How can we make intimacy and romantic love accessible for people with disabilities? and how vital is it to do so? What are the life-long effects of trauma and why is the phenomena disproportionately common among people with disabilities? Why is 'trauma-informed care' so important for adults, youth and children with special needs?
These and other crucial issues, drew over 100 disability professionals from all over Israel to participate in an eye-opening conference: "Abuse in the Shadow of Disability", organized by the Toni Eliashar SHEKEL Therapeutic Center in partnership with the Haruv Institute. Held at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev, the conference came just one year after the opening of SHEKEL's southern region therapeutic center, which provides services for adults and children with disabilities and professionals, from all sectors of the community.
Moderator and SHEKEL president, Lihi Lapid, moved participants with a thought-provoking lecture that touched on sexuality and protection of children with disabilities from a parent's perspective. SHEKEL CEO, Clara Feldman, emphasized the critical importance of including therapeutic centers among the continuum of services that allow people with disabilities to integrate as an inclusive part of the general community. Prof. Asher Ben Arieh, CEO of the Haruv Institute, spoke of the intrinsic value of the Toni Eliashar SHEKEL Therapeutic Center, as an integral part of the Haruv Institute and The Hebrew University of Jerusalem's Children's Campus. At the culmination of the conference, participants expressed a desire to stay in contact as a group and deepen their understanding of the topics presented. Director of SHEKEL's therapeutic centers, Aya Roth, invited participants to refer to SHEKEL's therapeutic centers for staff training and therapeutic services.
Enormous thanks to the conference lecturers: Michal Golan (Joint, Ashalim); Tal Bar Lev (Meyers-Joint-Brookdale); Prof. Itai Berger (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem); Yahel Mendelkern (Toni Eliashar SHEKEL Therapeutic Center); Rotem Saar Keles (SHEKEL Therapeutic Center, southern region); Aya Roth (SHEKEL Therapeutic Centers).