Friends of AKIM USA

Overview

AKIM, founded in 1951, is the national organization caring for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities in Israel.

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Today, AKIM is the largest and most comprehensive provider of programs and services for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities – regardless of their age, faith, ethnic background or gender – serving 34,500 children, teenagers, adults, and senior citizens, as well as their 130,000 family members, throughout Israel.

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A few facts about AKIM Israel:

Hand in hand with 800 volunteers, the 500 devoted workers of AKIM Israel operate:

  • 15 Group Homes providing supervised accommodation for 415 persons with moderate to severe intellectual and developmental disabilities. Three Group Homes are dedicated for the senior population in Israel with severe intellectual disabilities.
  • 33 apartment units (community-based housing) accommodating 4-6 residents each, living independently, with some supervision and support.
  • 4 Daycare centers serving 150 adults (age 21 years and older), suffering from severe cognitive disabilities.
  • 3 types of protected work framesproviding employment and several work transition programs to approximately 1,000 adults with minor developmental and intellectual disabilities, in meaningful work in an inclusive setting, throughout Israel.
  • 35 afternoon leisure Clubs offering a variety of afternoon leisure activities for approx. 1,200 persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities of all ages, by using and enjoying the same recreation and other leisure activities and facilities, that are available to the general public.
  • Annual “protected” vacation for 1,000 employees with intellectual and developmental disabilities (of all work “frames”), as well as people with severe cognitive disabilities.
  • Summer Camps for 200 children with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

With its headquarters in Tel Aviv, AKIM Israel’s organizational structure conducts a variety of national activities as part of AKIM’s “Inclusion” vision to make the Israeli Society “a better place for people with developmental and intellectual disabilities and their relatives“.

  • Public and Community Advocacy – coordinating activities of 66 branches (staffed with volunteers who are active in 77 towns and cities) throughout Israel, promoting public awareness, self-advocacy & actively supports the full inclusion and participation in the community.
  • Legal Advocacy Leading the struggle  for realizing and utilizing equal legal rights. AKIM’s Legal Department leads the campaign in the courts and in the Knesset for establishing legally binding and equitable standards for the intellectually and developmentally disabled population.
  • Employment opportunities  providing meaningful work and job opportunities in an inclusive setting. A noteworthy example is the “Equal in Uniform” program of Military Service. This highly successful program is a joint venture between AKIM Israel and the Israel Defense Forces (IDF).
  • Culture, Education, Leisure and Sport activities  operating Cultural activities, mostly stage and plastic art projects, as well as Leisure and Sports activities, include participating in the Paraolympic Games. These activities are the main “tools” of AKIM Israel’s Educational efforts of to promote acceptance.
  • 24/7/365 support line ”Parents for Parents” – provides ongoing emotional support and vital information to families with intellectually and developmentally disabled children and adults.
  • Information Center  where information is available to everyone on Intellectual Disabilities, Down Syndrome, Education, Employment, Accessibility, Housing, Inclusion, Health, and Public Advocacy.
  • Guardianship – For 1,500 persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities – regardless of their age, faith, ethnic background or gender, who have been abandoned, orphaned, or taken out of their parent’s custody.

What's New at AKIM

AKIM Israel together with the Histadrut – ”General Organization of Workers in the Land of Israel” (The “Union”) have recently joined forces to promote the integration of the intellectually and developmentally disabled persons in the labor market in Israel.
As part of AKIM Israel’s desire to reach a full inclusion and participation, including residential facilities, in the community, AKIM maintains and operates 33 community-based apartments, throughout Israel, housing 4-6 residents each; all apartments are located within residential areas. These apartments are targeted to those people who can live independently, with minor supervision.
AKIM Israel serves as guardian for more than 1,500 persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities, regardless of their faith, ethnic background, age or sex
With the 2015 elections around the corner, AKIM Israel’s ”Election Booklet” offers information about candidates and policies, to empower individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities ”on their way to the ballot box.”