To complement the growing trend of integrating people developmental intellectual disabilities into mainstream society, a new model of communal housing has been initiated. Apartments are adapted to be accessible for disabled adults including those in wheelchairs. Accommodating up to six people per unit, the apartments enable personalized treatment while providing a sense of community.
Previously, people with disabilities who required nursing and other assistance lived in segregated homes or institutions far removed from everyday society. This model implements their right to be part of the greater community.
The appearance of people with a range of disabilities in the community aids the changing social perception about the abilities and capabilities of people with disabilities.
Living in the community enables the individual to maintain the sequence of experiences and relationships from the day he or she was born in his or her hometown and deepen their sense of belonging. The apartment also provides the family of the tenant a friendly and familial environment while visiting their relative.
Shekel Association provides community services for people with special needs. In December 2014 they inaugurated a new apartment complex in the community for people with developmental intellectual disabilities.
The project was completed through the collaboration of the Shalem Foundation and the Foundation of Services for the Disabled of the National Insurance Institute of Israel.
The apartments were all inaugurated on the same day, inviting representatives from each institute to visit each apartment together with the occupants and their families. Among the representatives were:
Representatives came from the management of Shekel association
Chairman of the Shalem Foundation, Mr. Haim Ga’ash
CEO of the Shalem Foundation, Mrs. Riva Moskal
Manager of Projects at the Foundation,Mrs. Miki Cohen
Director of the Foundation of Services for the Disabled of the National Insurance Institute of IsraelMr. Shmuel Vinglas
CEO of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Social Services, Mr. Yossi Silman
Director of the Department of Developmental Mental Disability in the Ministry of Social Affairs, Mr. Gidon Shalom
Jerusalem Ministry Council Member,EladMalka
Head of Social Affairs in the Jerusalem Ministry, Rabbi Ya’akovHalperin
Mr.Yossi Silman, CEOof the Ministry of Social Affairs and Social Services, spoke of the intent of his ministry to continue opening more apartments for people with disabilities in the community and of his hope to transfer people from group homes to such apartments.