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Our Mission

Asians and Pacific Islanders with Disabilities of California (APIDC) gives a voice and a face to Asians and Pacific Islanders (APIs) with physical, mental, and developmental disabilities. We seek to help break down the service and cultural barriers faced by APIs with disabilities, to provide knowledge to APIs with disabilities and their families, and to create a community network for empowerment and independence.

Key to our mission is the development of the next generation of leaders — youth with disabilities.

Our History

APIDC was created in 1999 as an informal coalition of individuals, community-based organizations, government agencies, parent organizations, and corporate executives who shared a common vision of wanting to address the specific needs of APIs with disabilities. Our first goal was to convene a two day statewide conference of consumers, families, and representatives from within and outside the API community to meet, share resources, identify information and service gaps, and formulate strategies on formulating solutions. Among the conference highlights was a panel featuring APIs with disabilities who were employed in various private and public positions, including elected officials and corporate executives. The conference culminated in a resolution to convene future conferences. APDIC has since sponsored statewide conferences in Oakland, Orange County, and Long Beach.


One of the important outcomes of the statewide conferences has APIDC’s initiative to undertake original research in the absence of data specifically aimed at APIs with disabilities. APIDC Research Director Peter J. Wong (Ph.D., UCLA) supported by Dr. Lois Takahashi has conducted and reported on important research results, announced at an APIDC press conference held at the Los Angeles offices of Asian Americans Advancing Justice, with Stewart Kwoh as the press conference moderator. Mark Matsui (Rio Hondo Community College) also participated in the press conference.

Our Work

APIDC is a community-based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to giving a voice and face to Asians and Pacific Islanders (APIs) with physical, mental and developmental disabilities. We encourage and support APIs with disabilities by programs and initiatives emphasizing education, networking and community building, including:

  • sponsoring statewide conferences attended by consumers, families, mainstream disability service agencies organizations  and community based organizations within the API community, where APIs with disabilities are among the featured presenters

  • sponsoring small networking events for APIs with disabilities, during which consumers can share resources and experiences, and build new friendships

  • sponsoring a unique leadership institute to train emerging leaders to become advocates on behalf of APIs with disabilities

  • sponsoring a speakers series featuring API role models, including U.S. Congressmember Tammy Duckworth

  • conducting original research aimed at identifying the particular challenges facing APIs with disabilities

  • ongoing dialogue with state and Federal legislators and agencies on ways to improve service delivery to APIs with disabilities

  • providing Disability Awareness Etiquette 101 — in service training for community based organizations on the “medical model” v. “independent living model”, disability rights as a civil right, appropriate communication skills, and disability advocacy resources

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