An Inclusive Community is a stronger community. Jewish individuals with disabilities and their families have needs that are universal to all families. Advancing this idea of disability inclusion requires the active involvement of those already involved as well as those outside the disability community. This page was designed to provide the tools to raise awareness, advocate for the civil rights of individuals with disabilities, and advance inclusion.
Only by engaging as a community can we develop the vision where we need to go next to become fully inclusive. Thank you for your support to help us maintain the most up-to-date guide to facilitate the full inclusion of individuals with disabilities.
Click below for programs and resources on your desired topic.
Articles, Blogs, and Other Resources
Nothing for us without us; resources created by self-advocates and family members.
Real Social Skills, a blog created by a Jewish autistic adult to share their own perspective
How We’re Failing Jews with Disabilities by Ari Ne’eman
Coming Out Of Hiding: Revealing A Mental Disability by Sharon Rosenblat
I Don’t Want to Be ‘Inspiring,’ part of a weekly series of essays, art, and opinions by and about people living with disabilities, The New York Times Disability
Praying for Today: Becoming disabled made me question everything I thought I knew about Judaism. Then it brought me back to religion in a way I’d never thought possible.
Mara Clawson has Familial Dysautonomia (FD), a neurogenetic disorder affecting her autonomic nervous system. FD limited her ability to participate in her community until she discovered drawing. Check out Mara’s artwork on her website, YouTube Channel, and video, To Survive.
Pamela Schuller’s Eli Talk – I am Here; Hear Me Bark: Comedy, Disability, and the Inclusive Synagogue
Gabrielle Kaplan-Mayer Eli Talk – Faith, Companionship, and Vulnerability: Standing With Families Who Have A Child With A Disability
Sue Austin’s Ted talk, “Deep Sea Diving… in a Wheelchair” questions our perspective on our wheelchair use.
My Daughter doesn’t have “Special” Needs. She is Disabled by Jamie Davis Smith
Lauren Tuchman’s Eli Talk – We Were All at Sinai: The Transformative Power of Inclusive Torah
Judy Heumann’s TEDx Talk, Our Fight For Disability Rights and Why We’re Not Done Yet
How to Help a Parent Whose Child is Suffering From Mental Illness
Disability Sensitivity Training Video to help those not yet involved.
Becoming Disabled: Roughly one in five American’s lives with a disability. So where is our pride movement?
Making the physical space welcoming and inclusive for all.
ADA Checklist for Readily Achievable Barrier Removal
Read about the importance of an adjustable Torah reading table and an example from Chabad.
Emergency Evacuation Planning Guide for People With Disabilities
The Ultimate Guide to Home Accommodations for Persons with Disabilities
Design Guidelines for the Visual Environment from the National Institute of Building Science (Low Vision Design Program)
ADA National Network, Information, Guidance, and Training on the Americans with Disabilities Act
Planning Accessible Meetings and Events: A Toolkit created by the American Bar Association’s Commission on Disability Rights
How Assistive Listening Systems Enhance Worship for Everyone by AudioLinks
The first page of this Self-Assessment Tool for Synagogues from MetroWest Able looks at architectural accessibility
The first page of this Synagogue Inclusion Inventory from UJA Federation of New York looks at physical accessibility
Home Renewed Resource Center is a local organization focused on making accommodations to homes accessible for those who want to remain in their homes as they age and for people with disabilities
Opening the line of communication to all.
Encouraging accessible websites and other Accessibility Building Blocks to Remove Stumbling Blocks by Dana Marlowe, Accessibility Partners
Add subtitle & Closed Captions and Audio Descriptions for all audio/visual material
Microsoft Accessibility and Apple Accessibility provide a variety of creative tools
National Center on Disability and Journalism’s Style Guide included tips and terms to avoid when writing or talking about people living with disabilities
RespectAbility Webinar about How to make Documents and Presentations Accessible to Individuals with Disabilities
RespectAbility Webinar about Web Accessibility: Tips and Tricks
When Listening is Complicated; Skills for Honoring the Individual Perspectives of Every Person with Disabilities by Ruti Regan
Guide for Communicating with People with Disabilities focusing on people-first language.
Ideas to help the hearing community communicate with the Deaf community are on the Disabilities Inclusion Learning Center, and on the videos, Communicating with Deaf and Hard of Hearing People and 10 Tips for Communicating with Deaf/Hard of Hearing People
Maryland Accessible Telecommunication Program provides telecommunication equipment to qualified applicants
Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN)- One Idea PerLine: A Guide to Making Easy Read Resources
Ask Deaf and hard of hearing individuals what support will enhance communication depending on the individual and the situation:
Contact Lisa Handelman at Lisa.Handelman@shalomdc.org for a list of local ASL interpreters compiled with guidance from the Washington Society of Jewish Deaf
An explanation of CART and The National Court Reporters Association’s list of CART operators
Maryland Relay, Virginia Relay to assist Individuals who have difficulty using a standard telephone
The National Association of the Deaf – Community, Culture, and Frequently Asked Questions
We are all created in the image of God.
