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“I Am the Other” Project Bonds Schoolchildren and People with Disabilities

“I Am the Other” Project Bonds Schoolchildren and People with Disabilities
 
 
For the last four years, Israel Elwyn’s Jerusalem & Southern Israel Branch has been running the “I Am the Other” project in the Katie Manson Sensory Garden* with the Yefe Nof School of Ma’ale Adumim.  The project brings students ages 10-12 for a day of activity in the Garden with eight Israel Elwyn (IE) service recipients who provide instruction for visitors.  
 
As part of the preparations for the activity days, the students participated in a workshop on accessibility with a National-Civic Service volunteer who has a disability, at their school.  The second step in preparing for the visit involved a meeting in Jerusalem between student “Accessibility Ambassadors,” school staff, the Sensory Garden’s guides with intellectual disabilities and IE staff.  At the meeting, the Ambassadors and school staff learned about the Garden from the guides, who also described how they deal with their disabilities.  The guides told the children about their lives – home, work, recreational activities, favorite foods, family, etc.  Back at school, the Ambassadors updated the rest of their class about the upcoming visit to the Garden and what they had learned about each of the guides.
 
On the day of each class’s visit to the Sensory Garden, the guides helped the children experiment with the Garden’s facilities through play – imagining what it would be like to have a visual impairment, limited mobility, or other disability.
 
Staff from the Yefe Nof School report that these visits have had a lasting, positive influence on the children, and their attitudes and understanding of the life of the individual with a disability. Some of their comments:
§ “This visit taught us a lot about “the Other” and was an excellent example of the importance of “Do(ing) unto others as you would have them do unto you”.”
§ “I hope you will continue teaching lots of children to love and be sensitive to their surroundings and “the Other”.”
§ “I really enjoyed seeing the Garden with the guides, who were so nice and taught us so much.”
§ “The guides were so sociable and nice and very hospitable.”
§ “We learned lots of new things and got to know the terrific guides.”
 
The guides of IE’s Katie Manson Sensory Garden had the following to say:
§ “We feel very important and we know are teaching the children important things.”
§ “I was glad that we were able to explain about our lives and that the children listened to what we said.”
§ “It was fun showing them the Garden’s equipment.”
§ “I really enjoyed meeting with the Ambassadors and was glad that we already knew them when they returned with their classmates.”
 
This year, the “I Am the Other” project was expanded to include additional schools, and a total of 160 students from schools from Jerusalem and the surrounding region have participated.  The project is operated in cooperation with the A Place for All nonprofit organization.
 
 

August 2015

   

L-r: Schoolgirls wear blindfolds to experience the "Touch" section of the Garden; IE's Katie Manson Sensory Garden 

For the last four years, Israel Elwyn’s Jerusalem & Southern Israel Branch has been running the “I Am the Other” project in the Katie Manson Sensory Garden* with the Yefe Nof School of Ma’ale Adumim.  The project brings students ages 10-12 for a day of activity in the Garden with eight Israel Elwyn (IE) service recipients who provide instruction for visitors. 

As part of the preparations for the activity days, the students participated in a workshop on accessibility with a National-Civic Service volunteer who has a disability, at their school.  The second step in preparing for the visit involved a meeting in Jerusalem between student “Accessibility Ambassadors,” school staff, the Sensory Garden’s guides with intellectual disabilities and IE staff.  At the meeting, the Ambassadors and school staff learned about the Garden from the guides, who also described how they deal with their disabilities.  The guides told the children about their lives – home, work, recreational activities, favorite foods, family, etc.  Back at school, the Ambassadors updated the rest of their class about the upcoming visit to the Garden and what they had learned about each of the guides.

On the day of each class’s visit to the Sensory Garden, the guides helped the children experiment with the Garden’s facilities through play – imagining what it would be like to have a visual impairment, limited mobility, or other disability.

Staff from the Yefe Nof School report that these visits have had a lasting, positive influence on the children, and their attitudes and understanding of the life of the individual with a disability. Some of their comments:

  • “This visit taught us a lot about “the Other” and was an excellent example of the importance of “Do(ing) unto others as you would have them do unto you”.”
  • “I hope you will continue teaching lots of children to love and be sensitive to their surroundings and “the Other”.”
  • “I really enjoyed seeing the Garden with the guides, who were so nice and taught us so much.”
  • “The guides were so sociable and nice and very hospitable.”
  • “We learned lots of new things and got to know the terrific guides.”

The guides of IE’s Katie Manson Sensory Garden had the following to say:

  • “We feel very important and we know are teaching the children important things.”
  • “I was glad that we were able to explain about our lives and that the children listened to what we said.”
  • “It was fun showing them the Garden’s equipment.”
  • “I really enjoyed meeting with the Ambassadors and was glad that we already knew them when they returned with their classmates.”

This year, the “I Am the Other” project was expanded to include additional schools, and a total of 160 students from schools Jerusalem and the surrounding region have participated.  The project is operated in cooperation with the A Place for All nonprofit organization.

 

*  About Israel Elwyn's Katie Manson Sensory Garden: The Sensory Garden was established with the assistance of the Jerusalem Foundation via the generosity of a group of donors from Manchester, UK, led by Jonny and Avril Manson.  The IE Katie Manson Sensory Garden adds a further dimension to the services Israel Elwyn offers to people with disabilities.  Its calm, green and relaxing environment encourage enjoyable activity and sensory stimulation through equipment designed especially for this purpose by a team of professionals in a supportive location that is accessible for all visitors' disabilities.  Designed to respect the adult user and his or her needs, the Garden's equipment is nevertheless suitable for all ages.  The Garden has four areas, each dedicated to a different sense:  touch, sight, hearing and smell.  This separation heightens sensory stimulation and enables the discernable but independent stimulation and activation of each sense.  The Garden's quality and uniqueness lies in the attention and thought invested in integrating rehabilitative-treatment activity with experiences in an esthetic and serene corner of nature.

*  Israel Elwyn's Katie Manson Sensory Garden adds a further dimension to the services Israel Elwyn offers to people with disabilities.  Its calm, green and relaxing environment encourage enjoyable activity and sensory stimulation through equipment designed especially for this purpose by a team of professionals in a supportive location that is accessible for all visitors' disabilities.  Designed to respect the adult user and his or her needs, the Garden's equipment is nevertheless suitable for all ages.  The Garden has four areas, each dedicated to a different sense:  touch, sight, hearing and smell.  This separation heightens sensory stimulation and enables the discernable but independent stimulation and activation of each sense.  The Garden's quality and uniqueness lies in the attention and thought invested in integrating rehabilitative-treatment activity with experiences in an esthetic and serene corner of nature.* Israel Elwyn's Katie Manson Sensory Garden adds a further dimension to the services Israel Elwyn offers to people with disabilities.  Its calm, green and relaxing environment encourage enjoyable activity and sensory stimulation through equipment designed especially for this purpose by a team of professionals in a supportive location that is accessible for all visitors' disabilities.  Designed to respect the adult user and his or her needs, the Garden's equipment is nevertheless suitable for all ages.  The Garden has four areas, each dedicated to a different sense:  touch, sight, hearing and smell.  This separation heightens sensory stimulation and enables the discernable but independent stimulation and activation of each sense.  The Garden's quality and uniqueness lies in the attention and thought invested in integrating rehabilitative-treatment activity with experiences in an esthetic and serene corner of nature.





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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:

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American Friends of Israel Elwyn
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By check payable to:
American Friends of Israel Elwyn, PO Box 828284, Philadelphia, PA 19182-8284
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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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