Inclusion

Teens With And Without Disabilities Solving Real-World Problems

These days, many high schools require teens to earn community service/volunteer hours to graduate. That’s easier said than done by any teen, and even more difficult for teens that aren’t neuro-typical. Parents of teens with disabilities have enough responsibilities without having to worry about how they will help their teen get volunteer hours.

Enter the Edlavitch DCJCC’s Morris Cafritz Center for Community Service’s Summer of Service Camp. With close to 30 years of experience putting together volunteer projects to help the DC community give back, and the expertise of amazing special education teachers, Summer of Service is a place where teens of all abilities can come together to strengthen the community and change lives. This unique program was co-founded by RespectAbilityUSA, with seed money from the Mizrahi Family Charitable Fund.

A Summer of Service participant. Courtesy of Erica Steen

My Personal Declaration Of Independence

How much should I depend on others? Does depending on others mean that I am “giving in” to my disability? If I am overly dependent, will I end up in a dull dark world where I rely on others to bring me happiness? 

Issues like these confront some people with disabilities almost every day. A person whose upper body movements are limited could spend two hours dressing herself or dress in 10 minutes with assistance from a health aid. After a stroke, a person no longer able to drive must either travel on four buses from home to work or depend on a friend to drive him. 

Rabbi Michael Levy

10 Ways To Be An Advocate For Your Child With Disabilities

Editor's Note: Liane Carter's list of her ten ways to be an advocate are instructive for parents raising children with disabilities all year long.

Jewish Book Council. Courtesy of The Jewish Book Council

Nomination Period Opens For Fifth Annual Ruderman Prize In Inclusion With Organizations To Be Awarded A Quarter Million Dollars

Boston, MA, June 21st, 2016 — The Ruderman Family Foundation has opened the nomination period for its international Ruderman Prize in Inclusion, now in its fifth consecutive year of operation. Five individual $50,000 awards will be given to companies and organizations that operate innovative programs and provide services that foster the full inclusion of people with disabilities.

Five organizations from around the world will be selected for the Prize, which in total will amount to $250,000 that the Foundation will invest as recognition for the important work being done, and to also ensure that resources are available to allow them to continue.

Genesis Prize & Perlman: Helping Jews With And Without Disabilities

When the inaugural Genesis Prize, dubbed by Time magazine as “The Jewish Nobel,” was awarded in 2014 to one of the world’s leading philanthropists and public servants, New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, I admit I was very skeptical. I remember scratching my head and thinking, “One set of super rich guys gives another super rich guy $1 million? How’s that going to help anyone?” But, I’ve been proven wrong.

Violinist Itzhak Perlman. JTA

Exploring And Interpreting Disability In The Bible: Clearly And Comprehensively, Part II

In Part I of Exploring and Interpreting Disability in the Bible, a "wide-angle" perspective showed that the Bible does not often segregate the disabled. If biblical models encourage integration, why are many of us with disabilities still segregated?

Exploring And Interpreting Disability In The Bible: Clearly And Comprehensively

In recognition of the Shavuot holiday beginning on Saturday night, June 11, we have invited Rabbi Michael Levy to share his perspective on Torah and disability. This is the first of two parts. Rabbi Levy dedicates his writing to the marriage of Motti and Zahava Sturm.

A young Jewish boy prays at a synagogue in downtown Tehran. Getty Images

Two School Solutions For Jewish Children With Disabilities

If you are the parent of a Jewish child with disabilities, you have already learned that public schools “magically” welcome, include and teach children with disabilities very well. Indeed, where I live around the nation’s capital in Maryland, there are some of the best public school programs for children with disabilities in the country. Moreover, they are doing it with expert skills for tens of thousands of children at no cost (other than taxes) to families.

Take A Deeper Look: Supporting All Families

When a child has a medical problem, when a child is in the hospital, we get it.  As family, friends, and neighbors, we understand the emotional and physical strain on the child and his or her family.

Whether we call, send texts, arrange for meals, run errands, drive carpools, or simply check in to offer support, we know we need to do something. We often feel awkward or guilty if we don’t at least offer to help.

The Steinart family. Courtesy of Michelle Steinhart

Seeing The Person, Not The Disability

Most weekends, my thirteen-year-old son George and I go food shopping together. He likes to push the cart, pick out his favorite treats and help me count out pieces of fruit and drop them into bags. He’s also very fast and organized at unpacking our grocery cart.

The author's son George helping unpack groceries. Courtesy of Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer
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