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The House on Negba Street, Beer Sheva: Setting Out on a New Road    

 In December 2017, a festive event was held, dedicating a new home for six people with intellectual developmental disability who moved to the new quarters from their previous residence

Participating in the event were: Beer Sheva Mayor Duvik Dalinovich; Vice Mayor and holder of the Education and Welfare portfolio, Dr. Heftsi Zohar; representatives of the Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs and Social Services; Orna Yogav, senior director of the Housing Division in the Disabilities Administration, Director of Southern Disrict; Israel Budik; representatives of the municipal Social Affairs Department; and families, staff, Erez Paz (home owner), neighbors and guests. The strong turnout inspired all participants and strengthened the significance of neighborliness and the mutual good feeling of including people with intellectual developmental disabilities in the neighborhood
Beer Sheva has a veteran system of homes run by the Ami Organization. As residents grow older and changes to the existing homes belonging to the public housing system are required, the organization’s administration takes upon itself to rent either newly constructed apartments or apartments which can be sufficiently adapted to residents’ needs. During the course of 2017, one apartment for six residents was already found, and, recently, a single home with a garden was located, renovated and adapted to the needs of the organization’s most veteran residents. Each resident living in the home has a private room, for which they chose their own furniture, adapting the room their personal needs. The presence at the ceremony of the home’s owner as well as close neighbors was most special and emphasized the good neighborly relations and mutual good feeling of inclusion of residents with intellectual developmental disabilities into the neighborhood
 
The Shalem Foundation assisted in funding for equipping the home
 



Making the Subject of Aging Accessible to People with Cognitive Disabilities – Opening Event at the Weinberg Center, Elwyn, Jerusalem    

An opening event on the subject of The Accessibility of Aging was held at Elwyn’s Weinberg Center on the evening of Wednesday, 20 December 2017.  Fifty people participated in the event: Center retirees and their families; Riva Muskal, Shalem Foundation director; supervisors from the Ministry of Social Affairs and Social Services; social workers from the Caregivers’ Bureau; representatives of housing organizations and staff from Elwyn’s various facilities

The evening began with greetings from Riva Muskal, Shalem Foundation director, Huda Abu-Sway, Ministry of Social Affairs’ regional supervisor, and Nora Kiewelowicz, director of Elwyn’s Jerusalem and Southern Israel Branch.

 

Basing her talk on central themes from her research, Niri David lectured on the topic, “The Aging Experience among People with Cognitive Disabilities”. Retirees spoke about their individual experiences as participants in groups dedicated to the topic of “Understanding Aging,” presented in short video films, together with a guide for viewing the films, produced by the Shalem Foundation

 

Event participants exited the evening with positive impressions. The theme was one of importance and for some participants it was their first exposure to the topic.

Participants commented that they learned about approaching the subject of aging in general, and aging among people with cognitive disabilities in particular, as well as other subjects relating to people with cognitive disabilities and people in general such as choice and finances

 

Retirees participating in the event, generally used to seeing Niri David in short video films, were duly impressed by her words during the evening. Taking an active part in the lecture, they shared experiences regarding aging and retirement, and expressed their satisfaction from the process they are experiencing in the group, “Understanding Aging.”

 

The retirees, together with Weinberg Center staff, thanked the Shalem Foundation and Niri David for the important information, the videos and the guide, all of which assisted staff in teaching Weinberg Center retirees and offering support to help them acclimate to this stage of their lives

 

The Shalem Foundation funded development of the short video films and the guide to viewing the films, and supported the event at Elwyn, Jerusalem as well

 



A Tradition is Born in the Regional Council Sedot Negev    

Social worker Maayan Benishti writes
 
“On Wednesday, 10 January 2018, a special, traditional event, part of the Social Affair Department’s extensive yearly activity, was held in the Regional Council Sedot Negev to augment special-needs awareness.
The evening, held in the Sedot Negev Cultural Center, attracted approximately 400 participants, including area residents, families of children with special needs, professionals and Regional Council staff.
The evening’s speakers included: Mr. Noah Elmasi, director of Social Services and Mr. Tamir Idan, Council Head; Mrs. Sesil Gritzber, coordinator of the Division of Services for Persons with Development Disabilities in the Ministry of Social Affairs, Southern Area; Mrs. Maayan Dahan, representative of the group Mothers of Children with Special Needs, and was emceed for the second consecutive year by Social Service division social workers.
The show, ‘If We’re Already Here, Why Don’t We Enjoy It?,’ produced by the Aluma Theatre, graced the evening. The show, exploring the topic of growth, challenges, strength and faith in special parenthood, was powerful and emotional. The actresses, themselves mothers of children with special needs, passionately sang and spoke about every issue! Upon the show’s conclusion, an important and significant discussion with audience participation was held
As mentioned, the evening has become a tradition in the Social Affairs Department, initiated by department social workers in conjunction with the Sedot Negev Community Library.
We would like to thank everyone who took part and participated in this event. Special thanks to the Shalem Foundation and the Ministry Social Affairs and Social Services for their assistance, and to Mrs. Shulamit Abutbul, director of the Community Library.”
 

