Beit Issie Shapiro Helps Create Purim Dreams for Children with Disabilities

Beit Issie Shapiro Helps Create Purim Dreams for Children with Disabilities

Israel disabilities NGO Beit Issie Shapiro partners with the Holon Institute of Technology for an initiative to create custom-designed Purim costumes for children who use wheelchairs or walkers. This special project gives children with disabilities confidence; bringing them joy with their dream costume that highlights their wheelchair or walker instead of hiding them and opens the possibilities of the future of inclusive design in Israel.

Purim is notorious for being an excitement-filled holiday with the highlight for children dressing up in costume. For children with disabilities, however, dressing up is yet another challenge. They need a costume that can work with their wheelchair or walker and still makes them feel special.

For the past eight years, each Purim, Israel disabilities NGO Beit Issie Shapiro partners with industrial design students from the Holon Institute of Technology to help fulfill the Purim dreams of children with disabilities who use wheelchairs and walkers; designing the costume of their dreams that incorporate their mobility aid, instead of hiding them. This allows children with disabilities to stand out among their peers, in a positive way as their wheelchair or walker becomes their greatest asset. This initiative empowers children with disabilities and gives them confidence and pride in their mobility devices.

Noa Nitzan, former Director of the Technology Center at Beit Issie Shapiro shares: “This special initiative was born out of a need we identified in the community; children with disabilities who use wheelchairs or walkers would have their costumes hidden by their mobility apparatus. We realized wheelchairs and walkers could elevate a costume and make them one-of-a-kind. These devices could become a part of the costume, for example, a wheelchair can become a construction worker’s dump truck or Batman’s bat mobile and a walker can become a soccer goal.”

Beit Issie Shapiro is Israel’s pioneering leader and innovator in the field of disabilities. The organization’s mission is to create an inclusive society across the globe with equal opportunity for people with disabilities. Innovative projects like this create opportunities for children with disabilities to shine in an inclusive society while in turn, helping mold the design future in Israel.

Adi Shpigel, Director of Social Impact Project at the Holon Institute of Technology shares: “We are proud to take part in this incredible initiative with Beit Issie Shapiro. Our students gain relevant design principles beyond the classroom which sensitizes them to the world around them. This initiative molds the future of Israeli design, exposing the designers of tomorrow to the world of disabilities. This project is the first step in opening their eyes to the possibilities and things to consider when designing for people with disabilities and inclusive design.”

The project has since been adopted by other organizations across Israel. Beit Issie Shapiro’s Noa Nitzan shares: “We are thrilled this project has such a positive impact on society and has expanded. In true Beit Issie Shapiro fashion, we are able to guide and mentor others and can maximize our reach and help more children with disabilities experience such joy.” 

WATCH a behind-the-scenes look into this special project

Check out some of the amazing costumes!


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