Our Approach

At DSI, we focus on working closely with people and organizations in low and middle-income countries to build upon existing strengths and provide support that works toward sustainable progress forward.

We work this way because we believe that:

  • Equal human rights and a high quality of life should be a reality for everyone.

  • Cross-cultural collaboration benefits us all.

  • We can and should work to reduce the cycle of disability and poverty.​​​

Community Insight
Community Insight

Conducting community conversations and gaining insight with partners

Partner Collaboration
Partner Collaboration

Observing partners work and meeting to discuss challenges unique to rural settings.

Needs Assessment
Needs Assessment

Research trip by DSI founders to Cambodia to listen and learn to inform program development

School Observation
School Observation

Observation of programming at an inclusive school in Cambodia.

We Focus on development work:

This means that we embark on the process of working toward increasing communities' capacities toward greater resiliency and a more just society.  Development work is not a quick fix.  Development work is a process.  It facilitates ongoing change that moves all the people involved (both those considered the 'helpers' and those 'helped') to learn, grow, and change our world for the better.
 

Although the impact is often delayed, when successfully implemented, the magnitude of impact and sustainability of development work is powerful and long-lasting.​​​

We focus on development work:

This means that we embark on the process of working toward increasing communities' capacities toward greater resiliency and a more just society.  Development work is not a quick fix.  Development work is a process.  It facilitates ongoing change that moves all the people involved (both those considered the 'helpers' and those 'helped') to learn, grow, and change our world for the better.
 

Although the impacts of development work are not immediate, when successfully implemented,

the magnitude of impact and sustainability of development work is powerful and long-lasting.

We focus on working collaboratively

within targeted countries and communities, to better the lives of those living with disabilities who are most in need in our world today.

We believe in continuous learning

from the communities we serve, partners we work with,

and other organizations and professionals engaged in similar work.

We aim to contribute positively

to the global discussion about the rights, value, and potential of all children and adults with disabilities and, in doing so, create meaningful change. 

To do this, we cultivate ongoing realtionships with partners in developing countries.

A DSI Partner is:

A community or organization in a developing country

​​Working to further the disability inclusion movement & meet needs within their own country

Self-identifying needs and asking for assistance​​​​

We always aim to:

  • Listen and learn as we build relationships with partners.

  • Think about how any action or intervention may benefit long-term and if there could be any unwanted negative consequences.

  • Develop programs that teach and empower others to continue the impact long after DSI's involvement.

We Don't:

  • Focus on temporary, relief type assistance (like giving food, clothing, materials, etc...).

  • Give direct financial support.

  • Do what others can or should be able to do for themselves.

  • Believe we have all the answers.

  • Push Western models or practices on others.

We are currently working directly only in the country of

Cambodia

but are continuously preparing to scale into other countries,
when we can do so effectively.  

Learn more about how you can get involved and support our mission and program work.

Learn more about the people that time, expertise, & passions with DSI's mission.

Learn more about  the disability training work we are developing & conducting with our partners.

View our online platform that maps, connects and provides information on current disability services.