The Shalem Foundation is partner to the initiative and its production, as well as funding of events to increase awareness of and exposure to people with intellectual disabilities throughout the country 

 



Get to Know the Other" in the city of Beer Sheva"    

 In response to a tender published by The Shalem Foundation, the Municipality of Beer Sheva launched a new initiative, implemented by the Kivunim Company, for the integration and inclusion of people with intellectual developmental disabilities in neighborhood sports’ events

The Division of Services for Persons with Development Disabilities in the Ministry of Social Welfare and Social Services, the Municipality of Beer Sheva’s Department of Social Services’ Rehabilitation Branch and Department of Sport, the Education Department’s Branch for Special Education and the Shalem Foundation are all partners to this initiative
As part of the initiative, a number of joint endeavors - ongoing and one-time - took place during the 5777 school year, exposing various sections of the population to people with intellectual disabilities as regular partners in myriad activities
  

Cooperation between Students of “Comprehensive C” and “Dekalim” School

 

Special education school “Dekalim” and “Comprehensive C” High School cooperated on a number of fronts. Every Sunday saw one and a half hours of joint Breakdance practice; Wednesdays were set aside for joint basketball practice. As a result of the shared activities, warm personal relationships were formed between students of the two schools. In addition to the regular weekly activity, students met during Chanukah to light a chemical menorah, ending the evening with delicious sufganiot (traditional jelly doughnuts). Once a month, the science class from “Comprehensive C” hosted alternating classes from “Dekalim” school for a fun sports day. For the project’s concluding event, participants were invited to go bowling in Beer Sheva. After a short closing ceremony, each student bowled two games and everyone enjoyed pizza. “Dekalim” School students were gifted with a sports bag, a basketball and a decorated soda bottle
 

Inclusion in the Retirees’ March

 

The annual “Retirees’ March,” was extremely moving this year when 50 participants from Yachdav’s Occupational Training Center for People with Intellectual Disabilities joined the march. Participants marched around the city’s Gan HaPa’amon for 2 kilometers, and continued with sports activities within the park, including Tai Chi, folk dancing, a drumming workshop, and more
 

Cooperation between the Orian and Ilanot Elementary Schools

 

Third grade students from within the schools were chosen to participate in the cooperative program between the special education school Ilanot and the elementary school Orian. As part of the program, students had weekly joint basketball practice. The children cooperated gladly, and it seemed they truly connected to each other
 

Inclusion in the Municipal Streetball Tournament

 

As part of the traditional streetball events in Beer Sheva, 10 players from the AKIM Organization took part in the events, under the coaching of Itay Meirovich. The players took part in a friendly game in which they played with members of the Comprehensive C basketball team. Three players even took part in the triplet competition, to the wild cheers of the crowd
 
Hats off to the Kivunim Company and especially to sports coordinator Yahav Hadad for turning this unique idea into a reality with potential to continue and even expand during the 5778 school year
 

The Shalem Foundation was partner to the initiative, its planning and funding

 

 
 

 



Shimon the King – The Story of a Young Radio Announcer from Beit She’an. Movie by Ariel Miroz    

 Shimon Dahan is a young man of 26 from Beit She’an with Down’s Syndrome. He studies in “The Institute for Life Studies for People with Special Needs” in the Jordan Valley. There, he is known as “Shimon the King,” the undisputed leader of a clique of students. But Shimon wants to succeed in “regular society,” to be a musician, to follow his calling. Shimon gets the chance to fulfill his dream when he’s accepted into the radio announcers’ course in “The Kinneret Academic College”. Before the course even begins, Shimon’s imagination takes off and he fantasizes about hosting his own radio show. Concurrently, he leaves his first girlfriend, Mirit, who also has disabilities, feeling that having a girlfriend “like that” isn’t appropriate for him.

