Abstract of K.F. Lagziel lecture


K.F. Lagziel
Beit Issie Shapiro, Israel

Integration is one of the main core values of Beit Issie Shapiro and
serves as the basis for the vision of the organization. Social stigmas
and prejudices constitute barriers to creating social integration.
Therefore, a set of informative educational and social programs has
been initiated that are aimed at changing attitudes and ensuring social
integration. Research indicates that the earlier integration programs
begin the greater the social benefits will be. Consequently, programs
that focus on children of preschool age contribute towards shaping the
children's future image. The "Friends Park" combines promoting the
concept of social accessibility with physical accessibility. We believe
that in order to enable children with disabilities to be integrated in
community playgrounds, it is not sufficient to merely ensure that
playgrounds are physically accessible. It is also necessary to ensure
that there is an atmosphere of social accessibility and community
support. The project therefore includes a community-wide information
program of workshops within the kindergartens. These workshops are
designed to create social and ideological change, and to form positive
attitudes towards children with disabilities among kindergarten
children, parents and teachers. These changes will contribute towards
increasing openness, acceptance, and tolerance in society towards
children with disabilities. We will present a working model in the
kindergartens – the process of introducing the children into the
kindergarten, details regarding the workshops, work with kindergarten
teachers and parents, and the process of feedback and learning. We'll
also present initial findings regarding the impact of the workshops,
based upon a pilot evaluative research.

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