2009 – December 2011

In our mission to enhance the wellbeing of all children with disabilities, Keystone Human Services International provided consultation to professionals in Azerbaijan to support the needs of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder, cerebral palsy and intellectual disabilities. With funding from Open Society Mental Health Initiative, human services professionals, local administrators and other governmental representatives worked to increase their capacities to support children to with disabilities to lead full lives of active participation in the community.

At the beginning of the project, KHSI provided consultation for three community-based rehabilitation centers (CBRCs) in Baku, Sumgayit and Ganja, as well as a mobile services program providing home-based rehabilitation therapies in Ismayilli and Guba. With a focus on speech and occupational therapy and child psychology, KHSI consultants worked with Azeri professionals to adapt and develop standardized assessment and treatment methodologies. These methodologies incorporate the ideas and strategies of person-centered planning, focusing on the hopes, preferences and goals of each child and their family.

We also provided consultation and training for the mobile rehabilitation teams, which provide supports and services for children and families in their own homes. Our consultants visited Azerbaijan several times to educate the mobile rehabilitation teams (MRTs) about the standardized assessment and treatment methodologies and provide support to the MRTs as they use these tools to serve children with disabilities in their regions and engage families to become educated advocates for their children. We continued to support the MRTs through real-time distance consultation as they increased their capacities to provide high quality, person-centered services and supports.

The community-based services that were established and enhanced will be sustained by the increasing knowledge of parents, local experts, local public administrators and other government representatives. These assessments, services and supports will serve as a model for others throughout Azerbaijan. The goal is to develop standards, methods and guidelines to sustain the quality of these services and then turn them over to the responsibility of the Azeri government.

As more children and families receive services in the community, together we open more doors to inclusion for all people and acceptance of each person’s unique strengths and gifts.