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Self-Advocates Meet for Second Annual National Conference

L-R standing:  Self-advocates Asaf Buzaglo, Avital Ohayun, Simona Idan, Shai Asuline, and Dudu Cheftzadi. Sitting:  Yoav Kreim,  well-known spokesperson for people with disabilities. (Credit:  Ruderman Family Foundation)

On January 27, over 100 self-advocates with intellectual disabilities, self-advocacy facilitators and other professionals and members of the public met in Jerusalem for the Second Annual Self-Advocates Conference. 

This year’s Conference focused on the right to fair employment, including conditions in the workplace, wages, interpersonal relationships at work and inclusion.  The subject of the Conference, its agenda, and the subjects for group discussion were all chosen by the self-advocates, who formed committees to handle all the organizational aspects of the Conference.

The National Self-Advocacy project, whose goal is to provide people with disabilities with the tools they need to speak out for themselves in all aspects of their lives, is a joint project of Israel Elwyn and Beit Issie Shapiro. 

The Conference was emceed by a resident of IE’s Herzliya Community Residential Services (CRS) who had completed the first self-advocacy course for group leaders. 

Discussion groups led by self-advocates explored the Conference’s subjects.  Questions on the right to employment were answered by a panel that included a representative of the Israel Justice Ministry’s Commission for the Rights of People with Disabilities and IE’s Assistant to the CEO for Employment, Margalit Piller.

During the Open Mike session, speakers raised a wide range of subjects, including their delight at participating in the Conference.  Others spoke of how participating in a self-advocacy group has provided an awareness of their rights and responsibilities in the workplace and instilled in them a desire to gain more satisfying and rewarding work.  Others related stories and gave advice on life in general.

All of the self-advocates were proud of their achievements, but the excitement level among those who had participated in the first conference was muted compared with last year, as they exuded an air of “we’ve done this before and can do it again.”  They also declared their pride at establishing a tradition of annual conferences. 

Self-advocate Dudu Cheftzadi, who led one of the conference’s group discussions on employment, said people with disabilities “are not that different” from the general population and that “It is important that we are able to stand up for our rights,” as reported by Josh Hasten of JNS.org.

The joint IE-Beit Issie Shapiro program of fostering self-advocacy groups throughout Israel is made possible by the generous support of the Ruderman Family Foundation and the Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles.

  

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,

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 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 disabilities by making a gift:

At PayPal:

For either American Friends of Israel Elwyn or Canadian Friends of Israel Elwyn, please go to: http//IsraelElwyn.org.il/en/donate.

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 visit: http://IsraelElwyn.org.il/en/donate or mail checks: payable to "Israel Elwyn," at 20 Henrietta Szold St., 9650200, 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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