SHATIL's work with people with disabilities received accolades for breaking new ground in the current issue of Disabilities Studies Quarterly. Three participants in the SHATIL course, From Personal Coping to Social Responsibility: Leadership Training for Social Change for People with Disabilities, as well the courses' coordinators, published a joint article reflecting on their experience. "Reflections on an Effort to Develop a Cross-Disability Consciousness Inclusive of People with Psychiatric Disabilities" appears in a special theme section on "The State of Disability in Israel/Palestine."
Funded by the Disability Rights Commission in Israel and developed and implemented by SHATIL, the course included people with psychiatric disabilities – a first for Israel.
In their introduction, the editors describe developments in Israel as "groundbreaking work… that people in the field will still be talking about a decade from now." They write that SHATIL has widened the discourse on disability in Israel.
One of the writers, Eyal Menashe, who has been deaf from birth, describes how he moved from a stance of stereotypes and stigma regarding people with psychiatric disabilities to awareness and understanding. "I came to know that people with mental health problems are people like me and like anyone else. They too have families, and sometimes marry and have children. They live with a disability just like I do."
Limor Zaga-Shabbat, who copes with a physical disability, writes: "…one of the facilitators told a story from his life as a person with bi-polar disorder. I immediately felt that his sharing from his own 'disability resume' wrapped us all in a special intimacy, and anointed us all with courage as members of a community of people with disabilities…. He showed by personal example that despite all of the difficulties our disabilities pose, they could also be a foundation for important and meaningful work in the world."
To read the other participants' and coordinators' reflections, click here.