disabilities

12 Israeli Technologies Changing the Lives of People With Disabilities in 2015

Editor's Note: This blog originally appeared on Forbes.com

We’re used to talking about the Israeli tech ecosystem as the Startup Nation, focusing on the young country’s ability to quickly launch and scale innovative ideas and build companies from the ground up. Tech giants like Facebook, Google, and Apple understand the role the Startup Nation plays globally and they routinely acquire startups here.

What’s sometimes lost in the cool-whiz-bang-awesomeness of some of the startups coming out of Israel is the fact that some of these companies are dramatically changing lives. Israel has an entire tech sector dedicated to enabling the disabled. The impact Israeli tech has on people is almost biblical in nature: whether it’s helping quadriplegics to walk (and look their loved ones directly in the eyes or use their hands or move more efficiently) or the deaf to hear and the vision-impaired to see, Israel is a leading medical innovator.

The Stories We Tell Ourselves

Suppose I asked you “What did you do yesterday?”

You list 19 activities, yet I counted 173 activities while videotaping you yesterday.  Why the discrepancy?

Writing our Own Story

Every day, we decide what’s important enough to remember. Over time, we weave our “story” from memories, feelings and interpretations of events that we have perhaps unconsciously selected. We tend to make our version of the truth into absolute truth. 

Rabbi Michael Levy

What Are YOU Thankful For? Part 3

Editor's Note: In honor of Thanksgiving, we asked our "New Normal" contributors to reflect on the intersection of gratitude and disability. We'd love to hear what you are thankful for in the comments below! Read parts one and two here.

Like most people of all faiths, I am grateful for family. Thanksgiving, the quintessential American holiday includes traditions involving family, food and celebration.  I am thankful for the people with disabilities and, in many cases, their families who have taught me a lot about that word family and about how struggles to improve society and to improve their local communities have results in that almost mythical tide that raises all boats. 

Steven Eidelman

For Rosh Hashanah: Tuning Our Ears To All The Angels

My company Actionplay is an inclusive group that relies on ensemble-based performance to build social communities that rise above the feeling of being excluded. We embody the notion that in difference there is great strength. The meaningful and supportive relationships that are formed in our rehearsal room are essential for those of us who don’t quite fit the norm.

Actionplay performers. Courtesy of Aaron Feinstein

Ruderman Family Foundation Awards $250,000 To Five Inclusion In Disability Innovators

The Ruderman Family Foundation announced today the five winners of the fourth annual global Ruderman Prize in Inclusion competition. The Prize honors Jewish organizations who operate innovative programs and provide services that foster the full inclusion of people with disabilities in their local Jewish community. The winners: Yavne Institute (Montevideo, Uruguay), Jewish Family Service Association of Cleveland (Cleveland, United States), Kisharon’s Adult Employment Programme (London, United Kingdom), Room on the Bench (Brooklyn, United States) and Beit Hillel (Ra’anana, Israel). Each winner will receive $50,000 to continue their work and pursue new opportunities for inclusion in their local communities.More information about each prize winner is listed below.

Bageltoons: Inclusive Cartooning

Over the last few weeks, our New Normal blog has been featuring reflections and perspectives on the 25th anniversary of the Americans With Disabilities Act.

We know that employment is one area in which people with disabilities are still struggling. Last June, The Ruderman Family Foundation, in partnership with The Jewish Week Media Group, proudly announced the recipients of the inaugural "Best in Business" Award. This national competition highlights North American businesses, large corporations and family-owned, who have shown exemplary practices in hiring, training and supporting people with disabilities.

“Everyone has a fundamental right to be included in our society and the best way to achieve full inclusion is through meaningful employment,” said Jay Ruderman, President of the Ruderman Family Foundation.

Bagletoons celebrates inclusive employment. Courtesy of Bageltoons LLC

Terrific Summer Reading List To Teach Kids & Teens About Disabilities

If you are anything like me, you eagerly await the summer months to finally make a sizable dent in that pile of books adorning your nightstand. My summer reading list typically includes a mix of young adult novels, professional books and a healthy handful of books for fun.

Lisa Friedman

The Jewish Week, Ruderman Family Foundation Launch ‘Best in Business’ Awards

The Jewish Week Media Group, in partnership with the Ruderman Family Foundation, is proud to announce an innovative competition highlighting North American for profit businesses with exemplary practices in hiring, training and supporting people with disabilities.

Those selected will be recognized with a Ruderman “Best in Business Award” and featured in a June 19 supplement to The Jewish Week, which will be posted on The Jewish Week’s website and distributed in New York and Los Angeles.

“The surest path to full inclusion in our society comes from meaningful employment” said Jay Ruderman, the foundation’s president.

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