating technology in the classroom
  • Training experts on in-school therapies
  • Fostering a learning environment that suits each student’s unique needs and talents


YAI assists in integrating technology in the classroom to promote independence through

  • Augmentative and alternative communication devices 
  • Smartboards
  • Apps
  • Adaptive equipment including 3D printing pens, enlarged keyboards, switches, and joysticks


YAI can train experts on in-school therapies to support success in and out of the classroom, including

  • Occupational therapy
  • Physical therapy
  • Speech and language
  • Art and music therapy
  • Adaptive physical education 

Find out more about YAI’s Manhattan Star Academy:

Since 2014, YAI has had Consultative Status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council. Our special status means YAI is adept at partnering with governments and NGOs to support the implementation of the UN’s CRPD (Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities) and SDGs (Sustainable Development Goals) to create a more inclusive world.

Goal 1 (poverty) – YAI supports families in their communities and during crises to prevent poverty.Goal 3 (Health) – YAI's clinics provide primary care, occupational therapy, dentistry, and more.Goal 4 (education)– YAI supports students with I/DD to learn and grow through individualized learning plans.
Goal 5 (gender equality)- YAI offers supports for socialization, sexual health, and LGBTQ rights.Goal 8 (work) – YAI's pre-vocational and employment services prepare participants for competitive employment.Goal 10 (inequality) - YAI’s person-centered services empower people to make informed decisions about their lives.
Goal 11 (Cities and communities) - YAI promotes inclusion of people with disabilities in their communities.Goal 16 (justice) - YAI facilitates active advocacy of people with I/DD on the global level.Goal 17 (Partnerships) - YAI collaborates with governments, multinational organizations, and NGOs around the world.