About Us 2019-09-13T16:02:13+00:00

Our Mission & Vision

Vision:

To create inclusive societies that realize the full potential of disabled individuals through transformation of social and public institutions.

Mission

Enable the full potential of disabled individuals by promoting best practices for inclusion and institutional change.

Background:

‘Identity Inclusion’ works towards creating a society that is inclusive of people with psycho-social disabilities. The focus on psycho-social disabilities as opposed to mental ‘illness’ is to acknowledge and address the pervasive stereotypes, attitudes and barriers faced by people suffering from mental health issues, learning/developmental disabilities, or conditions such as epilepsy and cerebral palsy.

We train undergraduate students on counselling skills, rights of people with mental illnesses and disabilities, powerplay, etc. through the Department of Educational and Counselling Psychology of Dhaka University. In this way we are developing a cadre of social workers who have the knowledge tools and are equipped to make society more inclusive.

We try to empower people with psycho-social disability but also assist institutions to be inclusive, thereby capacitating institutions and society as a whole, as development of only the marginalized people will not help each other build a more inclusive community.

Our Services

Psycho-Social Support

Psycho-social Support

Psycho-social support includes all the services a person needs in order to lead a fulfilling and productive lifestyle. Our trained Psycho-social Supporters will assist individuals and their families to facilitate their participation in society.

Technology For Inclusion

Technology For Inclusion

We are partnering with the Centre for the Rehabilitation of the Paralysed (CRP) and The Tech Academy to develop low-cost communication devices for people with cerebral palsy, a technology which is severely underdeveloped in Bangladesh.

Advocacy & Awareness

Advocacy & Awareness

Bangladesh currently follows the Indian 1912 Lunacy Act of 1912, till date. We are actively pushing for the amendment and publication of the new Mental Health Act, alongside participating and hosting seminars to create awareness and instigate positive outcomes.

Capacity Building

Capacity Building

Our approach is unique as it’s trying not only to empower people with psycho-social disability but also ensuring institutions provide the facilities to cater to their needs, thereby capacitating institutions and society as a whole. Our training and workshops are sought by organizations to better develop their work environments and facilitate inclusion.

CEO & Lead Consultant

SHAMSIN AHMED

Shamsin is an inclusion activist and a social entrepreneur who has been working in private sector development programs since 2011 with roles spanning the areas of disability and financial inclusion. Shamsin completed a Leadership in Mental Health System Development from the James P. Grant School of Public Health in 2013 and a Masters in Development Studies in 2014 under BRAC University. She founded the Identity Inclusion project in 2015, to break mental health stigma, promote community based services and social inclusion of people with mental health conditions, learning and developmental disabilities and even conditions such as Epilepsy. She was the only Bangladeshi selected to be a cocreator of the Barefoot Guide on Inclusive Development in 2016, a publication developed in the framework of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted within the UN framework, among an international group of 34 development practitioners from 16 countries worldwide. She was also a member of the Global Shaper’s Dhaka hub which is an initiative of the World Economic Forum, where she lead a project on disability inclusion called Odommo. Through this initiative she advocated and facilitated for public spaces to ensure disability accessibility of their buildings. On 23rd February 2017, Shamsin was acknowledged as one of the ten young change makers of Bangladesh, by the Daily Star Newspaper which is the largest circulating newspaper in Bangladesh, for her work on disability inclusion. Shamsin’s passion for working with psychosocial disability also stems from her close experience with her elder sister who struggled with Epilepsy and Schizophrenia.

Global Advisors

Julian Francis

Julian Francis

Julian Francis has been associated with Bangladesh since its independence. His elder brother had Down’s syndrome, so he learnt about disability from early age. Later, his elder son was diagnosed with severe learning disability. He worked with Oxfam-UK in India and Canadian CUSO in Bangladesh on disability issues. He was involved with setting up the National Forum of Organizations Working with the Disabled (NFOWD), Bangladesh. He encourages other disability inclusive initiatives such as Identity Inclusion project, and contributed to the first Bangladesh Disability Policy and Legislation. He is currently an independent consultant and writes regularly in Bangladesh media on development and disability issues and future possibilities.

Karen Heaslip

karen

Karen Heaslip is an occupational therapist (OT) volunteering in Bangladesh. She studied occupational therapy in the UK and worked in a mental health hospital before her first trip to Bangladesh in September 2013.  She is currently volunteering on a project, Restore Mental Health, which is developing the role of OT in mental health in Bangladesh and promoting rehabilitation in this area. She believes that everyone has a right to a meaningful life, despite having a mental health diagnosis or disability, and want to help people to achieve this for themselves.

Matthew Hezzy Smith

Hezzy-smith

Hezzy Smith is founding and managing partner of the International Center for Fundamental Rights (CEIDEF), based in Monterrey, Mexico. Previously, he directed the Bangladesh Program of the Harvard Law School Project on Disability, where he currently serves as Research Associate. He has worked on disability rights matters in the U.S. Department of Justice and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, counseled persons with disabilities and their families on matters ranging from guardianship to education, and provided technical support to DPOs, NGOs, self-advocacy groups, lawyers, judges, and professionals the world over. He received his J.D. in 2014 from American University, Washington College of Law and his B.A. in 2008 from Harvard University.

Local Advisors

Razia Sultana

Razia Sultana

Razia Sultana is an Occupational Therapist working at the Centre of Rehabilitation of the Paralyzed (CRP) and the National Institute of Mental Health, Bangladesh. She completed her Bachelors is Occupational Therapy from CRP and is currently doing a Masters in Public Health. She facilitates the support group meetings of the Identity Inclusion project and supervises the volunteers of the project.

Dr. Kamrun Nahar Koly

Dr. Koly

Dr. Kamrun Nahar Koly is currently working as a Research Investigator at Initiative for Non-Communicable diseases at reputed international research organization icddr, b- Bangladesh. She has joined icddr, b as a Research fellow in a NIH-funded research project on 2013. She has received her MBBS degree on 2009 and afterwards she did her MPH. She is specially trained at mental health research with a focus on women and special children. Dr. Koly has direct experience of implementing several research projects with national and international funding in Bangladesh. She has also received several national and international research trainings in quantitative research, study designs and research ethics etc. She is currently serving as a Co-Investigator in an international project on mental health awarded by Harvard Medical School-Dubai. She is engaged in developing modules on psychosocial counseling guideline and training for mothers of ASD children, respectively. Apart from her professional commitments she is also involved in several social activities to work against stigmatization about mental health in Bangladesh.