Mission: Open Doors for Multicultural Families is a nonprofit charitable organization dedicated to ensuring that families with 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.
Target demographics: culturally and linguistically diverse persons with developmental and intellectual disabilities and their families
Direct beneficiaries per year: over 1000 families
Geographic areas served: Seattle and South King County, Washington
Programs: Community Parent Resource Center: This program provides individualized, one-on-one support to families of children aged 0-26 with developmental or intellectual disabilities in the form of systems navigation, special education support, educational workshops, parent support groups, and fun family events. Families are paired with Family Support Specialists who come from a similar culture and speak the same language. If a direct support staff is not available in a family's language, an interpreter will be provided.
Youth Leadership & Advocacy: This program supports youth with disabilities to become leaders and advocates. They learn to be strong leaders, build self-esteem and positive social skills, and engage in self-advocacy. They talk about their disabilities, strengthen relationships and social skills through group activities, and hear guest speakers on leadership and advocacy.
Youth Job Readiness: This program supports post-secondary exploration for youth with disabilities. They learn practical pre-employment skills such as using public transportation and résumé building, take field trips to job sites and college campuses, and learn adult life skills.
Pathways to Graduation: This program works to engage with diverse youth with disabilities who are at risk for dropping out and/or involvement with the juvenile justice system to reconnect them with school and/or employment.
Youth and Family Homelessness Prevention: This program is designed to help families in South King County experiencing a crisis get back to self-sufficiency with intensive case management and limited financial assistance. This program is not a rental assistance program; it is to serve families who are typically in a stable housing situation, but are in crisis and are at imminent risk for homelessness.
Aging & Disability Services: This two-pronged program targets adults (age 18+) with disabilities, and their caregivers, often seniors (65+) who may be experiencing challenges of their own. The Community Living Connection aims to provide information and assistance through a network of providers to adults with disabilities so they may care for themselves. The Family Caregiver Support Program provides support to unpaid family caregivers and helps lift the physical and emotional stress associated with caregiving.
Youth Transition Project: This is a 5-year project that aims to create a system where students with developmental and intellectual disabilities and their families from diverse cultural and language backgrounds can access information and resources that will answer the following questions: What will I do after high school? What support is out there when I become an adult? When and what should I do? Where can I get support and who can receive these services?
It's hard navigating the world of special education for any parent. It is for me and English is my native language. Open Doors provides excellent programs (I've been to three and have gained something from each one including parenting skills) and makes them culturally and linguistically accessible. I've shared information about Open Doors with special education teachers so they can help multicultural families.
Staff are awesome and most of them look pretty young but very knowledge people; I stopped by the office in kent to ask a few questions to help a homeless woman with ms that i pick up on the street, this young lady inmediately had stopped what she was doing to help us. I stoped by again and in the office was this medium age chinese woman very rude by the way she was screaming someone on the office, the staff tried to cover it; but it was too extreme rude. The way she talks and treats people is very nasty, when I ask a question she told me we do not help homeless or people with mental health issues I hope so she does not work for this org anymore, but if she is volunteer I recommend this org to kick her out