At the invitation of the Municipality of Tel Aviv-Yafo, Chimes Israel provides after-school leisure, social, and enrichment programs for children and teens with special needs who attend special education schools.
Program staff members are well-trained to anticipate and meet the specific needs of the students. The leisure and enrichment programs provided include games, sports, dancing and movement, cooking, music, theater, puppet shows, folk dancing, and opportunities for participation in Scouts activities. The habilitation aspect of the programs includes therapeutic sessions with animals, art, dance, and music, as well as therapeutic massage.
By offering activities not available during normal school hours, these programs extend the school day, thereby helping family members to maintain their routines as much as possible. They also relieve the families of having to provide out-of-home after-school arrangements for their special needs children.
Our Day Habilitation Centers offer intensive programs for adults with moderate-to-severe mental retardation, autism, cerebral palsy, and other disabilities. Emphasis is placed on learning daily living skills. Individual Habilitation Plans are developed for each client. The main objective is improving the clients’ functional (eating habits and personal hygiene), social, emotional, physical, medical, and cognitive development.
Therapeutic habilitation sessions include gardening, animal care, music, movement, and art. To encourage personal interaction and provide the individual attention so valuable in this type of program, clients work in small groups with counselors.
Chimes Israel operates rehabilitation work centers that promote work skills of adults with special needs. It also facilitates the clients’ integration into society, helps develop their social skills, encourages independent behavior, and increases their self-esteem.f
Prospective clients, usually young adults aged 20-21 who are in their final year of special education school, visit the work centers to become acquainted with the facility and staff. A vocational diagnosis is made for each client to help the staff identify the type of work that would be most appropriate. After admission to the program, clients participate in rehabilitation workshops to develop skills, such as packing and sorting. They also participate in enrichment activities, including sports, and arts and crafts.f
Workshop clients work according to the annual Individual Habilitation Plan (IHP) developed by work center staff, and receive appropriate compensation for that work. For senior clients experiencing deteriorating cognitive and functional abilities, the centers substitute creative and enrichment activities for most work tasks. They also provide instruction to promote regular health care, good eating habits, and the importance of physical activity and personal cleanliness.
The Shiluv (Hebrew for "integration") Project is an occupational placement program that helps adults with psychiatric disabilities to integrate into the local workforce. Chimes Israel’s role in the project is to provide Shiluv participants appropriately supervised supportive employment opportunities.
Shiluv staff members select potential work environments for project participants, assess employee skills, and escort participants through employee orientation. Chimes Israel makes certain, through consultations with employers, that all participants are appropriately treated in their new work environments.
In addition to providing services directly related to employment, Shiluv also operates a social club for individuals with psychiatric disabilities. Activities are designed to familiarize them with social norms and patterns, and encourage the participants in the development of initiative, independence, and creativity. This helps build the social skills necessary for interpersonal relationships and helps the clients to cultivate ways to cope with social solitude. Specific Shiluv Social club activities include arts and crafts, cooking, computers, movies, drama, ceramics, hiking trips, and parties, all geared to encourage clients to interact successfully with others.
Chimes Israel integrates individuals with special needs into daily and routine work environments, according to their needs and abilities. More qualified clients are placed in factories, businesses, and private and governmental corporations that offer appropriate work settings. Chimes Israel provides both ongoing support to the clients and ongoing guidance to the employers on how to relate to individuals with disabilities. The program offers new opportunities in new settings to clients to whom only work rehabilitation center assignments had been available in the past.
The "Achitron" puppet show at Chimes Israel's Achikam Work Rehabilitation Center was founded in 2005 by the volunteer-actor, Mr. Buki Arkin, as a creative occupational opportunity for people with disabilities.
The "Achitron" members, with the guidance of Mr. Arkin, share their every-day experiences as people with special needs and together put them together in a theatrical performance. During the process they also create the puppets themselves, as well as the costumes, accessories, and scenery.
Memorizing the script and creating each role is a long and challenging process, in which the actors sometimes struggle with speech difficulties, and/or vision and motor impairments. The actors participate in countless rehearsals, where each and every detail is thoroughly learned. After all the tireless work and practice comes the last and most exciting part: the performance.
"Achitron" offers a unique interaction between the audience and people with special needs. Spectators are exposed to the inner world of a person with disabilities and get a chance to acquaint themselves with their emotions and thoughts.
"Achitron" Puppet-Show performances are available for both school and corporate events.
Our centers provide therapeutic rehabilitation services to infants diagnosed with developmental difficulties, along with guidance and support to the children’s families. Programs and services are provided as called for by an annual Individual Habilitation Plan that considers the child’s age, abilities, functional level, and needs.
Chimes Israel operates Daycare Habilitation Centers for Infants in Tel Aviv-Yafo, Ashkelon and Modi'in. Each center's staff includes a director, kindergarten teachers, counselors, physical therapists, speech therapists, music and arts therapists, social workers, and volunteers. Children participate in center activities according to their abilities and needs, and the centers provide transportation and meals.
The center’s paramedical staff provides close guidance to families, so they can continue the center’s work at home, as well as support groups for siblings and grandparents.