We envision a world in which children with developmental disabilities are fully able to access the health and education services they need to achieve their full potential.
To change the lives of some of the world’s poorest people living with developmental disabilities, and the lives of their families, by improving access to and better quality of healthcare and education services and support.
The aim of MAITS is to improve the lives of some of the world’s most vulnerable individuals living with disabilities by helping them to reach their full potential, be healthy and have an improved sense of well-being, through access to family support, quality healthcare and education. We do this through a team of trainers from all over the world, who are experienced professionals, and who give their time to provide capacity building, training and resources to those caring for and providing health and education services to individuals with disabilities in community or institutional settings.
We do this through a very small staff team, training consultants and a team of qualified volunteers from all over the world, who are experienced healthcare and education professionals. Our volunteers provide training and support to those caring for and providing health and education services to individuals with disabilities in community or institutional settings. We also have a small grants programme which enables training to take place in any location where there is a need globally. The aim is to enable individuals to reach their full potential, with improved health, well-being and quality of life through access to family support, quality healthcare and education.
We work with and help some of the most marginalised people globally –those with disabilities living in some of the poorest countries in the world. There are 150 million children living with a disability and of these the majority live in developing countries.
Since 2011, we have provided training to 4675 staff working in the disability sector in 21 countries and helped over 600,000 individuals living with disabilities. The people we have trained include therapists, nurses, special educators, staff working in children’s homes and community health workers.
Part of our work involves providing training at the grass roots level, to community health workers and care staff, on conditions such as cerebral palsy, autism and learning disabilities to enable early identification, referral to specialists where possible and the provision of home support to promote development and independence, using training packages and tools we have developed specifically.
Some of our training can be life-saving, especially in the case of infants and children with feeding difficulties, which often leads to malnutrition, severe respiratory problems and early mortality. With the right training, these consequences can be dramatically reduced, improving the child’s quality of life and their life expectancy. MAITS’ specialists have developed and delivered training and resources for healthcare staff to address this issue, both in children and infants, the latter at the request of medical colleagues working on measures to prevent infant mortality. Our training also provides other innovative solutions to improving the lives of those with disabilities.
Our trainers provide follow up and remote support where needed to ensure the training has ongoing impact.
The WHO estimates that 15% of the world’s population has a disability, approximately 80% of whom live in the poorest parts of the world, where the vast majority do not have access to services provided by trained personnel. This has become a global health priority. Recent efforts to promote inclusion have not addressed the need for skilling up workers providing mainstream or specialist services to enable an ‘equal’ service to all. Training and resources to assist staff and caregivers are extremely scarce and largely unevaluated.
Since 2008, MAITS has established itself as a go-to organisation for developmental disabilities in the sector and is unusual in that the focus has been almost exclusively on training and capacity building of professionals from a range of disciplines within the disability sector. Our work ties in very closely with the recommendations on training from the WHO.
How we work
We support people with disabilities in the following ways:
- The training of healthcare and education professionals, community workers, families and carers– to better understand their conditions and build their skills and knowledge to ensure persons with disabilities have better access to and improved quality of services.
- The development of training materials and resources on disability – the training materials are tested out and adapted to the local context, and when needed, translated into the local language, to ensure high quality care for those with disabilities.
- Linking organisations that need training with those who are able to provide it– through our website and through our database of 208 volunteer therapists and educators.
In addition to facilitating face-to-face training, MAITS has an ongoing programme of resource development, designing tools that assist in the support and inclusion of individuals with particular needs, whether it be at home, school or elsewhere in the community, in low-resource settings. These are available via the RESOURCES page on the website