AKIM, the National Association for the Habilitation of the Intellectually Disabled, is to hold its annual donation day on Monday in conjunction with the official launch of an information campaign, “AKIM in the Square.”

On Monday, thousands of children are to knock on doors throughout the country, asking for contributions to AKIM for the promotion and treatment of some 34,500 people with intellectual disabilities in Israel.

In addition, the nonprofit organization is to launch an informational campaign to expand the knowledge of the public firsthand regarding people with intellectual disabilities.

Thousands of AKIM volunteers across the country will set out to public areas, such as city squares, main streets and malls to hold informational activities.

The “AKIM in the Square” project unofficially launched in Ramat Gan last week as local volunteers set up stands in a busy pedestrian walkway in the city. People with intellectual disabilities offered shiatsu massages and distributed informational materials to passersby.

Last week, AKIM chairman Ami Ayalon presented the findings of the second social index on people with intellectual disabilities to President Shimon Peres.

The findings painted a picture of a negative public attitude toward people with intellectual disabilities. The study found that 43 percent of the respondents believed intellectually handicapped people should be separated from society and only 58% of people said they would be happy to meet an intellectually disabled person. Furthermore, 16% of the population believed that people with intellectual disabilities did not deserve the same rights as everyone else.

According to the AKIM website intellectually disabled people require varying levels of support from “full-time longterm assistance to physical rehabilitation and occupational therapy.” Furthermore, according to the site, the families of people with intellectual disabilities require emotional and financial support, guidance and education in caring for a disabled family member.

AKIM, celebrating its 63rd year, operates a network with 64 branches managed by 300 professionals and 2,000 volunteers and active parents, according to the site. The organization offers services ranging from advancing the rights of the mentally handicapped to kindergartens and nurseries, as well as job training and recreational programs.AKIM, the National Association for the Habilitation of the Intellectually Disabled is to hold its annual donation day on Monday in conjunction with the launch of an information campaign, “AKIM in the Square.”

On Monday thousands of children are planning to knock on doors throughout the country, asking for contributions to AKIM, for the promotion and treatment of some 34,500 people with intellectual disabilities in Israel.

In addition, the non-profit organization is to launch an informational campaign to expand firsthand the knowledge of the public regarding people with intellectual disabilities. Thousands of AKIM volunteers across the country will set out to public areas, such as city squares, main streets, and malls to hold informational activities.

The "Akim in the Square" project unofficially launched in Ramat Gan last week as local volunteers set up stands in a busy pedestrian walkway in the city.  People with intellectual disabilities offered shiatsu massages and distributed informational materials to passersby.

Last week Chairman of AKIM, Ami Ayalon presented the findings of the second social index on people with intellectual disabilities to President Shimon Peres.

The findings presented a troubling picture of a worsening public attitude in 2014 towards people with intellectual disabilities.  The study found that 43% of the respondents believed intellectually handicapped people should be separated from society, compared to 31% who thought so the previous year.   Only 58% of people said they would be happy to meet an intellectually disabled person, compared to 74% last year.  Furthermore, 16% of the population believes that people with intellectual disabilities do not deserve the same rights as everyone else.

According to the AKIM website, some 34,500 intellectually disabled adults and children live in Israel today.  Each of these people, require varying levels of support from "full-time, long-term assistance to physical rehabilitation and occupational therapy."  Furthermore, around 136,000 family members of people with intellectual disabilities require emotional and financial support, guidance, and education in caring for a disabled family member.

AKIM, celebrating its 63rd year, operates a network for 64 branches managed by 300 professionals and 2,000 volunteers and active parents.  The organization offers services ranging from advancing the rights of the mentally handicapped, to kindergartens and nurseries, as well as job training and recreational programs.

Donations to AKIM can be made on the website or by phone at 03-766-2211.

 


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