ADI Negev Partially Reopens Special Education Programming
In early March, our ADI centers across Israel implemented extreme sterilization protocols to shield our residents from COVID-19. These drastic measures included closing ADI’s special education schools and early intervention centers, which cater to children from the community who live outside the ADI facilities, to ensure that we would not contaminate our sterile environments.
Earlier this week, after the Israeli government gave the green light for special education schools to reopen as necessary, it was decided that a partial reopening of the special education school at ADI’s residential and rehabilitative village in the Negev would be possible without endangering the residents of the village.
To limit the risk of contamination, only special education students who are brought to the ADI Negev campus by their parents and submit to a physical examination may enter the school building. Additionally, all teachers and administrators are dressed in head-to-toe protective gear at all times, the special education classes have been divided into very small groups, and residents of ADI Negev are kept separate from the students who live at home.
After just a few days of limited activity, it’s starting to look like the school we remember. The halls are filled with laughter and song, and it’s clear that the special education students are thrilled to be back at ADI Negev with their teachers and friends. Though it’s not quite the return to normalcy that we are all hoping for, it is a step in the right direction. In time, all of our ADI centers will resume their service to the greater community, ensuring that each and every child receives the education and opportunities for advancement that they deserve.
Illuminating the Smiling Faces Beneath the Masks
For our ADI residents, one of the most difficult elements of our extreme sterilization protocols is that the faces of our professional staff and volunteers are covered with masks and face shields at all times. In addition to being unable to discern their primary caretakers’ facial expressions, they often don’t recognize them at all, which can lead to momentary uneasiness and confusion.
To rectify this situation, which is also prevalent at hospitals and elder care facilities across the country, a group of innovative medical students established a project called “Meir Panim” (literally “illuminating faces”) that prints large stickers with the images of the smiling faces of medical and care professionals that are placed on their body suits for easy identification by their patients. Last week, after ADI administrators reached out to Meir Panim and explained how crucial the ability of our residents to identify their caretakers is to their care, the project coordinators jumped into action and began creating beautiful personalized stickers for our ADI medical staff and volunteers.
The package of stickers from Meir Panim arrived earlier this week and were put into use immediately. The results have been astounding! These wonderful stickers help put our ADI residents at ease by allowing them to immediately identify and connect with the members of the ADI family who they love most, and everyone is smiling.
Thank you Meir Panim for giving our precious ADI residents peace of mind!
The needs of our ADI children cannot be put on hold.
Public support is more important than ever to guarantee that our residents receive their daily respiratory treatments, their many specialized therapies that are critical to their care and development, and the medications and formulas that are not included in Israel’s health basket. With events, visitors, and fundraising meetings on hold, these vital services are in danger.
Though our ADI residents are being distanced from the public to safeguard their health, it is essential that they never feel alone.