Ramp Up

Ramp Up

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About this Program

Helping disabled Israelis escape isolation and enter the workforce

Living with a disability can be extremely isolating. What’s more, Israel’s cities, though improving, are far from accessible to the disabled. These factors make employment a daunting possibility. In Israel, only 57% of working age people with disabilities are employed, with many subsisting on a meager government stipend while remaining at home — thereby excluding them from the rich social life of the workplace. Since 2013, JDC-TEVET’s RampUp has been helping Israelis with disabilities rise to the challenge, find work and fulfill their real potential.

 

RampUp is all about integration. The program is housed in JDC’s Municipal Employment Centers to  bring people with disabilities into a social, engaging environment. Many RampUp activities are fused with existing programming or within other urban infrastructures to reinforce the sense that a disability doesn’t need to be a separation.

When Israelis with disabilities enter the RampUp program, they enter a comprehensive and holistic set of services, including individual and group employment workshops, soft skills training, personal career counseling and more — all with sensitivity towards the client’s disability. Ultimately, RampUp aims to arm the client with the confidence that he or she has what it takes to become employed. The only variable is their will.

RampUp also works with local employers to create a bridge between participants and possible positions. Whereas job recruitment costs companies money, RampUp refers participants to companies at no cost. RampUp staff also partnerwith local employers to expose them to the benefits of diversity hiring and community involvement.

After a successful pilot stage in northern Israel, RampUp programs have opened up across the country as the model continues to be modified and refined. RampUp is operating specifically for Ultra-Orthodox in Mafteach Employment Centers and for Arabs in Riyan Employment centers; people with disabilities from these communities are especially vulnerable and unlikely to work due to cultural norms and additional barriers.

Through RampUp, people with disabilities learn that a disability does not need to be a barrier to a rich, exciting — and employed — life. 

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