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ALEH was established in 1982 by a group of parents determined to give their children with severe Intellectual Disabilities the best available care and the opportunity to develop to their full potential.
Today, ALEH is the largest network of residential care in Israel serving the severely disabled population. Over 700 children and young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities and complex medical conditions receive cutting-edge medical, educational and rehabilitative care in ALEH’s four residential facilities.
The ALEH staff relates to all residents with love and respect, caring for them over the course of many years with unwavering dedication and professionalism – even when major achievements are reflected only in small steps towards change.
There are two main principles underlying the conceptual and professional infrastructure of the ALEH staff, which are applied in developing and implementing a model for running services. These principles are quality of life, and the principle of normalization. The underlying assumption is that for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, normalization contributes to development of basic functional skills such as personal independence, communication and social contexts; quality of life is based on the promotion and advancement of a person’s needs within his/her environment.
Over the past few years, ALEH has been at the forefront of a unique approach that views every ALEH facility as an integrative Community Center, which enables inclusion of the general public and residents on an ongoing, systematic and permanent basis.
Each of ALEH’s facilities, in accordance with its geographical location and available staff, works to implement inclusion with the community according to the principles of an integrative community center, on 3 levels: Personal, Environmental and Societal.
Based on accrued experience, ALEH has the ability to instill knowledge to guide and train professionals in every one of those levels as defined below.
- Personal – relating to the individual, to his/her immediate surroundings at home, in class, in the framework of his daily occupation, and his free time.
ALEH’s input: Population characterization, development of a diagnostic system, and compiling rehabilitative and therapeutic programs, tracking and monitoring.
- Environmental – refers to close environs such as place of residence, community, services and developing mutual connections /reciprocal links with the organizations in the area.
ALEH’s input: Consultation on the establishment of educational and rehabilitative frameworks including: residential homes, rehabilitative day care, kindergartens and schools for special education, community rehabilitation center, community clinics, hydrotherapy pool etc. Guidance and consultation from design to operation.
- Societal – refers to societal and political trends, to systems of economy and to promoting change.
ALEH’s input: Staff recruitment, training, resource development, lobbying with decision makers, standardization.