An Independent Living Project for Adults with Severe Physical Disabilities
– the first of its kind in Israel!
Shalheveth’s Apartments enable adults with severe physical disabilities to live autonomously and independently within the community.
Currently 14 people in wheelchairs, aged 30 to 50, reside in their own apartments, including one married couple, and there is a long waiting list of those who desire to live in such an apartment with full accompanying support services. Each tenant lives completely independently and privately in his or her own small two bedroom apartment, with the second bedroom allocated to their caregiver. Tenants support themselves using governmental stipends and rent subsidies and are solely responsible for managing their daily life. They also manage their own ‘Vaad Bayit’ (Building Committee).
The Shalheveth Apartments complex is located in a central neighborhood of Jerusalem and consists of 13 renovated apartments, a large communal room that serves as a social club and a wheelchair accessible, flourishing garden. Renovations were funded by the Ministry of Housing and the National Insurance Institute
"It is the first time in my life that I can wake up at 12:00 p.m. if I feel like it, that I can have a girlfriend sleep over if I feel like it, that I can close my door if I want to be alone or I can knock on my neighbor's door if I want to have coffee with someone. It gives me the choice to decide for myself how my day will look, but on the other hand, I don't need to be alone if I don't want to be. If I were to live in my own apartment without other neighbors in my same situation then I would be totally alone."
MAKE A DIFFERENCE!
New Apartment Complex
The waiting list of people with physical disabilities who wish to live independently according to the Shalheveth model not only exceeds the capacity of the current apartment complex but indicates enormous demand.
Shalheveth’s model has contributed significantly and must continue to contribute to awareness and understanding of the effectiveness and value of independent living in a non institutional framework that enables the wheelchair bound adult to live and grow in dignity and in realization of his or her full potential.
The success of Shalheveth's project has prompted the Government of Israel to plan for the foundation of this additional facility. However Shalheveth must recruit and develop the necessary resources to actualize its establishment and renovate according to each and every need to enable residents to live autonomously and independently.
Renovation Projects: ACCESSIBILTY
To improve accessibility to the Shalheveth Apartment building through a number of renovations:
A roof over both the front entrance halls
A new elevator entrance to Shalheveth apartments in order to protect people while waiting for transportation or for the elevator.
Installation of a new elevator from the lower street entrance up to the apartment building
Funding support needed to construct a roof over the front entrance halls is $30,000
Funding support needed to construct a roof over the new elevator entrance is $30,000
Funding support is also needed to build an elevator together with funding from the National Insurance Institute.
Personal Empowerment Fund
The Personal Empowerment Fund provides extra monetary assistance to tenants beyond that provided by National Insurance Institute disability payments.
Many tenants do not have family or familial support and struggle to cover items such as heating bills in the winter and vital medical costs.
Technical Assistive Devices Project (TAD):
Funding sought: $10,000
Assistive technology enables people with disabilities to perform tasks that they were formerly unable to accomplish or had great difficulty accomplishing. A number of Shalheveth Apartment tenants have no use of their arms and are in need of assistive technology in order to reach a greater level of independence. The process of finding the appropriate rehabilitative device for people with disabilities includes selecting, locating and training in their use. Such aides include the Integramouse which allows a person to operate a computer by mouth. Typing is done either with an onscreen virtual keyboard or specialized software for voice recognition and control. The unit includes a universal arm mounting system. To use, the operator simply moves the mouthpiece by applying pressure with the lips. Mouse-clicks with the left or the right mouse button are achieved by very slight sucking or blowing. Another example is the Tobii PCEye which allows a person with disabilities to control any computer with the use of eye tracking. For many people who have difficulty using a computer, the stand-alone Tobii PCEye provides easy to use, portable and accurate eye control. This type of technology allows people with disabilities to increase maintain or improve their functional capabilities.