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OUR MISSION

imageThe mis­sion of our orga­ni­za­tionOpen Doors for Mul­ti­cul­tural Fam­i­lies, is to ensure that diverse fam­i­lies who have fam­ily mem­bers with devel­op­men­tal dis­abil­i­ties and spe­cial health care needs have equal access to cul­tur­ally and lin­guis­ti­cally appro­pri­ate infor­ma­tion, resources, and ser­vices.  We pro­mote cul­tur­ally com­pe­tent ser­vices through com­mu­nity col­lab­o­ra­tion, train­ing and part­ner­ships. The orga­ni­za­tion was formed in June, 2009 by a diverse group of pas­sion­ate par­ents of chil­dren with dis­abil­i­ties and pro­fes­sion­als who care about peo­ple with dis­abil­i­ties and val­ued com­mu­nity vol­un­teers after their col­lab­o­ra­tive work together for more than a decade. Since then, we have grown from one full time vol­un­teer posi­tion to one full time and seven part-time staff who are either bilin­gual or mul­ti­lin­gual. Through 20+ lan­guages spo­ken by our staff and vol­un­teer board mem­bers, we were able to pro­vide lin­guis­ti­cally and cul­tur­ally respon­sive ser­vices to more than 400 fam­i­lies of chil­dren with dis­abil­i­ties in 2012, 10 times increased in the num­ber of fam­ily we served since 2009.  Major­ity of these immi­grant and refugee fam­i­lies are low income, liv­ing in South Seat­tle and South King County where school dis­tricts have 100+ dif­fer­ent lan­guages spo­ken by their stu­dents’ families.

 

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Over the past 4 years, Open Doors’ lin­guis­ti­cally and cul­tur­ally respon­sive ser­vices have been proven needed and valu­able to our tar­get pop­u­la­tion.  Our qual­ity ser­vices have resulted in many grant awards from rec­og­niz­able fun­ders, such as United Way of King County, Seat­tle Foun­da­tion, City of Seat­tle, Seat­tle People’s Fund, Office of Spe­cial Edu­ca­tion Pro­gram of Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment and Wash­ing­ton State Attor­ney General’s Office. We sense our great­est achieve­ment when many pos­i­tive out­comes and com­ments come from fam­i­lies we serve.  For exam­ple, after our recent fam­ily event held on July 13, 2013, well attended by 187 peo­ple includ­ing 40 fam­i­lies and 40 vol­un­teers, a sin­gle mother, an immi­grant from Bosnia, who is rais­ing 3 chil­dren by her­self, sent us an email and said (direct quote and spelling from this parent’s email):

                “I just want to THANK YOU for orga­niz­ing grate event for our kids. Me and my kids had great time we don’t remem­ber when we went home hap­pier like on Sat­ur­day :)  Thank you for every­thing that you do keep up with the good work.”  – A.H.
 

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Open Doors for Mul­ti­cul­tural Fam­i­lies rec­og­nized the chal­lenges that fam­i­lies faced on daily basis in rais­ing their chil­dren with dis­abil­i­ties, par­tic­u­lar those who are low income.  Based on our inclu­sive and fam­ily sup­port val­ues, fam­ily stipends are avail­able and pro­gram fees are waived to remove finan­cial bar­ri­ers and encour­age their par­tic­i­pa­tion in our train­ing and fam­ily fun events.  Free onsite child­care and foods are also pro­vided at our events.  In addi­tion, with guid­ance and sup­port by our trusted bilin­gual Fam­ily Sup­port Spe­cial­ists, fam­i­lies with lim­ited Eng­lish pro­fi­ciency are able to access needed ser­vices in the com­mu­nity to bet­ter sup­port and advo­cate for their children’s spe­cial needs through our case man­age­ment and sys­tem nav­i­ga­tion sup­port services.

SPONSORS

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