Paralympic Games’ Victories are Coup for Russian Athletes with Disabilities

People with disabilities living in Russia are receiving some well-deserved kudos from their nation’s leader. The country’s Paralympics team won 38 medals (the most of any participating country) at the recent games in Canada. JDC provides services to disabled populations in the former Soviet Union helping them live with dignity, rather than on the margins of society. In Ukraine, the Tikva and Yadid programs‚ are tailored for both children and young adults with disabilities‚ and their families, focusing respectively on rehabilitative therapy and vocational and professional skill-building programs. The Raduga (Rainbow) program in Belarus‚ offers young adults with disabilities the opportunity to participate‚ in community activities including, theater, dance, and sports. And in Russia, the JDC-JAFI (Jewish Agency for Israel) Integration Program for Children with Special Needs focuses on acclimating children with mental or physical‚ challenges‚ to the traditional school system and to more informal extracurricular activities. The recent success of the Paralympics team proves the‚ capability and talents‚ of people with disabilities, and hopefully the public acknowledgment of that success will mean increased opportunities‚ and wider acceptance to come.

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