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The story of Ilana Grunberg, mother of Avital and user of Friendship Park

A picture of a young girl with physical disabilities using the playground.

“I really feel that Friendship Park was the breakthrough for inclusion for Avital.”

My name is Ilana Grunberg and I am the proud mother of seven-year-old twins Avital and Ayelet and their sister Maya, who is ten.
Avital is very bright and tri-lingual (English, Hebrew, and Dutch), and in her free time she loves to paint, bake, and play with her friends at Friendship Park in the main city park in Ra’anana. She is known for her gorgeous smile, which captures everyone’s heart. Avital also has cerebral palsy and uses a walker and a wheelchair. She attends second grade at a normal primary school and goes to Beit Issie Shapiro daily for therapeutic treatment and afternoon activities, where she meets with other children with cerebral palsy. When Avital was in kindergarten she participated in one of Friendship Park’s social and educational inclusion programmes. Together with her typically developing peers, she learned about different types of disabilities and how to make the environment accessible to children and adults with diverse disabilities. Avital participates in all the social community events that take place at Friendship Park, and what her experiences at the Park have taught her is that trying again, speaking to everyone, believing in the good in people, and believing in herself builds a community that is inclusive of everyone.
I really feel that Friendship Park was the breakthrough for inclusion for Avital. Through this community project we learned that we have many friends who join us in making our city a place for everyone.

Read more about how Beit Issie Shapiro has developed the country’s first accessible and inclusive playground by reading the factsheet.