Sharing personal experiences to improve the quality of inclusive teaching
- Training for Inclusive Teaching
- Access Israel
- Country of Implementation
- Asia & Pacific
- Start Year
- First published
“The meeting was well organized and fitted the way the children think. I learned a lot, and I believe that experiential activities are a must for all schools.” Shoshana Cohen, teacher
Access Israel is an established NGO based in the metropolitan area of Tel Aviv. In 2012, it developed a training programme of lectures and personal meetings for teachers and school service providers that teaches how to work with students with disabilities. Experiential activities simulate life with a disability, and there are personal meetings with persons with disabilities who provide insights into the challenges of being a student with a disability. In 2018, some 2,000 teachers were trained. Access Israel wants to increase its outreach to more schools in Israel and to make the programme a part of the national teaching curriculum.
Children with disabilities in Israel who are studying in mainstream schools often do not receive a quality Inclusive Education due to the lack of trained teachers.
Solution, Innovation and Impact
Persons with disabilities were actively involved in the development of the training as they gave their personal insights into life with a disability. During the programmes people with disabilities are actively involved in some stages of the training by sharing their story about the challenges and successes of being a student with a disability or a parent of such a student. These personal stories are very important and effective in helping teachers to understand better what is necessary for true inclusion. The project itself includes four components: understanding disability through lectures, experiential activities and simulations, interactions with instructors with disabilities, and teaching tools for inclusive and accessible education. The project started with the training of 30 teachers in 2012, and this number has grown to approximately 2,000 teachers in 2018. In 2019, Friends of Access Israel (FAISR) was established and they want to duplicate one of the projects of Access Israel and bring it to the USA - carrying forward the work of training teachers for Inclusive Education.
Funding, Outlook and Transferability
The project received initial funding from foundations, and each school that receives teacher training subsidizes these trainings with a small fee. In 2019, since Inclusive Education is becoming a matter of priority for schools, the cost of training and the project is covered primarily by the schools, with some support from the Ministry of Education and municipalities. Since the training programme is readily adaptable, it has been replicated throughout Israel. Access Israel also plays an advisory role to the Ministry of Education for accessible and Inclusive Education. In 2018, Access Israel, in collaboration with the Embassy of Israel in Latvia, presented the teacher-training model in Latvia.