April 18, 2024
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Israeli NGO Makes Purim Costume Dreams Come True for Kids With Disabilities

(Courtesy of Beit Issie Shapiro) For the first time ever, children with disabilities around the world who use mobility apparatuses can have a unique Purim costume that highlights their wheelchair or walker, thanks to a new initiative created in partnership with Israeli disability NGO Beit Issie Shapiro and The Holon Institute of Technology (HIT).

The two organizations have partnered together to create a series of do-it-yourself tutorials with easy-to-follow instructions so anyone can create a special costume for a child with disabilities.

The initiative kicks off with four adaptive costume tutorials specially designed for different interests and mobility devices including a stroller, walker, wheelchair and motorized wheelchair. Each tutorial has its own step-by-step video clip, clearly written instructions and open-design patterns to download and print at home. This is available on Beit Issie Shapiro’s website (beitissie.org.il) and YouTube channel (youtube.com/beitissie).

This concept of DIY inclusive costume tutorials stemmed from Beit Issie Shapiro and HIT’s joint “Dream Costume” initiative, which is in its seventh year running. Industrial design students from the Holon Institute of Technology are paired with a child who uses a mobility aid to bring their costume dreams into reality, allowing children with disabilities to stand out among their peers in a positive way as their wheelchair or walker becomes their greatest asset. This initiative empowers children with disabilities and bolsters their confidence and pride in their mobility device.

“We realized the incredible demand of this initiative and wanted to ensure that every child, in Israel and around the world, can feel like a star in their costumes,” said Adi Shpigel, director of social impact projects at HIT. “We created this tutorial series to bring inclusive design expertise and know-how into everyone’s home in an accessible and affordable way with easy-to-follow instructions to cater to the needs and make sure all children can enjoy the holiday. The open-design templates will allow us to reach even further and allow families to benefit and connect through the creativity process.”

Beit Issie Shapiro is Israel’s pioneering leader and innovator in the field of disabilities. The organization’s mission is to create an inclusive society across the globe with equal opportunity for people with disabilities. Innovative projects like this create opportunities for children with disabilities to shine in an inclusive society while in turn, helping mold the future of inclusive design in Israel and around the world.

Ahmir Lerner, Beit Issie Shapiro executive director, shared: “We are proud to partner with the Holon Institute of Technology for this important project which helps foster inclusion in the community. By sharing the know-how to create adaptive costumes, and for the first time making it accessible to families around the world, we hope to create true impact in our society and bring Purim joy for people with disabilities.”

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