Over 300 people from 11 different countries came together to explore powerful ideas in the first International Social Role Valorization Distance Conference. Held on February 22-24, 2023 and organized by the Keystone Institute, the conference featured six keynote addresses, 33 concurrent sessions, and a diversity of presenters and attendees.
Social Role Valorization is the unifying theory of practice behind everything we do at Keystone. The Keystone Institute works to power up these ideas across the world and right here at home, to make the good things of life reachable to everyone.
Among the presenters and thought leaders were faculty and associate faculty from Keystone Institute India and others associated with our work in India. You can watch the first keynote address “Right Time, Right Place: Social Role Valorization in the Indian Context,” presented by Geeta Mondol from Keystone Institute India and Dr. Nidhi Singhal from Action for Autism.
They shared how the concepts of Social Role Valorization gained strength in India and grew into a movement of systematic, planned change, lead by Indian leaders and expertise.
“In order for people with disabilities to live full, rich, dignified lives, many will be required to walk beside them,” said Geeta. “Within India, the role of a person who walks directly alongside a person with disability has not yet been fully developed. In fact, common paid roles are caretaker, guard, minder, special educator. We are working to create a respected role [of direct support practitioners]. A direct support practitioner curriculum was rolled out, which provides certification and trains people to train others. Twenty-five people were certified to train others in English and Hindi.”
You can watch the full keynote address here.