February is Jewish Disability Awareness and Inclusion Month (JDAIM). Its mission is to build awareness in Jewish communities and increase community engagement in this agenda. JDAIM is an opportunity to celebrate our commitment to removing barriers, celebrating diversity and connecting with our Jewish values.
In particular, JDAIM aims to identify and break down barriers, and enhance inclusion of individuals with disabilities so that they are able to fully participate in, and contribute, to community life.
JDAIM focuses on adjusting the physical environment, shifting organizational attitudes and behaviour, and changing public policy and funding models. However, it is generally agreed that the most significant changes required are within the broader community culture and mindset.
Jewish Federations of Canada - UIA, our advocacy agent the Centre for Israel & Jewish Affairs (CIJA), Jewish Federations across Canada, local agencies and residential organizations are all invested and working in partnership to improve the lives of Canadians with disabilities.
We are collectively engaged in changing the narrative by building a deeper understanding of the abilities of Canadians with disabilities and the barriers they face in everyday life. This multi-faceted effort has wide reaching policy, programmatic and financial implications.
February 5th is Jewish Disability Advocacy Day (JDAD) in Canada. Representatives from Jewish communities across Canada will visit Ottawa to meet with government officials to advocate for the rights of people with disabilities. Contact Steve McDonald or Liv Mendelsohn to learn more about 2019 JDAD and how you can join Jewish communities from across Canada in this important work.
The 2019 JDAIM Program Guide – full of program and community engagement ideas - is available here. Click here to link to your local Federation website to find out about JDAIM events near you.