Who Am I? A Course for Interpersonal Communication for People with Disabilities

מבוגרים יושבים ועובדים לי שולחן עגול Adults standing and sitting at a round table

Employees of the ADI Ofakim Beit HaYotzer rehabilitation vocational center take part in a unique course on interpersonal communication for people with disabilities at Bar Ilan University. Under the direction of Dr. Clila Magen, lecturer at Bar Ilan University’s School of Communication and research fellow at the university’s Center for International Communication, the accessible course enables participants to learn about the importance of interpersonal communication in their lives, the way in which they present themselves to others, and how to communicate with their surroundings and tell their life story.

The weekly meetings with Dr. Magen came into being as a result of cooperative efforts between ADI Negev-Nahalat Eran and Bar Ilan University. ADI’s ongoing vision that every person, regardless of the level of their abilities, is entitled to live a life of significance and personal fulfillment, stretching the limits of their abilities to overcome disability and challenges, resounded with the university and led to the introduction of the unique course, “Who Am I? – Interpersonal Communication, Storytelling and Personal Branding.”

Recently, course participants visited the Multimedia Unit at Bar Ilan’s Department of Social Sciences, following which they met with Professor Amnon Albeck, Rector of the university, and Professor Chaim Noy, head of Bar Ilan’s School of Communication.

“These are things connected to my daily living, to my past and my future,” commented one course participant. “My dream is to establish new relationships with new people.”

The opportunity to take part in an academic course and be part of a university significantly impacted participants, filling them with meaning and uplifting confidence in their own abilities. “The course awakened in me a desire to enroll in more university courses and expand my knowledge,” said another participant.

Another member of the group provided yet another angle to of the benefit gained from participating in the course. After describing the fear she felt on October 7, as terrorists roamed the streets outside of her building and under her apartment, she said the course helped lift her up during a difficult time and provided her with optimism and hope. Taking part in the course distracted her from the non-stop sounds of war she, as a resident of the south, has been hearing at home for over six months.

Ro’i Rappaport, director of ADI Ofakim Beith HaYotzer: “Beit HaYotzer is a vocational center which emphasizes the individual. We attribute utmost importance to helping our employees progress, and enable each and every one to bring their potential to fruition. This course is the result of the desire to provide our employees with opportunities to learn about interpersonal communication and to bring out their rich inner world. Collaboration with Bar Ilan University, and especially with Dr. Clila Magen, is amazing and exciting and brings to light the synergy between the world of academia and what happens in real life.”

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