ACHLA – Association for the Quality of Life for Individuals with Special Needs


 

ACHLA: The Association for the Quality of Life for Individuals with Special Needs is a nonprofit organization that provides innovative care for families with one or more members with special needs.

ACHLA runs the HEYANUT Center, the only holistic center in Israel that provides comprehensive support for individuals with complex special needs and their families, as well as providing one address to answer all their needs

ACHLis a nonprofit organization in Jerusalem that provides care for families with one or more members with special needs.

We support individuals are living with intellectual, developmental, emotional and/or physical disabilities.Through our HEYANUT Center, we provide holistic, interdisciplinary, and family-centered care to families with one or more members with special needs (developmental, cognitive, physical, behavioral, and/or emotional disabilities) who are experiencing serious distress, isolation, ongoing trauma, and/or have fallen through the cracks. These families are constantly bouncing between various institutions and care providers without a centralized location to addresses their multiple needs coherently. These families are in extremely difficult and complex situations and the various related welfare, education, and health systems are unable to accommodate them or comprehensively address their needs. Many of these families have multiple members with special needs and/or members with multiple disabilities (e.g. autism and emotional disabilities).

Our multidisciplinary team includes a neurologist, educators, holistic therapist, social worker, psychiatrist, pet therapist and parent representatives.

HISTORY

ACHLAH was founded in 2001 in order to improve the lives of individuals with special needs and their family members.

For the past eleven years ACHLA has been serving this population through direct practice and programs (i.e. counseling, advocacy, guidance, treatment, empowerment) and social change (i.e. action aimed at ensuring the welfare and special needs system in Israel accountable) and advocacy for the rights of individuals with special needs and their families

In the beginning years ACHLAHs’ activities and projects were carried out through the Beit Rachel Strauss School for Special Education. Beit Rachel Strauss, located in Jerusalem, is geared towards working with youth ages 13-21. The student body is diverse and comprised individuals living with cognitive, developmental, emotional, and physical disabilities. ACHLAH supported the school in operating numerous innovative educational and rehabilitative programs, including a well-received and publicized photography project

After conducting an extensive needs assement and pilot study, in 2009 ACHLAH established the HEYANUT Center to address the holistic needs of this population.