Mélange Accessibility for All Magazine October 2020 - Page 120
parking lot and huts look like any other small beach resort – bright colors , palm trees , literally a handful of shops and restaurants , and plenty of people ! To get to the beach , there is an accessible walkway down a long hill to the shore . There is also an accessible path into the water for anyone with a mobility impairment . We didn ’ t go swimming in the Dead Sea on this trip but many other people swam in the water which was very warm . It is believed the Dead Sea water has healing powers and by the looks of the crowds , everyone seemed quite content with their adventure . You are able to access Kalia Beach year-round , just be sure to check the hours it is open .
We left Kalia Beach and traveled back to
Jerusalem for dinner at Medita Restaurant with Ms . Gura Berger , the Tourism Adviser to the East Jerusalem Development Company and the Old City Development Project . We enjoyed a fabulous family-style dinner in an easily accessible location . Parking may be a little tricky so be sure to arrive a little early to ensure you have accessible parking .
The next morning , we enjoyed breakfast at our hotel and piled our suitcases into the van for a long day of touring . We left the hotel and in just a few minutes found ourselves in the heart of the Holy City . Somehow Eli was able to navigate our van through the narrow and crowded streets to the Mount of Olives which overlooked the Old City , the oldest Jewish cemetery , and the Garden of Gethsemane . The view was breathtaking and I reflected on my many religion classes and the Bible which reminded me of the importance of this area more than 2000 years ago .
Through Best Buddies’ Ambassador program,
self-advocates and leaders are emerging to
give voice to the next era of the disability rights
movement and help to change antiquated
perceptions of one of the most marginalized
groups in our nation.
Much like their School Friendship programs,
the Best Buddies Citizens program addresses
the isolation that people with disabilities
experience as adults by making friendship
matches with members of their own
communities. And with its newest pillar, Best
Buddies Living, the organization is taking
things a step further, fostering an integrated
experience for people with and without IDD
to become active, contributing citizens who
live independently in a dynamic environment
where they can learn, grow, and thrive.
2019 Best Buddies
PA Champion of the
celebrates her victory
with a big hug from
Ian Curly ,
from the Best Buddies
chapter at Haverford
High School in
or over 30 years, Best Buddies programs
have helped to create more inclusive
communities across the United States and
around the world. When founder, Anthony
Kennedy Shriver developed the first Best Buddies
chapter at Georgetown University in 1989, he
likely never imagined that this social club for
students with and without disabilities would
become the global volunteer movement it is
With a mission to foster friendship, leadership
development, integrated employment and
inclusive living for people with intellectual and
developmental disabilities (IDD), Best Buddies
now has programs in all 50 states and over 56
countries around the world, impacting over 1.3
million people with and without IDD.
The elementary through college level School
Friendship programs are bridging the social
gap that exists between students with and
without disabilities and fostering qualities such
as leadership, empathy and kindness in young
people who will become the thought leaders and
decision makers of tomorrow.
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Now, in the time of COVID-19, Best Buddies is
needed more than ever. In Pennsylvania and
across the country, Best Buddies Programs
are being adapted to meet the demands of
this moment and ensure that no one is left
isolated and alone. Across Pennsylvania’s 125
school chapters, students are learning new and
creative ways to stay connected. Innovative
events and activities are hosted through
platforms like Zoom and Microsoft Teams.
From talent shows and movie nights to bingo
and yoga, the ties of friendship remain strong
e-Buddies, Best Buddies’ pen pal program,
seems made for a time such as this. Through
the simple act of sending an email, members
are giving each other the gift of belonging,
making it easier than ever to impact someone’s
life from the comfort and safety of your home.
corporate partners to find innovative and
mutually beneficial roles for them to play.
Much like countless members of the work force
around the world though, 475 Best Buddies
Jobs participants across the country have
been negatively impacted as a direct result of
this pandemic. For them, it is crucial that Best
Buddies continues its work to build their skills
and help them achieve greater independence.
Like many nonprofits, Best Buddies has been
hard hit by the financial fallout from this
pandemic but remains committed to moving
its mission forward. In Pennsylvania, many
in-person events have had to be reimagined,
but they will go on in new and innovative
ways to raise the crucial funds needed to
support programs that are a lifeline for many
Pennsylvania residents. In reality, this shift
to virtual platforms has made Best Buddies’
mission more accessible than ever before.
With a spirit of resilience and determination,
Best Buddies Pennsylvania is gearing up for its
first ever statewide virtual Champion of the
Year event on Friday, November 13, 2020.
Twenty-one Champion candidates from across
the state have been identified. These mission
movers will rally support for Best Buddies
over the course of a 10-week campaign. This
dynamic lineup of nominees range from middle
school chapter leaders to business executives
but one thing they all have in common is their
passion to create a more inclusive world.
Learn more about the Champion of the Year
nominees and find out how you can support
this event and Best Buddies at:
The Best Buddies Jobs program has seen
significant growth over the past few years by
tapping into the unique talents and abilities
that participants can offer and engaging
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