Liliana Mayo

Ashoka Fellow
Fellow Since 2005


This profile was prepared when Liliana Mayo was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2005.
The New Idea
Liliana has revolutionized the way Peruvian society views and treats the disabled. Since 1979 when she founded the “Centro Ann Sullivan del Peru” (CASP), Peru has become one of Latin America’s most progressive societies in terms of treatment of the disabled. CASP is one of the most recognized and internationally renowned educational institutions for young people with disabilities in Peru. Liliana’s approach—and that of CASP—provides these children, their families, and the professionals working with them the educational and psychological help needed for confident, self-sufficient, independent lives. The result is a society where the disabled are fully integrated, respected, understood, and ultimately, where they lead happier and more productive lives. The result is also a shift in thinking of the “disabled” to those “differently able.”
CASP currently works with children who have autism, severe mental retardation, Down syndrome, and various behavioral and learning problems. CASP functions as an international research, training and demonstration model center, in which 350 people with different abilities are educated and trained based on their own experiences and needs. This way, materials and programs are designed in a way that maximizes their independence, productivity and happiness once they leave the center, and helps with effective integration into schools and the workplace. These materials are then disseminated more broadly for education and training of the disabled across Peru.
All the educational programs at CASP are focused on developing skills that will make students productive, self-sufficient citizens. It is one of the few centers in the world to offer programs designed for phases of life spanning from early childhood to adulthood. Moreover, CASP has developed a Remote Education Program using educational videos and teleconferences, specially designed for parents and professionals working with children with different abilities who do not have the luxury to come into the centers. Liliana’s models are already being replicated by eight different institutions in Brazil, Argentina, Chile, and Spain.
After 25 years of developing the pedagogical model at CASP, Liliana is today focused on reaching as many cities as she possibly can with her Remote Education Program. This will enable her to reach the maximum number of families across Latin America—and around the world—without the need and the cost of CASP centers and staff, and will also help her work around inefficient government policies and institutions that resist change. Liliana has already had interest in distance education materials from Japan, India, Mongolia, and Tanzania.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

More For You