About Designated Exceptional Services for Independence (D.E.S.I.)
Designated Exceptional Services For Independence (or D.E.S.I.) is a nonprofit organization founded in 2008, with the goal of empowering people with intellectual disabilities to achieve more.
D.E.S.I. is active throughout the Greater Los Angeles Area, with most activities centered around historically marginalized neighborhoods in East and Southeast Los Angeles County. D.E.S.I. clients live and work in cities like Bell, Downey, East Los Angeles, Huntington Park, Los Angeles, Maywood, Montebello, Monterey Park, Pico Rivera, South Gate, and Whittier.
D.E.S.I. clients work with professional educators and mentors on a variety of subjects, including health and wellness, nutrition education, personal safety skills, social connection skills, independent living skills, community connection skills, travel training, benefits training, resource navigation, micro-enterprise support and supported employment.
At D.E.S.I., the curriculum is individualized to each client, using a Person-Centered Planning process. The curriculum is presented holistically, with multiple areas of growth occurring at once, and instruction takes place at home and in the community. Each learning goal builds on the next, and many clients continue to progress in their skills training with D.E.S.I. for multiple years.
D.E.S.I. is committed to working with parents, caretakers and other stakeholders to ensure its clients have a continuum of care, and a strong Circle of Support.
It has been stated that 17% of all children under the age of 18, suffer from some form of Intellectual disability. D.E.S.I is an active agent of change in the community, educating and empowering families to learn more about available resources. We understand the prevalence and major risk factors that people with intellectual disabilities face. We encourage the equalization of opportunities for persons with intellectual disabilities.