Keystone Institute India

Toward a More Inclusive India

We are part of a dynamic, growing national movement toward a more just and inclusive Indian society where all people are valued and belong, and people with disability have opportunities to step into valued roles and access the good things in life.

Keystone Institute India, a project of Keystone Human Services International, serves as a catalyst for developing supportive services in India that better serves people’s true needs, respects the voices and perspectives of people with disability and their families, and facilitates India’s movement toward a society where all people matter and have the opportunity to build the lives they want to live.

A Movement of Change

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We seek partners and collaborators to work alongside us and with people with developmental and psychosocial disabilities. Together, we join a movement of change and provide opportunities for people to experience home, friends, family, work, and full participation in the community. Keystone Institute India provides extensive consultation and education around developing responsive, effective, and inclusive supports to help move toward belonging, acceptance, and a rich community life.

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Ideas have consequences. We work with partners across India to assist in translating powerful ideas into potent, effective action. Take a glimpse into some of the actions happening across India to create a more inclusive Indian society.

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Education Opportunities to Create Inclusive Communities

Learn about Social Role Valorization, person-centered supports, and other inclusive practices.

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Education in Inclusive Practice
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We offer intensive workshops and presentations on promising practices and ideas, and offer ongoing consultation and guidance in implementation strategies. As part of Keystone Human Services, we have decades of technical expertise and practical experience in community-based services for people with disability. Our faculty and associate faculty bring rich knowledge and experience in developing culturally relevant services and supports and envisioning all the possibilities of a full life where people with disability enjoy all the good things the come with home, school, livelihoods, and participation in the community.

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The Impact of COVID-19 on People with Developmental Disability and their Families: Perceptions of Families, Allies, Advocates, and Professionals

The COVID-19 pandemic poses both great threat and great opportunity for people with developmental disability, their families, allies, advocates, professionals, and service agencies. On the one hand, people face heightened vulnerabilities and marginalization during the lockdown, and many existing service agencies face the possibility of scaling back or closing down. However, this health crisis has also revealed unexpected gains and advantages for people with disability and presents an opportunity to redesign support to be individualized, relevant, and integrated into typical life.

Through a series of study groups and a forum, as well as partnerships with organizations and families across India, Keystone Institute India has developed a report identifying major themes and further questions for study and action as we all seek to understand the impact of COVID-19 and build a better, more inclusive India.

Read the Report

Staff

Betsy Neuville 2022

Elizabeth “Betsy” Neuville

Betsy Neuville serves dual roles as Executive Director of the Keystone Institute, a US-based educational Institute, and Director of Keystone Institute India. She has well over 30 years of experience within Keystone Human Services as a human service worker, administrator, agency director, evaluator, educator, and personal advocate, as well as extensive experience in designing and developing supports for very vulnerable people, meaningful quality measurements, and extraordinary employee development programs. She has been working in India for over 4 years, heading up significant national change efforts at inclusive practice, respectful and personalized service strategies, and building community capacity to create a society where there is a place for everyone.

She has designed and created responsive residential services alongside literally hundreds of people with developmental and psychosocial disabilities across the United States over her decades of committed change work. Betsy has worked extensively with the ideas of Normalization and Social Role Valorization, and provides training and consultation internationally, with extensive experience in Central and Eastern Europe, and, in recent years, India. She is fully accredited by the North American Social Role Valorization Council as a senior trainer of SRV, and co-founded the International SRV Association in 2015. She has led SRV and person-directed practice initiatives in Canada, across the United States, India, Ireland, UK, France, Holland, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Romania, and the Republic of Moldova. She studied under the mentorship of Dr. Wolf Wolfensberger, the developer and foremost proponent of Social Role Valorization, and has, in turn, mentored and supported a generation of people committed to personal human service to others. She remains closely personally connected to people who are vulnerable, and holds particular interest in the historical treatment of people with disabilities.

She has led the creation of a community of practice of Social Role Valorization across India, as well as a strong base of those skilled in person directed planning and approaches, mentoring next generation leaders and practitioners.

Betsy divides her time equally between India and the US, making her home in both Delhi, India, and Pennsylvania, United States.

Imran Ali 2022

Imran Ali, Ph.D.

Dr. Imran Ali serves as Director of Administration at Keystone Institute India, and is committed to assisting people with disability to live rich, full community lives. He brings in strong experience in developing and leading organizational efforts to assist marginalized people to have good health, valued employment, and full lives.

