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e-Newsletter - February 2013
Self-advocacy group in session.

Dear Friends and Colleagues, 

 

The subject of self-advocacy by people with intellectual disabilities is gaining momentum in Israel at Israel Elwyn (IE) and beyond. Our Learning Colleagues group - over 60 members of IE's top professionals - met in December to reflect on the need to continually reinforce our new organizational vision, to change how we think, and to include people with disabilities in any discussion that affects them. 

Nothing About Us Without Us

Conference observers at the First National Self-Advocacy Conference in Israel: (L-R) Yoav Kraiem, Shosh Kaminsky, Sarah Sadovnik, David Marcu, and Ahiya Kamara.  See detailed titles and affiliations at the end of this article.

The subject of self-advocacy by people with intellectual disabilities is gaining in Israel at Israel Elwyn (IE) and beyond.  Our Learning Colleagues group – over 60 members of IE's top professionals - met in December to reflect on the need to continually reinforce our new organizational vision, to change how we think and to include people with disabilities in any discussion that affects them.  Accomplishing this must include a shift in the language we use about the people IE serves.  For example, instead of talking about "treatment" and "treating people," which is about people being acted upon, we now talk of "providing supports" and "treating the environment," which indicates that IE is providing tools for change that the person with a disability is empowered to implement.   

As a sign of our commitment to this new approach and to help translate these words into deeds, , some of IE’s self-advocate leaders led discussion groups at this Learning Colleagues meeting on a range of subjects, such as:

1)  Delegating apartment living responsibilities (shopping for furniture and food, cleaning, maintenance, etc.);

2) Employment rights;

3) "Whose life is this, anyway?" (a free-form exchange of feelings); and

3) Right to privacy (in community residential services). 

On January 22, IE and a colleague organization, Beit Issie Shapiro, co-hosted the First National Conference of self-advocacy groups, which took place at a hotel near Jerusalem.  After a lecture by the Commissioner for the Equal Rights of People with Disabilities in Israel (of the Ministry of Justice), discussion groups led by people with disabilities, assisted by professional facilitators, explored what self-advocacy is and how a self-advocacy group's activity can be expanded. 

In a further indication that self-advocacy is an idea whose time has come, a resident of one of IE's Herzliya supported apartments, who is participating in an advocacy workshop, has established a self-advocacy group composed of IE residents.  The group meets each week with the assistance of an external facilitator – without any Israel Elwyn professionals present. 

Early in February, the Ruderman Family Foundation posted on its blog an article on self-advocacy written by Israel Elwyn’s CEO, David B. Marcu, and Jean Judes, Executive Director of Beit Issie Shapiro and IE's partner in promoting self-advocacy in Israel.  To read this article:  http://zehlezeh.wordpress.com/2013/02/07/fostering-a-self-advocacy-movement-for-people-with-intellectual-disabilities-in-israel/.

Photo Details: L-R:Yoav Kraiem, Chairman of the National Council for Rehabilitation in the Community for Persons with intellectual disabilities and human rights activist for people with disabilities - also one of the project facilitators; Shosh Kaminsky, Director of Community Development & Knowledge Management, Beit Issie Shapiro - Project Co-coordinator; Sarah Sadovnik, COO, Israel Elwyn - Project Co- coordinator; David Marcu, CEO, Israel Elwyn; Ahiya Kamara, Commissioner for Equal Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Ministry of Justice.  
 

   

Let's Connect!   Visit usCall Us

We'd love to hear from you!  Also, please let us know in advance of your next trip to Israel and we will give you a tour of the Israel Elwyn programs.

 
You can also contact one of our North American offices: United States: (215) 830-9995 or Canada: (416) 787-1151 x 300.

 

If you would like to make a contribution either online or by check, please see the details below.

 

Sincerely,
 

David B. Marcu, Chief Executive Officer

Israel Elwyn's mission is to provide the means to achieve independence, integration into the community, and dignity for persons with developmental disabilities.    

 

Please support the tireless work of Israel Elwyn to provide state-of-the-art services in the areas of childhood early intervention, rehabilitation, assisted living, vocational training and employment services for persons with special needs by making a gift:

At PayPal:
 

By check payable to:

American Friends of Israel Elwyn, PO Box 828284, Philadelphia, PA  19182

Canadian Friends of Israel Elwyn, 74 Tycos Drive, Toronto, Ontario  M6B 1V9
 

To donate in Israel:

Please click this link: http://israelelwyn.org.il/en/donate 

OR

Mail checks: payable to "Israel Elwyn," at 20 Henrietta Szold St., 96502, Jerusalem, ISRAEL.






Lets Connect

We'd love to hear from you! Also, please let us know in advance of your next trip to Israel and we will give you a tour of the Israel Elwyn programs.

You can also contact one of our North American offices: United States: (215) 830-9995 or Canada: (416) 649-1655.

If you would like to make a contribution either online or by check, please see the details below.

Sincerely,
Sign
David B. Marcu, Chief Executive Officer

IE's mission is to develop and provide a wide array of supports and tools for people with disabilities, while constantly striving for excellence of service and the creation of a just society. Together with people with disabilities and society at large, we shall continue working as an innovative and cutting-edge organization.

Please support the work of Israel Elwyn to provide state-of-the-art services in the areas of childhood early intervention, rehabilitation, assisted living, vocational training and employment services for persons with disabilities by making a gift:

At PayPal:
American Friends of Israel Elwyn
Canadian Friends of Israel Elwyn

By check payable to:
American Friends of Israel Elwyn, PO Box 828284, Philadelphia, PA 19182-8284
Canadian Friends of Israel Elwyn, 74 Tycos Drive, Toronto, Ontario M6B 1V9

To donate in Israel:
Please click this link: http://israelelwyn.org.il/en/donate
OR
Mail checks: payable to "Israel Elwyn", at 20 Henrietta Szold St., Jerusalem 9650200



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