Navigating Special Needs in a Congregational Setting: A Clergy Resource Guide – a guide created by the Jewish Social Service Agency
The Hebrew song “Ani v’ata”, You and I (Will Change the World) presented with sign language interpretation
Synagogue Inclusion Project’s Guide for Clergy – Created by RespectAbility
Disability Inclusion: Resource Guide for Rabbis created by Yichad/National Jewish Council for Disabilities in conjunction with the Heneiunu initiative for an inclusive Jewish world
Explore Prayers in Hebrew and American Sign Language by Rabbi Darby Leigh and Jewish Heritage and Holidays in ASL as an informative resource and as a way to encourage communication for all.
Matan’s Dvar Torah Project links the weekly Parsha to a disability inclusion topic
The Ruderman Synagogue Inclusion Project in partnership with CJP provides several useful links to guide congregational inclusion
AAIDD Religion & Spirituality – working to foster opportunities for spiritual growth with people with intellectual and developmental disabilities
Collaborative on Faith and Disability Webinar Series provides a collection of webinars focused on disability, religion, and inclusive supports
A Tu’Bishvat Seder written by Rabbi Alanna Sklover for Jewish Disability Awareness and Inclusion Month
The second page of this Self-Assessment Tool for Synagogues from MetroWest Able looks at Synagogue Life: Attitudes, Practices, and Policies
Parts 2 and 3 of this Synagogue Inclusion Inventory from UJA Federation of New looks practices, policies, awareness, and attitudes
Keshet’s poster shows 7 Jewish values that create
Expanding opportunities for all is good for business.
The Ability to Succeed: Employers look beyond disabilities, find dedicated, talented workers
A few tricks for increasing accessibility in the workplace, Mixing in, accessibility: An employer’s crucial ingredient for success
Partner with JFGH’s Sally and Robert Goldberg MOST (meaningful Opportunities for Successful Transitions) program; meet KC to learn more.
Partner with the Jewish Social Service Agency’s Specialized Employment which provides employment services for individuals with special needs and for employers. Check out this video and article to learn more.
Job Accommodation Network for questions about workplace accommodations.
Project SEARCH – a one-year Transition Program for young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities with programs at NIH, Smithsonian, and with local businesses
RespectAbility – Employment Resources for People with Disabilities
Employment First Technical Briefs for anyone working to implement Employment First and Disability Employment Frist Planning Tool created by RespectAbility
SEEC – a nonprofit that provides a range of community supports including vocational and employment service
Companies find hiring those on the spectrum has vast benefits
Resources from the Office of Disability Employment Policy, US Department of Labor
Employees with disabilities can have a positive impact on profitability
Inclusive Hiring Toolkit created by Transitions To Work: Creating Employment For All Abilities
This video, created by the Arc of Northern Chesapeake Region, highlights the importance of having buy-in from the staff working side by side with individuals with disabilities.
Imagine Israel Podcast, episode #3 shares how Avner Stepak is revolutionizing Israel’s corporate world to include individuals with disabilities.
Listen to an interview on WPFW 89.9 (Business Matters, April 3, 2017) with Tom Liniak, JSSA’s Director of Specialized Employment Services, and Laura, a JSSA client working at CVS
Resources from RespectAbility for Job Seekers with Disabilities
Resources from RespectAbility for Employers Embracing Employees with Disabilities
Rick Fiery talks about a business incubator model to Capturing Necessary Brilliance: Learning Differences Unleashed
Road to Independence contact list – organizations in our local community that have valuable resources for young adults with disabilities.
Research In Brief: Terms Related to Employment from the National Rehabilitation Information Center
A Guide for Entrepreneurs and Business Owners with Disabilities
Social, Recreational, and Leisure
Participation by the entire community.
Inclusion Training Guide for Jewish Summer Camps: A project of Foundation for Jewish Camp, a project of Foundation for Jewish Camp provides suggestions for a variety of social programs
The educational material from Gateway: Access to Jewish Education can also be used for social and recreational programming
National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals to help understand the role of support professionals
Friendship Circle demonstrates ways to plan for inclusion
ReelAbilities Film Festival can be used to create inclusive programming
Report on the impact of two national congregational programs on the social inclusion of individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities
Birthright Israel offers individuals with disabilities the choice to go on a variety of trip options.