Dr. Ali is responsible for managing and administering all major business and corporate affairs of Keystone Institute India. His responsibility includes communicating, coordinating, and collaborating with allied professionals, partners, vendors, team members, disability advocates, government, and allied organizations. He closely works with the Executive Director of KII to provide strong leadership in planning, compliances, fund-raising, development of operational policies, human resources, budgeting, new business development, and supervision of administrative employees.

Geeta Mondol 2022

Geeta Mondol

Ms. Geeta Mondol serves as Project Leader for Keystone Institute India, providing consultation and education in our many programs and events. Geeta has decades of experience in working with, and being with, people with disabilities, and is also a parent of two young men, one of whom experiences autism.

Geeta leads programmatic aspects of a pilot project which assists women with developmental disability who have been abandoned in institutions to re-establish themselves as valued and contributing members of their communities, as well as heads up a highly successful program to re-unify institutionalized people with disabilities with their families.

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 many organizations and in the life of her own family. She has taught SRV across India in English and Hindi, and has participated in pilot planning projects using person-directed planning. She has attended formative events in person-directed approaches and has participated as a member of multiple planning circles, both in training simulations and in bona fide planning sessions.

Leela Raj 2022

Leela Raj

Ms. Leela Raj is the Project Leader for multiple change initiatives within Keystone Institute India. Leela has a passion for education and change agentry, and is committed to collaborative work building capacity and awareness. She first connected with the ideas of Social Role Valorization during her Masters work in Rehabilitation Sciences at the University of Kentucky, and has been working closely with us since her return to her home city of Mumbai. Her portfolio at KII includes developing high quality curricula for the development and formation of direct service workers as a developing role in India. Leela will also design curricula rooted in inclusive practice and Social Role Valorization for professional coursework in disciplines like Psychology, Special Education, and Social Work. In addition, Leela heads up our supported employment initiative in 2020. Leela brings a great deal of experience and commitment with her, as a mentor, counselor, advocate, and activist working alongside young adults with developmental disability and their families.

Rachit Pandey 2022

Rachit Pandey

Mr. Rachit Pandey serves as the Project Leader – Events and Workshops for Keystone Institute India, managing all aspects of our national and state-level training events, and providing strategic support across all projects within Keystone Institute India. Rachit joined KHSI with over 8 years of experience in training, strategic communication, engagement events, and projects within the corporate sector.

He has been engaged in change work by, with, and for people with disability for over a decade as a volunteer, consultant, and in the areas of event management and fundraising in his home city of Lucknow. He joins the Delhi office team of KII, and brings his focus, energy, warmth, and hospitality to our critical work.

Rachit holds a master’s degree in political science and is pursuing Diploma in Education while working full-time. He strongly believes in inclusion and diversity, personal human service, integrity, and giving back to the community.

Rishab Anand

Rishab Kumar Anand

Mr. Rishab Kumar Anand serves as the Project Director of Family Reunification for Keystone Institute India and is based out of Dehradun. Rishab holds a master’s degree in Social Work and specializes as a Clinical Social Work Practitioner. He has over seven years of experience in crisis intervention for homeless people experiencing mental illness, substance abuse counseling and rehabilitation. Over the years, he has gained deep insights into the various criteria of assessing, screening, and creating comprehensive care plans for people with mental health concerns.

He brings extensive knowledge of coping mechanisms, relapse prevention, and creating an effective treatment plan for people with substance use disorder. It is this expertise and knowledge that makes him an integral part of the project that aims at re-unifying institutionalized people with disabilities with their families. As a Project Director, he makes Keystone’s vision of inclusion real in supporting people with disabilities to live dignified lives during the reunification process. He strongly believes that with proper guidance and support from families, people with disabilities can become an essential part of the community.

He has been the chief speaker on various platforms over the years for his extensive work at the grassroots level with homeless people and mental health concerns. He has led programs dedicated toward identifying and rehabilitating people with mental health concerns in tribal areas and highlighted the role of community rehabilitation and integration. He has also been actively involved in creating awareness through trainings and outreach programs on several social issues like HIV/AIDS, female infanticide and women’s empowerment.

Rishab successfully completed the Social Role Valorisation (SRV) training in 2022 and is one of graduates within SRV 4.0. He was actively involved in the Community Mapping Pilot study that was done for the Training of Direct Support Practitioners (DSPs).  

