In Recognition of Special Needs

Israel has always recognized its society’s special needs and continuously creates endeavors to respond and aid this demographic. In this article we take a look at two recent events: Good Deeds Day and Jewish Disability Awareness, Acceptance and Inclusion Month (#JDAIM). Both of these involved work by the ADI, the country’s key provider of care for severely disabled individuals.

The first was when ADI worked with EL AL to create a wheelchair pilot seat in its Boeing 737 plane.  This was done as a mark of recognition for Good Deeds Day in an attempt to give four wheelchair-bound Israelis the opportunity to experience plane piloting as per advanced simulator. Eran Lichter (an EL AL Captain) guided the individuals, each for 60 minutes. Once the flight had ended they all received a course completion certificate from Lior Tanner (CEO of Frequent Flyer Club and EL AL Fly Card). At the ceremonial event were both ADI Negev-Nahalat Eran chairman and founder Doron Almog and ADI Jerusalem director, Shlomit Grayevsky.

In recognition of JDAIM, the ADI created ‘ADI’s Make the Change Challenge.’ This competition was open for US and Canadian 4th to 12th grade students to design something showcasing how the world at large is severely lacking in accessibility to the community of individuals with disabilities.  The idea behind the competition is to create awareness especially among the younger demographic to really become aware of the ‘other.’

ADI’s US and Canada Director of Development, Eli Klein explained:

“For years, ADI’s culture of kindness, compassion and empathy has paved the way for disability inclusion in Israel, and our ADI Bechinuch programming allows us to take our advocacy to the next level by making a difference for individuals with disabilities around the globe. While this new STEM contest could potentially inspire the creation of the next great accessible design solution, our true objective is to encourage the next generation of Jewish leaders to be thoughtful, sympathetic and see the world through the eyes of others, because we can’t promote real societal change towards individuals with disabilities without first acknowledging our shared humanity.”

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