Principles for Success in Services for People with Disabilities

One way in which MJB promotes the development of social services is by helping to develop processes of organizational learning. This includes collaborating with organizations to identify the principles that lead to and enhance success.
The Institute recently published two volumes documenting its collaboration with organizations that serve people with disabilities. These publications contain the principles for success that they identified, using MJB’s unique Learning from Success method.

The first volume is There is No Such Thing as a Small Success , which documents MJB’s collaboration with Aleh, Israel’s largest network of care for children, youth, and young adults with severe multiple disabilities.

Institute researchers helped the Aleh staff identify and formulate a set of 16 principles that guide their work. These principles relate, among other things, to how to provide structured one-on-one care according to individual needs, how to integrate residents into the wider community, and how to maximize the extent to which residents’ lives can be normalized.

The book presents these principles through a series of case studies focusing on youth and young adults with severe physical and cognitive disabilities.

MJB and Aleh launched the book at a national study day in Jerusalem this past June. The audience of over 150 participants included senior government officials, a wide range of professionals from Aleh and the broader professional community, and families of children with disabilities.

Member of the Knesset Shuli Mualem spoke of the importance of providing equal opportunities for people with disabilities to have meaningful lives.  She praised the collaborative effort between MJB and Aleh to identify and disseminate the principles for accomplishing this goal.

Ms. Michal Herzog brought greetings on behalf of the Dorset Foundation, which established MJB’s Harry Weinrebe Fund for the Advancement of Children. The Weinrebe Fund supported the preparation of the volume and its dissemination.  Herzog addressed the importance of these efforts to advance knowledge by documenting successful and effective principles of action.
 The second publication, Learning from Success: Support Centers for Students with Learning Disabilities in Academic Institutions , reports on a joint effort between MJB and the MOFET Institute, a national center for research and development of programs in higher education.

Across Israel, there are 55 support centers serving over 20,000 students with disabilities in institutions of higher education.  These centers take a holistic approach to helping students navigate the complexities of the university experience and increase their  academic successes.

MJB researchers worked with directors and staff of 12 centers to identify the principles of action that have contributed to their successes in helping students.  These principles are presented through a series of 17 case studies, which can now serve as a guide for staff in all the centers.

A joint MJB-MOFET conference was held in Tel Aviv this July to launch the publication and generate public discussion of how to enable these young people to realize their potential.

Taken together, MJB’s work with Aleh and MOFET represents an important advancement of professional knowledge about how best to meet the needs of people with disabilities.