Reality, however, is quick to slap Shimon in the face. His inclination to fantasize and his uppity behavior cause the people in his class and the teacher, Menashe Raz, to push him to the side. Shimon is hurt. The other students in his class treat him dismissively and none of them join his initiative to air a radio program about Eastern music
In order to succeed in the course, Shimon has to undergo a process of disillusionment, casting off his childish fantasies.
Is he capable of doing that? Will he succeed in fitting in with regular students and become a radio announcer? Will “Shimon the King” succeed in making his dream come true – to work in music and earn a living from it?
“Shimon the King” is the story of Shimon Dahan on his way to making his dream come true. The question of Shimon’s integration into regular society and his success in the radio course are central points in the movie, signifying both internal and external conflicts. The movie fluctuates between the ideal of personal fulfillment and its central expression in our culture and our true ability, as a society, to understand atypical, dissimilar people and accept them as an integral part of ourselves.
Despite this, the movie is not only the story of “an unusual person” in “regular” society. The movie touches on the human desire in each of us to stand out, to succeed, and to leave our mark on the world. The journey of Shimon Dahan of Beit She’an is a spiritual, social and psychological journey of one person within the huge world; one person who wants to fulfill himself: to be “the best, the most open and the most complete,” exactly as each of us yearn to be
 
 

See the ynet article about the movie here

 

 
The Shalem Foundation is a partner in the funding of the movie
 



First Edition of the Meytal House Self-Advocacy Group Newspaper – Day Center for Adults Requiring Full-time Care    

The Meytal House Day Center for adults requiring full-time care under the auspices of the Shalem Foundation recently concluded the workshop, “Self-advocacy and Self-representation,” directed by Maya Goldman and emceed by Lea Davidson

 
The groundbreaking workshop, among the first of its kind, was held as a pilot project, assessing the prospect of continuity. The process, entailing a workshop for staff members, a meeting for parents, and private and group counseling, was meant to introduce the approach of self-advocacy and self-representation among staff members and the center’s service recipients.
The newspaper is the result of unique activity launched this year in the Meytal House Day Center, focusing on the topics enrichment and knowledge, with methods of implementation produced in cooperation with center service recipients and based on the principals of self-advocacy. In the course of activities for enhancing enrichment and knowledge, center service recipients were exposed to current events via guided exposure to news items, after which the program instructor raised questions, opening opportunities for in-depth analyzation of the material viewed.
Towards the end of the month-long project, workshop participants take upon themselves the editing of the newspaper: choosing topics, colors and, of course, a name for the paper. The newspaper publishing process was led by Meytal House counselor Sharona Abraham, under the administration of Reut Golanik Sela
 
The center’s self-advocacy process was a joint effort of The Ministry of Social Affairs and Social Services, the Municipality of Rishon L’Zion, Maya Goldman and the Shalem Foundation, which also assisted in funding the program 



Project "See Me!" Closing Event – Occupational Training Center Shiluvim, A.D.N.M    

 The occupational training center Shiluvim held its closing event for the program “See Me!” designed to increase awareness about dressing, grooming and hygiene

 
In Shiran Yisrael's thank-you letter to the Shalem Foundation, the workshop director wrote
 
"Upon completion of the moving, crowning event of the program "See Me!," I would like to thank all of those who partnered to make this wonderful and significant venture a reality, bringing the program to staff members of the Art Center in Kfar HaMaccabi. The course took place under the auspices of the Shalem Foundation, in cooperation with the Disabilities Administration in the Ministry of Social Affairs and Social Services
The course's goal was to raise awareness and spearhead change among occupational training workers in the realm of outward appearance. And this indeed happened
 
From the very beginning and throughout the entire program, we were accompanied and advised by Ruty Traves, who professionally and successfully led and guided the program among staff counselors and occupational training workers with the utmost patience and dedication. We cannot stop sharing and boasting about the events that took place here at the Center since the program's inception, all of which bring happiness and joy and emphasize the capabilities inherent in choice
 
Thank you, Ruty, for sharing, and for the desire to generate change. Thank you for the tolerance and patience and for spreading the light in our center
 
The main event included a happening, sporting booths for clothing, fashion accessories, hair styling and make-up. Numerous volunteers came to share in the event and celebrate this very festive and admirable occasion
 
Parents, Mrs. Jackie Sorek, director of the Zevulun Regional Council Social Affairs Department, and Mrs. Tsofit Zeiger, director of the Shiluvim division, representatives of A.D.N.M.  residences, and directors of various other services honored us with their presence
 
Thank you to the Shalem Foundation for the opportunity, and for introducing the program to occupational training centers throughout the country
 
I am certain and I believe that this subject will take root in our center, among staff and among occupational training participants, and that we will see the results of the program for a long time to come
 
We grew and we enjoyed; the experience is ongoing
Thank you."
 
