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About the Keystone Institute

"Where there is passion, there is hope."
—Dr. Wolf Wolfensberger


The Keystone Institute provides education, consultation and opportunities for exploration around some of the most important questions surrounding the work of being of service to vulnerable people in our society today.

We were founded in 1999 to preserve, teach and share the values, beliefs and core principles held within the vision of Keystone Human Services. We provide extensive national and international education and consultation in the areas of de-institutionalization, creating responsive community supports, Social Role Valorization, and respectful individualized planning.

Since Keystone Human Services’ inception in 1972, powerful and enduring ideas have shaped our commitment to helping vulnerable and marginalized people to take their rightful place in our society, and have access to the “good things” of life – things like belonging, acceptance, freely-given relationships, true home, valued work and an ability to develop and contribute their gifts to the world. The concepts and principles of Social Role Valorization, social and economic justice, individual autonomy and freedom, natural supports, highly individualized, flexible support and the developmental model have been enduring concepts interwoven into the fabric of our organization.

At The Keystone Institute, we offer extensive and sequential education building on ideas associated with helping people to have rich and full lives. We bring these ideas to people directly associated with Keystone - employees, family members, people served - and our community, other service organizations and stakeholders in the work of promoting equity, inclusion and full participation for people with disabilities and other devalued conditions. We have been intentional in helping people prepare increasingly for taking leadership roles in many different ways, and we know that our activities will help prepare many people for important roles of responsibility and leadership in the work of promoting the well-being, contribution and social value of those who live on the margins of society.

Social Role Valorization

Social Role Valorization and its framework of how to assist people to break out of devaluation and oppression, and move towards the “good life” are a major focus of our education and leadership development. Its powerful concepts have impassioned and informed a generation of change agents, and supported much of the best work that has been done in social change over the years. We offer sequential events ranging from brief overviews and in-depth theory workshops to implementation, practicum and service design workshops and study groups. We offer an SRV Educator Development Curriculum to develop new educators, and mentor and support SRV leaders within our organization as well as externally.

Person Centered Planning

Person Centered Planning is another major focus area where we offer education, facilitation and leadership development. We use and teach highly individualized, engaging and respectful processes of how to assist people to craft a vision of a positive future and plan for how to make that vision a reality. 

Best Part of Me Retreat Series

The Best Part of Me Retreat Series provides a forum where small groups can work together in a relaxed setting to explore the most significant questions posed by the work of social change agentry. Deep within the discussions lie the principle that personal values are the basis for professional values. Exploration of those values leads us to delve into the "whys" of what we do, the meaning behind our actions. Best Part of Me, Vision and Values, Community and Culture, and Foundations of Service each explore different aspects of being of personal service to vulnerable people.

Personal and Professional Development Workshops

A variety of learning events around growth and development as service workers, family members, citizens, and leaders is offered each year as a part of our annual events schedule. 

Chocolatefest 2018


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