JDC-Israel-Division of Disabilities and Rehabilitation: Masi...
JDC-Israel-Division of Disabilities and Rehabilitation: Masira
Over 200,000 Arab-Israeli adults (of employment age) live with disabilities. The percentage of employment-age adults living with disabilities (14%) is significantly higher amongst Israel’s Arab population than in the population at large (5%). Although the numbers are almost three times as high, the resources available to help this population are far fewer. Thus, in 2006, JDC-Israel's Disabilities Unit , with the support of Yad Hanadiv Rothschild Foundation , established the Masira (“Journey”) Program for the Advancement of the Status of People with Disabilities in Arab Society in Israel. Since its establishment, Masira has made great inroads both in developing services for people with disabilities and by people with disabilities in the Arab community in Israel and in raising awareness of the issue.
The first and foremost achievement of Masira is the establishment of its eight flagship programs: Leadership Training for Women with Disabilities; Workshops on Assistive Devices and Accessibility; Model of Success Leadership and Empowerment Program for the Hearing Impaired; Promoting Academic Education for Blind People; Training for Community and Religious Leaders; Regional Support Center for the Mentally Ill located in Tira; Programs for the Bedouin Community; and Regional Center for Independent Living located in Sachnin.
In addition, the Masira program includes the creation of The Masira Foundation whose main aim is to cultivate connections with Arab philanthropists in order to secure future funding for Masira programs while at the same time helping to change attitudes toward the disabled in the Arab community.