Faisal Ashraf Nomani
Mr. Faisal Ashraf joins the Keystone Institute India team as an educator and facilitator after several years of working together collaboratively. Faisal is well known for his work as an innovator for technological adaptations, a disability rights activist, and a powerful advocate for the advancement of people with disability into valued work roles. He completed intensive training in Social Role Valorization principles in 2017 and is an extraordinary facilitator and a natural community builder.
His post-graduate degree from Jamia Milia Islamia University in 2013 in social exclusion and inclusive policy prepares him well for this work. He has extensive experience working in the commercial sector in accessibility and inclusion for Indigo Airlines, as well as heading up several employment initiatives to assist people with disability to have work roles and to serve as a change agent in workplace mindsets around disability and inclusion. We are so fortunate that Faisal has joined KII's change agentry initiative.
Geeta Mondol Director, Ashish Foundation for the Differently Abled
Ms. Geeta Mondol serves as Associate Faculty for Keystone Institute India, providing consultation and education in our many programs and events. She serves a dual role as the Founder and Director of the Ashish Centre in New Delhi, serving children and adults with autism and other developmental disabilities. Geeta has over 13 years of experience in working with people with disabilities, and is also a parent of a young man with autism. She named the Centre Ashish, which means blessing, because she believes in people with disabilities being a blessing to their community and nation.
She has been involved in conducting training on inclusion and integration of people with disabilities with many organizations in various parts of the country and abroad. Her early years involved working in a mainstream school helping include those with disabilities in the mainstream classrooms. Currently, she works closely with families and individuals with disability in empowering and equipping them with knowledge, skills, and attitudes that help them to integrate in society as contributing citizens.
She also works with faith leaders and faith based organizations to assist them to include people with disabilities in their communities. She is a partner with Engage Disability, a network of faith-based organizations and facilitates capacity building of member organizations to effectively respond to the needs of people with disabilities.
Geeta successfully completed an extensive Social Role Valorization (SRV) training course at the inaugural Indian course in 2016, and has worked to implement SRV within her organization and in the life of her family. She has supported her staff and family members to learn about SRV, and has participated in pilot planning projects using person-centered planning. She has increasing taken roles teaching, implementing, and coaching about Social Role Valorization. We are fortunate to have Geeta join our team.
Dr. Nidhi Singhal Director of Training and Research, Action for Autism
Dr. Nidhi Singhal is a researcher, master trainer, and psychologist who has dedicated her career to working to create opportunities for good lives for people with autism and other developmental disabilities and their families. Dr. Singhal is passionate about creating supports for vulnerable people which are respectful and assist people to have valued roles as contributing members of society, with full, rich, and meaningful lives. She graduated from the inaugural intensive SRV course held in Delhi in 2016 and has been teaching and using the ideas, and has begun incorporating them into other bodies of knowledge. She is personally connected with people experiencing disability in her personal and professional life, and has served as a pioneer in learning about and using Social Role Valorization in India. She has represented India in the International SRV Association.
In addition to being an expert clinician and counsellor, she is committed to working towards inclusive practice and using Social Role Valorization as a way to promote good lives. Dr. Singhal has over 17 years of experience with persons with autism and their families, as well as professionals in the field, and has worked for Action for Autism, the National Centre for Autism located in New Delhi for 17 years, currently serving as Director of Training and Research.
Dr. Singhal serves on several committees, including the International Steering Committee developing a WHO ICF Core Set for ASD, Rehabilitation Council of India, and the International Society for Autism Research. She also serves on the Editorial board for the journal Autism in Adulthood, and is a reviewer for several leading international journals including Journal of Autism and Developmental Disabilities, Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, and Journal of Intellectual Disabilities. She provides consultation and training as an expert consultant and associate faculty for KII.
Dr. Neelam Sodhi
Dr. Neelam Sodhi has been a trailblazer in establishing parent-led supports and services in her home state of Punjab. She was drawn to engage in the work of creating possibilities for people with disability by the birth of her son, who has cerebral palsy. In 1999, she led the development of the North India Cerebral Palsy Association to advocate, and Ashirwaad was created to provide early intervention and other supports and services in Ludhiana.
She has served on the board of the National Trust, providing significant national level training, and serves as a coach and mentor to many, many families trying to create pathways to help their disabled sons and daughters take a valued place in society. She is also a practicing physician, and runs a busy OB/GYN practice in Ludhiana in addition to her advocacy work, her trustee roles, and her role as Associate Faculty, conducting national training across India for Keystone Institute India.
She became involved with our work back in 2016, and has been developing and presenting materials based on her strong values base, a firm belief in social justice for all, and a passion for teaching and mentoring.