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Innovation in Integration- Hackautism 2019

Updated: Jan 7, 2021

Dror Israel's inclusion and integration team concludes Hackautism 2019 With the initiative of professional training for the first job of youth with autism, at the Hack-a-thon for the development of ideas which help to advance people on the autism spectrum. It was professional and innovative and we came out of it with a project for live. We’re moving on to the next stage at full force.

On Thursday 9/19/19 we, together with partners, organizations and institutions, were invited to the first ever “Hackautism” - an event which is groundbreaking for children and adults with Autism in Israel.

The Hackautism initiative is a shared venture of the Israeli institute for Innovation and ALUT- The Israeli Society for Autistic Children, lead by groups of activist parents. This venture approached non-profits, parents of children and adults with autism, people with autism, hi-tech companies and start-ups.

The goal of the conference was to create new ideas and solutions for higher quality inclusion and integration in Israeli society and for improving the lives of people with autism in Israel (and in the world).

This was a full day workshop of lectures on the development of innovative initiatives to promote children, youth and adults on the Autism spectrum in Israel.

Hackautism ( Hack + Autism) A powerful event of marathon-entrepreneurship which makes use of the knowledge of the masses. Participants split into think-tank groups which create and develop together groundbreaking ideas and inventions with the goal of attempting to answer the challenges that people on the autism spectrum and their parents deal with- amining to turn these ideas into sustainable initiatives.

IBM hosted the “Hackautism” in its offices in Givatayim, which are a shared work space which features open space, meeting rooms, training rooms, discussion areas and seating areas for thinking.

23 initiatives came to the event- and we were among them with our initiative for “Professional training for the first job of youth with Autism.”

We came to the day with our project “Professional training for the first job of youth with Autism” which is in the stage of an initial idea and a dream that we want to realize- to give youth with autism the ability to experience their first job despite the difficulties the face, and thereby to open the work of employment, already from a young age, in order to instill faith and ability to integrate into the labor market in the future, both in terms of the employers and the employees.

As part of the concept of the day, two mentors joined each team in order to work and develop the project together with them. The mentors who joined us were Dafna Doron, from Bank HaPoalim who was our mentor in the field of entrepreneurship and Hila Badash from ALUT who was a mentor in the field of employment integration. Even though we had just met them, it seemed as if we had always worked together. The thinking, development and constructive criticism was exciting.

Work is deep integration into society- We know that avoda is much more than livelihood. It’s also a social encounter, a place for creation, a place to see the world. Because of this there is great importance for a break out in this field for people with disabilities and to start this change already from a young age.

Statistics from the bureau of research and information of the Kenesset, show that each youth with disabilities (among them of course youth with autism) are excluded from the workforce, a fact which reaches an even stronger expression in their rates of unemployment in the adult workforce.

The project will change this situation by introducing more youth with disabilities to the world of employment in a controlled, responsible, measured, phased manner, and through targeted training and reinforcement of the chosen field of employment.

The idea, as it was developed, has three main phases

The municipality and the employers- Together with a team from the municipality we will find employers who wish to integrate youth with autism into salaried summer jobs. Together with the employers we will create a position which is meaningful for the youth and vital to the business.Professional training- youth who are interested in participating in the program will go through a group preparation over the course of three months, from May through June, with the aid of instructors who will accompany them in the training as well as in their jobs. The training will prepare the youth for work both with regards to their specific roles that they will need to do as well as with regards to general conduct vis-à-vis an employer and within the work world (conduct with customers, conduct with money, being aware of their rights and more)Employment mentoring and project conclusion- placement of the teens in the jobs that they were prepared for. Mentoring of their jobs by instructors, supervision and continuing to meet with their social group to process their experiences, continue to undergo and strengthen their professional training.

An exciting and very meaningful thing for us is the connection of the world of professional training to the world of youth with disabilities. Since the founding of HaNoar HaOved veHaLomed, the local branches have run professional training for disconnected youth, youth from disadvantaged populations and youth who are searching for future professions. We chose to take this field and open it up to youth with autism, with the understanding that same training, placement and work mentoring, can advance meaningful and practical inclusion in the workforce and can open the workforce to a population which is excluded from it.

During the conference, ventures and organizations who took part signed a pledge which calls for the continued advancement of populations of people on the autism spectrum in an equitable, innovative and inclusive spirit. We were of course pleased to join the signatories and continue to strengthen Israeli society with such amazing and creative partners.

We invite you, municipalities, employers and other people who want to take part in being the pioneers of our project leading up to summer break of 2020 to leave us your details in the form below so that together, we can enable youth with disabilities to integrate into society and take part in the world of work which will continue as meaningful and right entry into the adult workforce

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