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Our 2021 Year in Review

We know that, collectively, people all over the world have continued to face many challenges during the past year. We also know that we have many reasons to continue on with gratitude and joy.

Today, more than ever, we at DSI envision building a better, more inequitable future—especially for those in our world who need this most. We remain committed to making sure that people with disabilities are seen, heard, and included in these efforts.

As we start this new year, we would like to reflect on and celebrate highlights from the past year.

Image of Cambodian trainees working together and text, Advancing Disability Training Opportunities and Inclusive Education in Cambodia

In 2021, we piloted the first module of DSI's disability training curriculum and are now supporting our first cohort of 23 Master Trainers who are continuing to train local Cambodian teachers. We estimate that this work will reach 200 teachers and 6,000 children with disabilities! Both the model and content were developed by member of our Advisory Working Group, who share our Cambodian partners' vision that all children with disabilities will have access to education and teachers who have the skills to help them belong and grow.

Image of disability stakeholders meeting and talking virtually

Our Global Disability Directory continues to grow, thanks in large part to our student volunteers and (this past semester) first college intern. Throughout these tumultuous times, we have been able to use tech to an ever-increasing degree, leveraging our growing online network to connect, encourage, and strengthen many. We held another global town hall meeting in celebration of IDPD 2021 and in the new year continue to work to create more opportunities where we can be stronger together.

Triathlon young boy and man and woman participants and text fostering local action to advance global progress

In 2021, we continued nurturing and expanding local connections that are critical to our organizational development, awareness-raising, and ally building. We started a partnership with the University of Minnesota's Institute on Community Integration with the goal of furthering our training work with our partners and government stakeholders in Cambodia. We also held the first DSI Triathlon & Inclusive 4k, an event aimed at celebrating inclusion and raising funds for DSI's continued mission work. We hope you will join us on Sept. 17, 2022 for this year's DSI Tri.

Image of many hands together on a tree and text trailblazing together with dedication and commitment

We continue to have an amazing team behind this mission, including two partially-funded staff positions and 12 volunteer team members on our Board and Advisory Working Group. This year, we reached an exciting step in our continuing development, adding a Cambodia Program Coordinator that serves DSI in-country. This team embodies the inclusive and equitable world we envision for all people living with disabilities. They bring invaluable passion as well as expertise to the leadership of this mission.

THANK YOU to everyone who has and continues to support this mission; YOU are integral to this mission and all of our successes! We wish you all the best throughout 2022.


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