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Shalini Bisht

Shalini Bisht is working as a Reunification Specialist with the Family Reunification Project of Keystone institute India, based out of Dehradun.

While growing up as a child, she was always inclined toward working around mental health and with children and women. To become more sensitive and understand the intricacies of societal issues, she went on to pursue a master’s in social work from TISS Mumbai in Disability Studies and Action.

Since her academic years, she has been actively involved in creating awareness around women’s empowerment, child development, and disability inclusion. In addition, she was involved in organizing and developing workshops and trainings for rural communities and parents on areas of child development and disability inclusion.

She started her professional journey with Swades Foundation where she worked for two and a half years in the Raigad district of Maharashtra as a Program Lead working with women for leadership, entrepreneurship, and market linkage. She was actively involved in strategic planning, implementation, and monitoring of the women-based livelihood interventions of Swades Foundation.

She firmly believes in the value of kindness and efforts and tries to maintain it personally and professionally. She also believes in the importance of childhood experiences in shaping one’s personality and the family’s role in the development of an individual. This belief is what makes her interested in human development and family studies, a vocation she pursued in her undergrad education.

Prashansa Pandey

Prashansa Pandey

Ms. Prashansa Pandey works as a reunification specialist for the Unity Uttarakhand – Family Reunification Project and is based out of Dehradun. Before joining Keystone Institute India, Prashansa was working with the National Human Rights Commission in New Delhi as a Research Consultant, working on the subject of Rights of People with Disabilities and Elderly People. She was also working with Ummeed Child Development Center in Mumbai with their social work team. She has a master’s degree in Social Work with a specialization in Disability Studies and Action and has four years of experience of working in the disability sector, particularly with people with psychosocial disabilities and their families.

Prashansa strongly believes in inclusion and diversity and her experience of working both with people with disabilities as well as a human rights organization has expanded her knowledge and commitment.

Prashansa successfully completed Social Role Valorization (SRV) training in 2022 and is one of graduates within SRV 4.0.  

Genevieve Fitzgibbon

Genevieve Fitzgibbon is the President and CEO for Keystone Human Services International (KHSI), serves as US Team Lead for KHSI’s work in India, and is a member of the senior leadership group of Keystone Human Services (KHS), of which KHSI is a subsidiary. She has over two decades of experience in the development of innovative supports for people with intellectual disability, autism, and those who use mental health services. Genevieve has devoted her entire professional career toward the full community inclusion of people with disability, and the fight for recognition of equal rights for all people, especially those who are most deeply marginalized.

Genevieve has been involved with Keystone Institute India since its inception. She also was deeply engaged in the formative stages of Keystone’s ongoing work in the Republic of Moldova, and remains engaged there from a home-office leadership position. Genevieve has provided guidance and oversight to inclusion consultation activities in Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Romania, and Russia. She has published and presented on a number of related topics, including evidence-based practices in mental health and rehabilitation, recovery self-management, and community-based supports; advance directives for mental health care; self-determination and technology utilization; school to work transitioning for youth with emotional/behavioral challenges; and participatory action research methodologies. Genevieve has a specific interest in disability policy and systems issues, advocacy and rights-based approaches, program assessment and design, and individualized planning methodologies.

Shotibha

Shotibha Gharti

Shotibha Gharti works as an Employment Specialist with Keystone Institute India. She has a post-graduate diploma in marketing and HR and has over five years of experience as a Human Resource Recruiter and Personality Development Trainer.

As an HR recruiter, she performs various tasks associated with hiring new employees and provides training to new recruits. She has worked with various companies, and has identified a pool of eligible candidates for the organization.

Shotibha has excellent people skills and is adept at managing sensitive situations. She is highly organized and self-motivated and believes in performing tasks diligently.

Shalini Ekka 2022

Shalini Ekka

Ms. Shalini Ekka serves as Administrative Assistant at Keystone Institute India and she plays a vital role in human resources, administration, coordination of events, and finance. Shalini is a capable, determined, confident, and well-organized administrative assistant, with extensive experience in supporting mid and senior-level managers by providing them with consistent clerical support and a highly approachable individual who has a pleasant attitude and a willingness to make a positive mark. Currently, she is pursuing her Master’s in Public Administration with almost 3+ years’ experience in administration. Shalini has worked with Keystone Institute India since 2017, where she is increasing her knowledge on disability issues and contributing to Keystone vision and mission.

