AKIM provides a variety of residential housing choices for those who can not be cared for at home.
Group Homes — AKIM has built 24 group homes throughout Israel that provide supervised accommodation for 600 moderately to severely developmentally disabled individuals. This is their home; it is also the place where they acquire the confidence and basic skills to help function in mainstream society.
Apartments — AKIM has 14 apartment units that hold 6 residents each. These apartments are for those people who can live independently with some outside supervision. These facilities include contact with staff in social clubs, and periodic visits.
AKIM believes it is extremely important for the developmentally disabled to be integrated into the wider community as much as possible. This goal is being achieved by placing AKIM residential facilities in local neighborhoods.
Senior Hostel — Individuals with developmental disabilities are living longer due to improved health care and social services. These elderly individuals have unique and changing needs — particularly those people over the age of 40 who suffer from a marked deterioration of function — and need a facility geared to their special needs.
AKIM’s Senior Hostels provide:
- therapeutic services
- nursing and medical care
- psychological and social services
- meals and maintenance
- laundry and cleaning services
- rehabilitation treatments
- social activities and sports
AKIM has 19 social centers throughout Israel which serve 2,000 individuals with developmental disabilities. Social centers are multi-purpose buildings that enable AKIM to bring supervised social programs and skill building activities together in one location.
Each center hosts a variety of programs including:
- Activities club — afternoon activities including art, music, sports, drama, organized outings and special holiday celebrations for approximately 100 people
- Adult day care — an occupational and treatment center for severely developmentally challenged adults
- Child day care — afternoon and evening social and recreational program for children
- Weekend recreation — People of all ages can participate in recreational activities on Friday and Saturday, providing a much needed break for families and caregivers
- Summer camps — During summer vacation, campers enjoy a variety of activities and trips around the country
- Resource center for parents — This center will host meetings for parents and family members and provide guidance and referrals for services
Receiving adequate supervision and care is essential for the well-being of developmentally disabled children. AKIM trains teachers and develops after-school programs to help children improve their intellectual and social skills.
Kindergartens and Daycare — AKIM teachers are skilled in the most advanced methods of teaching the disabled. They give infants and young children up to age 3 the caring and specialized attention needed to help improve their motor, cognitive and communicative skills. This work is vital in preparing the children for a more formal school setting.
After-school Activities — Our trained staff has developed a wide array of after-school activities adapted for children and teenagers with special needs. Some of the programs include kayaking, dancing, swimming, painting, sculpture, drama and dance. These activities give parents a needed break and provide the youngsters an opportunity to develop their skills and make friends in a supportive environment.
Public Library Activities: — Children 12 years and older, and adults with mild or moderate intellectual disabilities meet weekly in groups of eight for two-hour sessions in public libraries throughout the country. Specially adapted story hours, and video screenings provide a stimulating learning environment.
Since Israel’s National Health Law does not cover dental care for the developmentally disabled, AKIM established a dental program to provide care to over 10,000 people.
This program is one of the strongest and largest public dental care systems in Israel.
Regional dental clinics across the country employ professional staff capable of treating people with special needs. Preventative therapy as well as early prevention enable patients to chew, speak, and better function. As a result, they enjoy a better quality of life, good health and acceptance in their surroundings.
The staffs’ professional experience and special equipment enables them to treat many problems directly at the clinics.
Employment is a central factor in every person’s life — providing a source of income and an orderly daily routine, enhancing self-confidence, nurturing creativity, and fostering personal and economic independence.
Many people with developmental disabilities, given the proper encouragement, direction and support, are able to work.
Located throughout Israel, AKIM operates 59 sheltered workshops for approximately 2,500 individuals each year.
Candidates for employment must meet minimum requirements for attention, behavior and skills. Each individual works within his/her own limitations (some need shorter work days, others need relatives to accompany them for the first few days, others need extra patience and attention).
Often, employees are given repetitive and labor intensive positions such as preparing utensil packets for airlines, assembling electrical plugs for a private company, or filling candy bags.
A typical workday is 8 hours long and includes breakfast and lunch courtesy of AKIM. It also includes frequent breaks with exercise and games.
Each employee receives a monthly paycheck which is in addition to the monthly stipend received from the government.
Each year, approximately 600 sheltered workshop employees are employed in the open market. These workers have a high retention rate, 95% after one year, and 90% after two years.
AKIM’s job placement program:
- Identifies developmentally disabled employees in the sheltered workshops who are capable of working in an outside company
- Provides continued vocational training
- Recruits companies*
- Offers job counseling before a job is obtained and supervision once employed
- Works with parents and family members
* AKIM clients are employed at places such as IKEA Israel, Visa, Discount Bank, Cellphone, Tempo, Sheraton Hotel, Fox, El Al, Toys kfar saba, Piza Patza, and many small companies.