Did you know that February is Jewish Disability Awareness and Inclusion Month? We checked in with some ROI Community members who are working to increase inclusion of people with disabilities in the Jewish and broader worlds. Read on to find out what they're up to, what motivates them, and how you can get involved.

#ROIcom #JDAIM17

Matan Koch

Organization and position:

Capitalizability LLC, Founder, Teacher and Inclusion Consultant

From Matan:

Fundamentally, the motivation for inclusion is nothing more or less than the recognition that all of our endeavors are enriched by the participation of everyone who has something to bring to the table. We include so that we all might benefit from the unique talents and blessings of any who want to participate in our world.

How can people get involved?

Inclusion begins with igniting a passion for it in the Jewish and secular world. To learn more about our Igniting Inclusion Events, and to consider bringing one to your community, visit www.matankoch.com. To support Igniting Inclusion events being organized by communities that cannot afford the cost of an event, visit www.matankoch.com/donate (the Igniting Inclusion Fund is hosted by Northern Hills Synagogue, all contributions are tax-deductible in the United States).

Photo credit: Winter Wind Photography


Shoshana Bloom

Organization and position:

LivLuv, Founder and Director

From Shoshana:

I believe that people of all abilities with developmental, intellectual and cognitive disabilities should be empowered to take control of their Jewish identity through accessible resources, materials, mentoring and leadership development programmes. I am creating my organisation, LivLuv to build opportunities for people with additional needs to become proud, active, contributing participants, leaders and change makers in the global Jewish community. 

I'm based in London and work internationally.

This is not Chesed, social action or a Tikkun Olam project. This is simply about equal rights for all.

How can people get involved?

Are you interested in helping to create accessible resources? Want to learn how to build a more inclusive community, programme or ROI project? Want to learn Makaton sign language?

Interested in finding out more – get in touch! 

I'd love to hear from you! (...website coming soon...)

Photo: courtesy of Shoshana Bloom


Liron Atia

Organization and position:

Tachles, Co-Founder

From Liron:

My name is Liron Atia. I'm a part of a project named "Tachles." We are two people making viral videos with social agendas. We've made videos about various topics, one of which was accessibility. 

This video has a special place in my heart, much more than the others, because…well…it's about my life :)

I'm 30 years old, 12 years ago I was injured in a snowboarding accident, and since then I'm in a wheelchair. Accessibility was a big issue for me in the past few years. Not being able to go to a lot of places just because they are not accessible. As the years went by, I discovered that people are not providing solutions for accessibility just because they are simply not aware of the problem. And that was the goal of this video – to raise awareness.

By now – this video got more than 130 million views around the world (most of them on Facebook).

Watch the video:

Video credits: Liron Atia, Roi Meyshar, Eran Keren

Photo: courtesy of Liron Atia

 

Elizabeth Corlin

Organization and position:

Shutaf Inclusion Programs for children and teens, Director of Outreach and Education

From Elizabeth – a quote she likes about inclusion: 

"Inclusion is a verb. ...Because it will not matter, in the end, what we say, if it's not backed up by what we do."

How can people get involved?

You can volunteer with Shutaf, or run an Inclusion Accelerator Workshop for your co-workers/team/etc. We open the inclusion conversation in a very different way, focusing on self-reflective practice, the language we choose to use, and the tachles – how-to's of it. Everything's interactive and a lot of fun! 

How to reach us: www.campshutaf.org or email me.

Photo: courtesy of Elizabeth Corlin