Suhaib Ansari

Mr. Suhaib Ansari serves as Administrative Assistant for Keystone Institute India, and joined the Keystone Team in August of 2019. He provides all types of administrative support to the organization by managing day-to-day operations and providing high-level administrative support by conducting research, handling information requests, and performing clerical functions such as preparing correspondence, receiving visitors, arranging conference calls and financial reports. He has over 8 years of experience in management and administration. Suhaib completed his MBA in HR in 2010. As a professional, he has strong communication skills, builds strong relationships, and enjoys helping people. An avid learner, Suhaib is a certificate holder from the intensive course in Social Role Valorization held in Delhi in 2019.

Associate Faculty

Faisal Ashraf

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. He worked for the Cheshire Home India Delhi Unit within a Livelihood Projects supported by the European Union, where he supported people with disabilities in employment and vocational training, as well as assistive technology. He currently works with V-shesh, providing support for people with disability to find employment.

As an athlete, Faisal has won a gold medal in the wheelchair 100mt race in the Delhi State Athletic Powerlifting and Table Tennis Championships in 2017-2018. He won bronze medals in the Airtel Delhi Half Marathon in 2016 and 2017. In the Reverse-Trike project with IIT Delhi, he is customizing motorbikes for people with disabilities.

We are so fortunate that Faisal has joined KII’s change agentry initiative.

Manisha photo

Dr. Manisha Bharracharya

Dr. Manisha Bhattacharya is a Clinical Psychologist from Kolkata, India, where she uses SRV-informed strategies to assist people with autism and their families to lead full, meaningful lives. A firm supporter of inclusive practices, she has completed advanced training in Social Role Valorization in India and in the United States, with experience in service evaluation. She teaches SRV in both English and Bengali, and has pioneered the advancement of SRV to Bengali and Bangla speakers in India and Bangladesh. Dr. Bhattacharya also has experience in person-centered planning facilitation, using methods which include Personal Futures Planning, PATH, and others.  

Bringing over a decade of experience to the field, she provides early intervention support to young children, as well as counseling for teenagers and adults with an eye towards preserving their psychological and general wellbeing through achieving meaningful life experiences.  

With specialized training in Social Role Valorization (SRV) and PASSING from Keystone Institute, USA, Dr. Bhattacharya embeds these ideas in her practice so that each individual with any disability can move toward a valued, fulfilling, and meaningful life, and has taken leadership within the All-India SRV Leadership Network, with a special focus on program evaluation.  

Dr. Bhattacharya completed her Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Calcutta. She is also a certified Narrative Practitioner, exploring alternative ways of seeing disability and searching for ways that people with disability themselves can name, define, and address difficulties they are facing. She has been integrally engaged with Keystone Institute India as a partner and colleague for well over five years.   

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Ranjana Chakraborty

Ranjana Chakraborty brings experience and deep commitment to her teaching and facilitation in Social Role Valorization and inclusive practice. Her role as a Member at Autism Society West Bengal, one of the leading organizations promoting the ideas of Social Role Valorization in India, as well as being a qualified special educator and family member of a person experiencing disability, bring both perspective and experience to bear as we move toward a different way to think about disability. From Kolkata, West Bengal, Ranjana’s background in microbiology brings diversity of thinking and rigor to her approach. As well, Ranjana’s advanced training in Social Role Valorization in US and India are supplemented by her passion for change. A founding member of the All-India SRV Leadership Network, Ranjana joins the team of Associate Faculty for KII, working together across India for change. She is an experienced implementer of ideas related to SRV, and has particular expertise in evaluating service practices.

Grace Daniel

Grace Daniel

Ms. Grace Daniel is a creative, artistic person, as well as a Special Educator with 18 years of experience. She is the Special Educational Needs Coordinator (SENCO) at Cambridge International School (Co-Ed) in Jalandhar and is serving as the Founding Director of the NGO “I Care Rehabilitation Center.”

Grace is also an internationally certified Brain Gym instructor and consultant. With her creativity, Grace is a Graphic Facilitator with the Keystone Institute India. The concepts of Social Role Valorization have given her a whole new insight to work toward creating not just an inclusive school but inclusive communities, empowering each person to have valued social roles.

