Abigail Klein Leichman
February 13, 2019

Leaders and supporters from disability-serving organizations from across Canada are on a nine-day Canada-Israel Inclusion Mission to learn about ground-breaking Israeli models of accessibility and services for inclusion.

Delegates will experience a wide range of disability-focused innovators, including:

ReWalk Robotics, maker of robotic exoskeletons allowing wheelchair-bound individuals to stand and walk.
Lotem, Paratrek, and Nachal HaShofet, which make nature accessible for people with disabilities.
Beit Issie Shapiro, Israel’s leading developer and provider of innovative therapies and state-of-the-art services for children and adults across the entire range of disabilities.

Delegates representing a wide variety of Canadian organizations are accompanied by legislators Pam Damoff and Bryan May of Ontario and John Barlow of Alberta.

The participating organizations are: Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, Autism Ontario, Calgary Jewish Federation, Christian Horizons, Community Living Toronto, Downtown Jewish Community School, Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, March of Dimes Canada, Norfolk Association for Community Living, OCAPDD, Reena, Rosni Canada, Safehaven and SHS Consulting.

The mission’s Canadian co-hosts are Reena, Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital, and March of Dimes Canada. Its Israeli hosts are Israel Elwyn (helping 4,500 Israeli children and adults live independent lives), the Joint Distribution Committee, Beit Issie Shapiro and Israel4All, a tourism company in Israel for people with disabilities and special needs. The Reena and Azrieli foundations provided sponsorship.

Technology for people with disabilities is a fast-advancing field in Israel. The Israel Innovation Authority encourages research and development in this sector through its Assistive Technology for the Disabled Incentive Program.

“Though Israel is well known for its creativity and innovative capabilities, it is less well known that an entire Israeli tech sector is dedicated to the mission of enabling the disabled,” according to the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

For a list of Israeli accessibility technology developments from Access Israel, click here.

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