Elizabeth (Betsy) Neuville,

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

What is the responsibility of any society to work toward the well-being of all its members? How much does the worth of a community depend upon its treatment of its most vulnerable members? Do our human collectivities have enough resources to meet the needs of each of its member’s basic needs, as well critical needs for belonging, relationship, valued roles, and the chance to contribute? What are our obligations to each other?

These questions have been at the heart of our work within Keystone Human Services for many years as we have worked to establish spaces within everyday life for people with disabilities to experience true home, freely-given relationships, presence within their community, and valued work. It is our belief that answering these questions and taking bold actions which move toward better lives for people with disabilities will benefit all of society.  It is with a strong sense of purpose that we enter into this work of striving to answer these questions through listening, teaching, collaborating, and contributing to the development of  a national movement working toward the ‘good Indian life’ for all citizens. This is the purpose of establishing the Keystone Institute India, an educational institute on disability, community and innovation, which will focus on consultation, training, and leadership development in the disability sector.

India is a country of rich history, deep human engagement, and is taking its place in the world as an emerging center of economic, social, and cultural power. Improving the life circumstances of all its citizenry is a high priority of government, civil society, and social change agents, and disability remains an area where much remains to be done to assist one of the most deeply devalued groups of its citizenry to take their place in Indian society.

Keystone Institute India is honored to join this movement, and contribute toward building an inclusive Indian society where all belong, including those people with disabilities. We will begin this work over the next three years in close partnership with The Hans Foundation, which is committed to improving health care, education, and circumstances for people with disabilities across India. Our goals are to work both nationally and locally to strengthen programs and projects geared toward building strong, inclusive communities by assisting citizens with disabilities to be a part of everyday life—school, home, work, community, and spiritual life.  We enter into this journey with an attitude of exploration as we listen carefully to people with disabilities and those who love them, and work alongside them toward a future of possibility and promise.

Betsy Neuville
Director of the Keystone Institute India