 

 

 

The Shalem Foundation was partner to the initiative and the program's development and was among the program's funders

 

 
For more information about the program and to view an explanatory film
 
 
 



From Theory to Practice – An Educational Conference about Disability in Israel    

Beit Noam scholarship recipients initiated a conference highlighting the central dilemmas they face in the course of their academic work: tension and possible models of communication between disabled and the academia. Disability Studies as a political position and academic area of interest has its roots in the disability-group movements in England and the United States, members of whom began to identify themselves as an oppressed group, demanding changes to the existing social order. Against this background, there is an ongoing tension between accepted academic work traditions and the activist spirit in the field of knowledge. The purpose of the conference was to discuss this tension alongside the mutual influences between academic activity and activism
Beit Noam, the Shalem Foundation, the Commission for Equal Rights for People with Disabilities, Ono Academic College, and the Disability Studies division of the Federation of Israeli Sociologists joined together to organize the conference. The special challenge facing conference organizers proved to be including people with disabilities into the conference itself: material for the conference was published using simple language, special efforts were made to find programs in which people with intellectual disabilities could participate. Participants from six programs sent summaries subsequently accepted by the conference and presented their programs and standpoints regarding the relationship between academia and disability. Four of the seven conference sessions were supplemented with simultaneous language simplification, in addition to simultaneous sub-titling and sign language. The conference arranged numerous additional means of accessibility, ensuring equal opportunities for everyone to listen and participate
 
The conference took place on 26 August at the Ono Academic College, with approximately 180 participants from academia, activists, people with a range of abilities, care and social service professionals and more. Among the noteworthy topics presented were: How Do Social Workers Speak about Disabilities?; What Does the Israeli Academia Have to Say about the Deinstitutionalization Movement? The Relationship Between Research and Activism; Art and Disability Studies; Accessibility and Equality in Higher Education for People with Disabilities; The Joint Learning Experience; The Relation Between Genetic Advisors and Disability; Students' Attitudes towards People with Intellectual Developmental Disabilities; Education as a Trauma; and Students with Disabilities as Change Definers in the Israeli Higher Education System
 

The Shalem Foundation was a partner to and funding participant for the conference 

 



Social Media Site Net.Chaver Was Awarded the Commission of Equal Rights for Persons with Disabilities’ Equal Rights Prize on 3 December 2017    

The social media site Net.Chaver, initiated and administered by Beit Noam was awarded the Commission for Equal Rights for Persons with Disbailities’ Equal Rights Prize in a ceremony that took place on 3 December 2017 at the Avenue Convention Center, in the presence of Knesset Member Ayelet Shaked, Minister of Justice, and Knesset Member llan Gilon, Chairman of the Subcommittee for the Equal Rights for Persons with Disabilities Law
 
Net.Chaver is a social media site intended for young adults with intellectual developmental disabilities. The project’s goal is to contribute to quality life improvement through expanded social circles, adapted leisure time activities, and available and accessible information channels. Site users can correspond with friends from various localities, play adapted games and view pictures and short movies without having to be reading and writing or mouse usage-ability dependent
 
As of December 2017, Net.Chaver has 652 active friends from 40 organizations throughout the country. Part of Net.Chaver’s guidance system is based on friends’ support, and central users are partners in decision making, affecting the site’s development
 
 

The site was developed by Elwyn-Beit Noam in conjunction with users, and with the support of the Ministry of Economics and the Shalem Foundation, and in cooperation with the Disabilities Administration of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Social Services

 

 
Additional information about the program including an explanatory film can be seen here
 
 
 
 

 



Lilach – Making Women’s Health Issues Content Accessible to Women with Intellectual Developmental Disabilities    

 The website “Lilach,” developed jointly by the Shalem Foundation and the Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs and Social Services’ Disabilities Administration, was created to explain the role of the gynecologist and how routine visits to the office are conducted. The goal of the site is to lessen feelings of pressure and fear and increase women’s feelings of independence prior to visiting the gynecologist for a standard examination.  The educational material on the site is geared towards women with moderate to severe levels of intellectual developmental disabilities, aged 21 and over, living in residential facilities or in their parents’ home, who utilize various services offered in their communities

 
The site was the final project for Shahar Mor and Noa Mynrat, students in the Faculty of Instructional Technologies in the Holon Institute of Technology. Instructors: Dr. Hailey Marom, Nogah Resnik.
Content experts: Shosi Aspler and Nilly Ben Dor, Disabilities Administration, Ministry of Labor, Social Affairs and Social Services and Sharon Ganot, The Shalem Foundation
 
 

 

To access the Lilach site

Lilach Video clip