Israel promotes equal opportunity by using one of its greatest resources, native innovation, to meet the particular challenges of the special needs community.
Israel’s Innovation Authority last week convened to discuss technological solutions for populations with special needs, deciding to allocate NIS 3 million for the projects.
This initiative promotes unique assistive technologies in conjunction with the Authority’s Societal Challenges Division.
Among the approved projects are two applications aimed at children on the autistic spectrum. The first application aims to facilitate more effective communication with autistic children, and the second is intended to help develop their social skills.
The Authority also approved the development of a new system for the benefit of the visually impaired. The system will enable them to receive information to orient themselves in public spaces. It will even help them carry out various day-to-day activities.
Another approved project involves an electro-mechanical device for offices open to the public. With the device, people in wheelchairs will be able to open doors using their cellphones.
Another project focuses on affordable but accurate communications devices to help those with physical limitations such as Lou Gehrig’s disease (ALS) to communicate through the movement of their pupils alone.
Israeli Minister of Economy and Industry Eli Cohen said that the funds “have been allocated to develop technologies designed to help people with disabilities meet daily challenges, to increase awareness and to support businesses integrating people with special needs into the economy and society.”
“As a society, we must promote equal opportunity and I commend the use of one of our greatest resources, Israeli innovation, to meet these particular challenges. These projects can affect real change in the lives of real people,” Cohen added.
Nachum Itzkovich, Acting Chairman of the Israel Innovation Authority, explained that “one of the key missions of the Israel Innovation Authority is to leverage groundbreaking Israeli innovation in order to help those with special needs. Israeli technology can help improve the lives of those facing daily challenges.”
The Israel Innovation Authority’s Societal Challenges Department oversees research and development related to social and environmental challenges. Its aims include increasing and diversifying the number of people employed in the hi-tech industry and creating technological solutions for those with disabilities.