The mis­sion of our orga­ni­za­tion, Open 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.