A photo exhibit centered on the Israel Defense Forces' inclusion of people with disabilities was presented by an Israeli delegation at the NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, in early October.
The delegation, which included IDF and Ministry of Defense Forces attaché Amit Lanir and Israeli Ambassador to the EU and NATO Chaim Regev, presented the photos of soldiers with mental and physical disabilities, who participate in various roles in the IDF.
The Jewish National Fund program Special in Uniform (SIU) helps integrate people with disabilities in the army and teaches them skills that they can use in jobs after their service.
"The program accentuates the unique talents of each participant and places him or her into an appropriate setting within the IDF," SIU said in a statement.
"Breaking down societal barriers and fostering widespread acceptance of social diversity, Special in Uniform focuses on the ability, not disability, of each individual, and teaches vital social and life skills that empower them to gain independence and become contributing members of society."
Special in Uniform Director Lt. Col. (Res.) Tiran Attia said the exhibit is a way for Israel to demonstrate its respect for all human beings to the world and he hopes it will inspire other nations to follow SIU's lead in promoting inclusion and finding a role for everyone based on individual needs and talents.
"We’re committed to creating a society where everyone can contribute and do their utmost," Attia said.
"The inclusion of persons with disabilities into the IDF helps advance our collective mission of offering equal opportunities to all stratums of Israeli society," Ambassador to NATO and the EU Chaim Regev remarked.
"It is a phenomenal initiative that positively builds up the confidence and strengths both of our young soldiers with disabilities and those who serve beside them."