Knowledge Database

Special Needs in Special Times



On June 18, 2021, Athena Fund hosted a virtual side event at the UN COSP14 Conference of the Convention for the Rights of Peoples with Disabilities (CRPD)

Using Technology with Special Needs Students as a Tool for Education and Communication, and Integrating Technological Aids as Pedagogical Oxygen for Education Teams During COVID-19”.
A discussion about lessons learned from teaching special needs children during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the importance of providing digital tools and technological training to educators worldwide. During the event data from a Bar-Ilan University study conducted in the midst of the pandemic among Israeli teachers who had received a “digital toolbox” from Athena Fund was presented. In addition, was heard firsthand testimonies pointing to the potential hidden in technological tools to empower both persons with disabilities and the pedagogical teams accompanying them.


Event MC:
Noa Tishby
- Author, producer, actor, activist

Uri Ben-Ari - Founder & President, Athena Fund
Amnon Shashua - Co-Founder Orcam, Sachs Professor of Computer Science, Hebrew University
Natalia Amelina - Chief of the Unit of Teacher Professional Development and Networking, UNESCO
Dr. Praveena Sukhraj-Ely - First VP, International Council for the Education of Persons with Visual Impairment (ICEVI); World Blind Union Representative on the IDA Inclusive Education Task Team
Yaffa Ben-David - Chairwoman, the Israel Teachers Union
Eliezer Shkedy - Major General (Res.), former Commander of IAF, former CEO of EL Al
Prof. Adina Shamir - Head of the PhD Committee, Director of Center for Technology in SPED, School of Education, Bar-Ilan University
Justine Zwerling - Mother of a child with special needs
Noa Nitzan -  OT, Director of the Technology Center, Beit Issie Shapiro


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  • Disabilities:

    All disabilities, Education teams

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  • Audience:

    General public, Professionals

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