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הָאַרְכִיוֹן שֶל רוֹמַן וִישְנִיָאק
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11.22.2014 | 29 Heshvan, 5775
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GREER FAY CASHMAN \
Dreaming beyond their limitations
PERES greets Odelia Veknin 370.
(photo credit:Mark Neiman/GPO)
All people are limited in one way are another, but some are limited in the
extreme, as a result of which they often find themselves on the outskirts of
society.Eager to overcome their disabilities and to prove their
capabilities, large numbers of people with disabilities showed up on Sunday at
the President’s Residence in the capital for the launch of the Ilan Foundation’s
Employment Year, which is running in tandem with the organization’s 60th
anniversary.People with disabilities do not want to be treated like
charity cases. Instead, just like mainstream society, they want to preserve
their dignity and to prosper on the basis of their merits.“We can also
dream. We too aspire to succeed.” Avraham Roash, a third-year law student who
had suffered a stroke told President Shimon Peres and other dignitaries in
attendance.Roash, who is one of many students receiving support from the
Ilan Foundation, said that he had been integrated into the general education
system when he was younger, and that today as a law student, he felt immensely
proud to be standing on the podium of the President’s Residence.“My path
and that of my colleagues with [a variety of] disabilities is not a bed of
roses,” but with the help of the special people who work with and for Ilan, “we
are able to exercise our right to education, and we are also able to dream and
hope for success,” Roash told the audience at the event.He thanked all
those who had enabled Ilan students to realize their potential.Ehud
Ratzabi, chairman of the Ilan Foundation, said, “We do our utmost to integrate
people with disabilities into the higher education system so that they can also
integrate socially, [and] become personally and economically
independent.”Sunday’s event was primarily aimed at encouraging people
who had become disabled as the result of a stroke or some other form of brain
damage to aim for enrolling at one of Israel’s institutions of higher education
as a way of eventually achieving full integration into society.Peres
called on all such institutions to allow people with disabilities to study at
their universities and colleges, and more than that, to encourage them to do
so.Peres also urged universities to provide scholarships and any other
help that students with disabilities might need.“When a person with
disabilities can make use of his talents and through them can integrate into
society and the workforce, not only he becomes a winner. We are all winners,”
the president said.
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