Equity & Diversity Statement
Last modified: October 15, 2022
Malena DeMartini, Inc. (“MDI,” “we,” “our,” “or “us“) is committed to providing opportunity equally and is committed to furthering diversity among the CSAT community whenever possible.
Inclusivity, equity, and diversity are incredibly important to us for both our training programs as well as within the MDI staff.
The Separation Anxiety Certification Program is an advanced program. As such, we have specific experience/educational requirements for acceptance; however, we hope to encourage people of all different backgrounds to apply. The varied experiences and backgrounds make our industry rich and woven with such a wonderful fabric of individuals who can work with clients from all backgrounds worldwide. Since the inception of our CSAT program and our CSAT community, we have been fortunate to have diverse applicants, both in terms of background, geographic location, and identities.
At the time of this written statement, we haven’t incorporated any formal programs for financial aid, we do offer extended no-interest payment plans, and we do work individually with those who have financial restraints to make participation in our program possible. Our hope is that finances are never the reason we have to turn away a motivated and qualified applicant, and we work very hard directly with individuals to try to meet that goal.
Our CSAT program also has students from all around the world. We provide closed captioning in our live meetings in addition to recording everything for later review as needed, particularly for those for whom English is a second language.
The way that we provide feedback throughout the program is intended to support all students, including those that are neurodivergent. There are opportunities for any student to resubmit assignments for further feedback to optimize the learning experience for all.
We are looking at incorporating more formalized scholarships and financial aid in the near future. This is especially with the aim of addressing, in one small way, the structural injustices that have led to the under-representation of BIPOC individuals in animal training. It has just taken a while to implement these practices and ensure we have the correct number of staff to support the process. This reflects the growing pains of expanding a small business like ours.
We are a woman-owned business, and our staff, including our primary program instructors, include queer, trans, and non-binary members, as well as members of the disability community.
Post-graduation, our CSAT community is a diverse and welcoming community. We foster collegial and supportive interactions for all. The CSAT community is one of the most generous I am a part of, including the lack of pretense and judgment regardless of affiliation.
Additionally, looking ahead to clients for any CSAT, they are indeed all over the world and include all walks of life, including those whose financial means are varied. While each CSAT must decide for themselves and their business how much discounted or pro-bono services they offer, we also have low-cost resources for people in need.
We include the website link on our site for all CSATs who would like to have it there. This also allows any separation anxiety client to research CSATs to determine the best fit for them, financially and otherwise. Another amazing positive consequence of this is accessibility across many languages as we have CSATs available to work with clients in English, Tagalog, Spanish, French, German, Hindi, ASL, Portuguese, and the list goes on. Because of the spirit of camaraderie within the CSAT community, potential clients are often able to find help in the language in which they are most comfortable working, even if that trainer is separated geographically.
We developed our online, self-paced course called Mission Possible in hopes of casting a wider net to those who could not afford the services of a one-to-one trainer. The course is extremely comprehensive and offers the students the ability to ask questions directly to us for support throughout their separation anxiety training journey as part of their course access. The course is offered at $199 for lifetime access, but we offer discounts and free access to anyone who requests it.
Additionally, purchasing my book can be a great low-cost resource for clients who need education but whose means are limited.
Although our inclusion system is not perfect, we consistently strive to do better each day. We feel if we lead by example, we can help shape the future of the animal training industry as a whole to be more inclusive.