My name is Elizabeth, and I am one of the founders of Disability Support International. I am so grateful and honored to be a part of this mission to build a more inclusive world. Fourteen years ago, my life was forever changed when I met Gary, Carol, Barb, Don, and Michael. Though, technically, I cared for them, they gave me even more in return: These adults with disabilities taught me patience, love, humor, honesty, and strength. In my work as a music therapist and special educator, I continue to be inspired by the families, children, therapists, and teachers I meet who are working together to make the world a better place--a place where all people can be heard and actively participate. We have a long way to go! This will be my fourth trip to Cambodia, and I am looking forward to building the foundation for strong partnerships with our friends who have already begun this work. I truly believe that we will learn as much, if not more, from them as they will from us. Thank you all for your participation and support!
My name is Jennie and I am another one of the founders of DSI. Growing up with a younger brother with disabilities taught me immensely from little on about those with disabilities. After interning in Cambodia (alongside of Elizabeth), studying music therapy and special education, and teaching children with disabilities in Alaska, I was increasingly struck by the inequality of services and opportunities for those with disabilities around the world. My experiences, education, and faith has taught me the beauty and value of every person, including those with disabilities, and introduced me to many professionals both in the US and abroad, who believe and are striving for the same thing. I am so excited to be returning to Cambodia to learn about the progress that is currently being made and come alongside of other disability advocates to continue forward momentum toward equality of human rights for all.
My name is Sierra. I will be traveling to Cambodia with Disability Support International. Traveling abroad to gain cultural experience has always been important to me, and I feel very fortunate to have this opportunity to travel to Cambodia with DSI. I took an extensive trip to Europe and Costa Rica, before attending the University of Minnesota-Duluth. At UMD I obtained a degree in General Education and Special Education as an Academic Behavior Strategist. I am currently working in the Lake City school district as a special education teacher, along with pursuing a Masters in Education with an Autism Endorsement. I am so anxious and excited to be able to spend part of my summer traveling with DSI. It is so great to see our local community support DSI and its founders! My appreciation goes out to all of our supporters. Thank you!
My name is Mick and I am one of the founders of DSI and currently serving as Secretary on the Board of Directors. I have been a special education teacher for the past eight years working across the spectrum of disabilities, predominantly at the high school level. Seven years ago I spent a short week in Cambodia working with some of the service providers for kids with disabilities and had the honor to share some of my own knowledge and experiences to one of the centers. The staff were so eager to better understand and improve the quality of life for the kids they were working with. I am truly excited to share what I have learned in my experiences and through my trainings and open up a portal for other professionals to do the same as we work together to improve services and reduce stigma for individuals with disabilities. Furthermore, I am even more excited to learn about the service delivery models in practice around the world as I work to improve my own performance in the classroom. Thank you to all of you who have helped to support us and are willing to get involved.
Research Volunteers - Help us develop a directory of organizations and available support materials to help educate others.
Fundraising and advocacy - Spread the word about DSI and the situation for children with disabilities in developing countries. Are you around Red Wing, MN or Central WI? We'd be happy to come talk to your church or service organization.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or through our website for more information.