Shalva’s programs impact the lives of countless individuals and even whole communities through a plethora of leading programs. The unifying principle behind all of our activities is inclusion. Based on the innate value of life, inclusion means that everyone belongs and that all talents must be cherished, encouraged and utilized. It is only when all members of the community are appreciated that society as a whole can flourish.
How do we promote inclusion today?
From the bottom up, all of our programs include inclusive elements.
Here’s a few:
- Already an international phenomenon, the Shalva Band is comprised of Shalva participants and graduates whose members’ musical talents were discovered and developed through years of music therapy. Today The Shalva Band performs by invitation at cultural venues and dignitary events around the world, enamoring audiences with their repertoire and charm.
- Participants in the Early Childhood Preschools attend mainstreamed programs in their home-communities to weave together therapeutic goals and playtime. This means that from the youngest age, children of all abilities learn how to interact and embrace differences.
- The After School Activity Center invites peers from the community to come and forge relationships with the young adults of Shalva, enabling them to forge lasting relationships, thereby easing their transition into the community.
- Camp Shalva brings 200 children with disabilities around Israel to amusement parks, beaches and more for an authentic sleep-away camp experience. These experiences in quintessentially non-segregated environments expose both campers and hosts to inclusive ideals and create warm, lasting memories.
- Shalva’s basketball team is part of the Hapoel national basketball association’s youth league, trained by Hapoel’s coaches, playing against other youth teams and sharing the court with the pros on nationally televised events.
And now the future is here.
The brand-new Shalva National Center opens new doors for individuals with disabilities and their families offering programs, services and facilities never before available in Israel. It is Israel’s beacon of inclusion and an international leader of innovative programs and research. Inclusive ideals are entwined in the very fabric of the building and their presence reverberates throughout its facilities. Check out some highlights of inclusive facilities.
- The Inclusive Preschool is a one-of-a-kind program where children ages 3-6 of all abilities can learn, play and grow together. This initiative was carefully designed with the Jerusalem Municipality to include program elements that plant the seeds for a more inclusive society. Designed to escort participants until first grade, the program curriculum prepares participants for mainstream educational integration.
- The Oral Hygiene for Everyone (OHEV) Center fills a crucial void in dental care opportunities for children with disabilities in Israel, whose parents chose to raise them in the community, rather than highly supervised yet segregated environments. Aside from advancing their oral health the program is expected to play a critical role in boosting the long-term inclusion opportunities and quality of life of individuals with disabilities.
- The Virtual Reality and Technology Room employs interactive virtual reality forums for therapeutic purposes. Through uniquely designed software, namely VITA, an interactive virtual reality job interview simulation program and therapeutically guided virtual games; users can practice skills in a controlled environment, while simultaneously being exposed to real-world situations.
- The Overnight Respite Center includes integrated lodging accommodations and independent living apartments with the option of weekly overnight stays and bi-monthly weekend retreats. Providing a forum for children with disabilities to master independence and daily living skills, the program empowers individuals with disabilities to live a life of their own choosing in the community.
- The National Park for Inclusion is the largest of four outdoor play areas on the National Center’s campus and will be open to the public. The park is equipped with installations that are engaging and accessible to children of all abilities. The park is Jerusalem’s first inclusive outdoor play area and is designed to host family outings and community activities.