Guide to Attending a Sporting Event for Disabled, Special Needs & Senior Citizens
Every Jewish student deserves a meaningful Jewish education.
Matan offers training and a variety of resources
Gateways: Access to Jewish Education includes downloadable resources
Sulam is a local resource
PJ Library and PJ Library Jewish Disability Month Material; for local programming, ideas contact Sarah Rabin Spira at Sarah.RabinSpira@ShalomDC.org
Program guide/lesson plan for the Mitten String created by PJ Library for JDAIM Reads 2016
13 Tips To Help Your Child With A Disability Succeed In Religious School
Learning Ally provides a range of audiobooks for students to access
Disability in Kidlit provides information to help readers, librarians and educators find good portrayals of disability in YA/MG novels
“Don’t Laugh at Me” song by Peter Yarrow
Tips for parents of Jewish children with disabilities by Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi
7 of the Best Apps for People with Disabilities from Goodnet
Free online training for college students with disabilities to learn about your rights and responsibilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act
“You Shall Not Place Stumbling Blocks” guide for summer camp counselor training
The Jewish Braille Institute provides free Judaic reading material to individuals who are blind, visually impaired, physically handicapped or reading disabled.
Matan Webinars – Matan Pledge: the intersection between ability, disability, and humanity. Mental Health in the Jewish Community. Israel Education.
Bankshot sports provides examples of mixed sports playground courses based on universal design; basketball, tennis, and Tri-Sport.
Accessible parks and playgrounds offer the opportunity to explore the concept of universal design; Clemyjotri in Virginia, Hadley’s Park in Maryland
Education Resources on Disability Issues from RespectAbility
Disability Resources for College Students from Learn How to Become
Sexual Education Resources for People with Disabilities from RespectAbility
Inclusion focused Eli Talks and resource guide created for JDAIM 2018
Advocating for disability inclusion.
RespectAbility – A nonprofit working to empower people with disabilities
United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism blogs about inclusion
Renewing the Commitment: An ADA Compliance Guide for Nonprofits
The National Disability Institute provides information about the Achieving Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act
Maryland Achieving A Better Life Experience (ABLE) Program, a fact sheet
Overview of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA)
RespectAbility provides state-by-state information on employing people with disabilities and information about legislation on the national level
The RespectAbility Report – A nonpartisan political commentary on the 2016 elections with a focus on disability issues
Virginia Disability Blog by Sheri R. Abrams
New Title II and Title III ADA Regulations Take Effect October 2016
Global efforts to advance disability inclusion.
“Special In Uniforms” provides a glimpse of how the Israeli Defense Forces include soldiers with Disabilities
The Israeli-developed Rewalk helps those who are paralyzed walk.
Nalaga’at Center – Theater, Blackout Restaurant, and more – is a meeting place for deaf, blind, deaf-blind, and the general public.
Jill and Amnon Damti “Two Worlds”: A Dance Performance – blends the world of a deaf dancer and that of a hearing dancer
JDC: Transforming the Lives of People with Disabilities Worldwide
BIS Sindian Center in Kalansua: A special place for Arab-Israeli kids with disabilities
Inclusive Israel: 3 Principles of Successful Inclusivity In Israel by The Israel Forever Foundation
Inclusion Innovations: Turning good intentions into inclusive faith communities
Jewish Funders Network Guide to Jewish Values and Disabilities Rights provides a downloadable guide and a large print downloadable guide.
Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism – Disability Rights through a Reform Jewish perspective
The Ruderman Family Foundation website includes the updated information about news and events and the blog Zeh Lezeh (For One Another), Slingshot, a resource for volunteers, activists, and donors looking for new opportunities and projects in the Jewish community, has a guide specifically dedicated to disabilities and inclusion
The New Normal blog from The New York Jewish Week
Addiction Prevention Resources provided by the Jewish Federation of Greater Washington
Yad HaChazakah: The Jewish Disability Empowerment Center
Removing the Stumbling Block – Bringing together Judaism, Disability Inclusion & Education
Ruderman Synagogue Inclusion Project in partnership with Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston
Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia: Services for People with Disabilities Resources
Greater MetroWest ABLE (A program of The Jewish Federation of Greater MetroWest NJ)
RespectAbility, a nonprofit working to empower people with disabilities
The Ruderman Family Foundation website provides an overview to spark culture change.
Brainline – focus on economic issues for individuals with disabilities – a national multimedia resource for preventing, treating and living with traumatic brain injury (TBI)
NAMI: National Alliance on Mental Illness – Montgomery County Virginia
Independence Now – the Center for Independent Living
Potomac Community Resources: Serving Teens and Adults with Developmental Differences
Faith Inclusion Network (non-profit, grassroots organization located in South Hampton Roads, VA)