IDF & National Service
As part of AKIM Israel’s vision of inclusion, it established a unique collaboration with one of the greatest tools for integration and solidarity in the Israeli society, the Israeli Defense Force (IDF).
Equal In Uniform
Army Service is a crucial cornerstone to one’s Israeli identity, reinforcing connections to the land, enhancing camaraderie, and building leadership skills and values. The Equal in Uniform program was thoughtfully designed to enable young Israelis with disabilities to engage in and benefit from national service, achieving their personal goals as meaningful and valued participants in this life-altering rite of passage.
In a unique and innovative partnership with the Israeli Defense Forces, AKIM launched the Equal in Uniform program in 2006 with just two brave and eager soldiers. This groundbreaking program now operates on 46 bases with 180 active volunteers in the IDF and 1,100 alumni.
Previously, young adults with disabilities were simply exempt from national service requirements, rendering them outsiders. Understanding that our differences don’t divide us – they bind us, AKIM took action to eliminate this cultural shortcoming and create equality in service. AKIM advocated to advance the desires of these young adults for: inclusion, not exemption.
The program has become a catalyst for change along all planes of Israeli culture, advancing AKIM’s mission to create an “equal in everything” society. By virtue of shared experience, serving shoulder to shoulder, service members with and without disabilities bond over their likenesses and learn about their differences. EIU members illuminate the challenges for those living with disabilities while simultaneously highlighting their capacity to overcome them.
Togetherness in service, creates togetherness in life. Unit members serve and grow together, becoming more sensitive empathic adults – ultimately fostering inclusiveness and tolerance in Israeli society. Nearly two decades since its inception, our alumni have graduated with strengthened national and personal pride, marketable technical skills, a sense of confidence and acceptance amongst their peers.
But AKIM doesn’t stop there…
Upon completion of their service, AKIM transitions graduates into independent and fulfilling civilian life, providing employment preparation utilizing the valuable skills gained in service. With our support, over 90% of alumni obtain fulfilling employment in the free job market, becoming valued and forward facing members within their communities.
Successful Service Starts with You!
Support the Equal in Uniform program and say “yes” to inclusion.
AKIM’s Programs & Services
Through the department of Advocacy for Inclusion within the community, AKIM provides support and assistance in all aspects of life for people with intellectual disabilities and their families.
Going to work and feeling part of a significant daily activity is an important element of every person’s life; even more so, when the person has an intellectual disability.
As part of AKIM’s vision of inclusion, it established a unique collaboration with one of the greatest tools for integration and solidarity in Israeli society, the Israeli Defense Force (IDF).
AKIM sees creative expression and culture as keys to a healthy lifestyle and important elements of leading a meaningful life.
To meet the unique needs of persons with intellectual disabilities, people with autism and rehabilitation, the Disabilities Administration at the Ministry of Welfare and Social Affairs established a dental program that is operated by AKIM Israel.
AKIM firmly believes that every person has a basic right to live within the community, in a housing structure that suits his/her various and changing needs over the years.