Grace had been actively involved in the translation of SRV from English to Hindi language. 

Grace is a disability activist and an inclusion activist. Her vision is making the educational system a better place for people with disabilities. She is actively involved in teaching and training educators for practical inclusion in schools and universities. As a SENCO at Cambridge International School, she is able to influence many other educational institutions to include children with disabilities in their schools. 

Grace Daniel is also a painter and a musician. She believes, “There is just one life and we have to make it count!”

Aparna Photo

Aparna Das

Aparna Das is the Founder and Director of Arunima: A Project for People with Autism. A special educator with over three decades of experience, Aparna started her career at AADI (formerly called the Spastics Society of Northern India.) She then went on to work at Woodstock School, an international boarding school in Mussoorie, where she set up and headed the Learning Assistance Program for a number of years. While she was at Woodstock, Aparna reflected on the needs of her younger sibling, Arunima, who is on the Autism Spectrum, realizing that she too needed a life that was focused on her and a support community that would be there for her when Aparna was no longer around. Thus, Project Arunima, a program offering residential services and opportunities to build skills, was born in 2011. It is a one-of-a-kind program that aims at providing opportunities for a life of independence and dignity for people who are differently abled. What makes it one-of-a-kind? In a nutshell—the recognition that different is not less, but equal! Aparna is passionate about creating these opportunities for a good life to ensure that each person is a valued member of the community.

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Raaj Mondol

Raaj Mondol serves as a Consultant on Translation Support for Keystone Institute India. He has been working in the Development Sector for the last 28 years as a training facilitator on Transformational Development and Gender Justice issues with various civil society organizations. He has a B.A. (Honors) degree in English Literature from St. Xavier’s College, Ranchi and an M.A. in English and M.Phil. in International Studies from JNU, New Delhi. He also has a Post Graduate Diploma in Translation from Central Institute of Hindi, New Delhi. He has many years of experience in performing interpretation for resource people in training, conferences and public events from English to Hindi and vice versa and in translating books and training resources in Hindi.

Dr. Nidhi Singhal

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 attended a PASSING service evaluation course in the United States and has participated on a PASSING test evaluation 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 extensive experience working with people with autism and their families, as well as professionals in the field, and works for Action for Autism, the National Centre for Autism located in New Delhi, currently serving as Director of Training and Research. She conducts screening and diagnostic assessments, counsels adults with autism, designs and executes individual and group programs for parents, and addresses the impact of autism in the person, marriage, and family, social, and work relationships.

Dr. Singhal serves on several committees, including the International Steering Committee developing a WHO ICF Core Set for ASD, and is recognized as an expert on autism by the Rehabilitation Council of India. She provides consultation and training as an expert consultant and associate faculty for KII.

Arpita Yadav

Ms. Arpita Yadav envisions the creation of an alternative path of development and inclusion using creative platforms wherein theater, dance, drama, and other participatory activities lay the foundation for an inclusive society, and a society that is more accessible, tolerant, non-judgmental, and consequently, more fulfilling. The mother of a teenage boy, Nirbhay, who was born with a rare neuro-metabolic disorder, Arpita chose to look upon this event as an invitation to chart out a survival path for Nirbhay. Within this journey, she found her calling to support all those with special needs and their families. Arpita realized first hand that the greatest fear of a parent of a child with special needs is the uncertainty of who will care for their child when they are gone. She envisions an inclusive residential arrangement where people with disabilities live alongside typical people and all work to support each other.

Arpita brings expertise in coaching and counseling those with learning disabilities. She launched Learning Aspirations, where she serves as Director. Arpita has served as a special educator with AADI (Action for Ability Development and Inclusion), followed by a multi-dimensional role with DISHA, a resource center for multiple disabilities, Jaipur, Rajasthan, in addition to various independent consulting assignments and appointments in the private and public sector domain covering women and child welfare and development. She engaged with the government as part of a policy formation team for the newly instituted “Persons with Disability Act.”

She was introduced to Social Role Valorization in an intensive course in 2017, graduated from the course, and has been both teaching and using the ideas ever since, as well as mentoring others. She is a member of the informal Rajasthan SRV Leadership Circle, working to strengthen SRV use and expertise across the state and serving as national and state-wide resources. She has recently relocated to the Delhi area.

Learn about Social Role Valorization and Inclusive Practices