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Partners For Change: Americans with Disabilities

We have long recognized that people with disabilities are some of our nation's greatest untapped resources.

Israel also recognizes that people with disabilities are an important resource. This resource has been tapped from the beginning as Holocaust survivors and disabled veterans of Israel's six wars have become major contributors to the nation.

One priority under the Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Labor and Social Services and the Department of Health and Human Services is to explore ways of assisting people with developmental disabilities. For example:

  • The University of California at Santa Barbara and Tel Aviv University designed and piloted a computer program that helps people with developmental disabilities find employment.

  • The University of Rochester and Ben-Gurion University worked to expand the use of, and test a community-based crisis intervention model for the explosive behavior of people with developmental disabilities.

Israel also has an innovative service, Milbat, the Israeli Center for Technological Aids, Housing and Transportation for the Disabled. Milbat maintains a library with information on makeshift gadgets and special devices to assist the disabled. It also conducts seminars for professionals who work with the disabled and offers counseling to the disabled and their families.