Amichai, a nonprofit Israeli association for the welfare of people with developmental disabilities, was established in 1994 in the town of Hod HaSharon in central Israel. Its founders, themselves parents of children with severe developmental disabilities, contending with an acute scarcity of services for this special population, were determined to create a supportive environment in which their children, and others like them, could grow and thrive.
Based on principles of full inclusion in normative society, and maximum independence leading to meaningful and fulfilling lives for people with developmental disabilities , Amichai and its services strive to address the needs of the entire life cycle of its target population: from early childhood through the school years to adolescence, and on to adulthood, maturity and old age.
Through the years, continuously responding to the ever-growing, urgent, and often unanswered needs of children with special needs and their families, this renowned organization has launched a long line of facilities and innovative services:
daycare centers for special education children in Hod HaSharon and its environs, including the ethnic minority sector;
an active, highly popular weekend respite program;
summer and holiday camps;
programs for children with autism;
housing within the community for young men and women with severe mental disabilities;
an occupational center for young adults; and more;
In over 2 decades of activity, starting 1994, Amichai has served more than 1,000 children, adolescents and adults and hundreds of families, impacting the lives of hundreds of volunteers, and influencing the social attitudes of thousands of young students.
We plan our services according to needs of our participants. The various activities are designed following meticulous mapping of the needs of families, in order to provide an effective answer for each child or adult with special needs.
The various activities run all year round, even in periods when all other municipal and public education facilities are closed. Funding of our services is based on support from governmental and public authorities, complimented by donations from various philanthropy foundations, as well as private companies and individuals
Today, as we look to the future, the people of Amichai have no doubt that the needs they address will continue to grow. Based on their vast experience, they know that the demand for quality services for children and adults with special needs has not yet been adequately met, and is likely to soar to unprecedented levels. Preparing to meet these rising challenges, the organization has launched in early 2014 its new, advanced, forward-looking enrichment center- Beit Amichai.
Amichai is certified by Israel's Ministry of Welfare, collaborating closely with local authorities, the National Insurance Institute and various public funds. It is dependent on outside sources of funding from the private sector and grants from the public sector. Starting 2010 Amichai receives annually the Seal of Effectiveness from Midot – a company rating the performance of Israel's 4,000 large nonprofits.
We envisage a society that provides high-quality, accessible and integrative services to all people with special needs throughout their lifetime, regardless of age or level of disability; enabling each individual to progress toward independence, equality & self-fulfillment
Promote the inclusion of people with developmental disabilities in the community
Combat stigmas and educate the public to accept those who are different
Initiate joint activities with normative educational frameworks, and invite volunteers to share in doing so
Create a continuum of targeted community services that will cover the entire life span of people with developmental disabilities
Our focal mission is to respond to the authentic, urgent call of people with special needs and their families, and find ways to ease their inevitable hardships. We partner with parents and offer them a supportive community environment, to help them cope with the many challenges of raising a special child at home, and securing their children's future.
We believe that human being has the right for full community inclusive life, according to his/her wishes and needs, based on his/her abilities and qualifications with equal opportunities and conditions and with:
Life with dignity and self-fulfillment.
Full membership with equal rights in community, in all areas of life.
Community affiliation, regardless of disabilities.
Opportunity to realize maximum possible independence in daily life.
Normal and normative lifestyle as close as possible to that of the general public.
Integration in all public services of the surrounding community.
Promoting community inclusion values of people with intellectual & developmental disabilities
Changing public perceptions in the spirit of Amichai :
Living equally with the difference.