The Change Starts from Within
By Erez Miller, Special Education Department, Achva Academic College
The 2013 Wheelock Global Challenges and Opportunities conference was the highlight of our visit to the U.S. The issues raised during some of the panels and presentations that I attended, have increased my resolve to engage my son’s school’s community in social change.
Soon after returning home (to Israel), I was elected to the school’s parent-teacher leading group, and volunteered to participate in the team that was responsible for school-community relations. During this year, our team initiated activities with a home for senior citizens, with a special education daycare, and with a hostel for adults with intellectual disability. Following my lead, the school also donated books and games to a classroom for hospitalized children in our city’s hospital. During our upcoming annual spring fare, the school will host a friendship basketball game between parents and a Special Olympics basketball team. My aim was to advocate for connection with underprivileged groups in our community, and to have the students participate and understand some principles of social justice.
I plan to continue my involvement with the school’s PTA next year, and to expand the students’ understanding of principals of social justice in theory and in practice throughout the year.
I also plan to give presentations to various companies which share the agenda of social justice, and ask the companies to donate the presentation’s cost to CPASGhana, an organization to which I was introduced during the conference. This organization promotes education for children, especially girls, through scholarships and school supplies, and empowers women through educational programs targeted at literacy and health.
Dr. Erez Miller is the Chair of the Special Education department at Achva Academic College. His teaching interests include families of children with special needs, social skills, educating students with learning disabilities/ADHD/deafness, inclusion, and the portrayal of people with disabilities in films. In June of 2013, he was a speaker at the 2013 Wheelock Global Challenges and Opportunities Conference, presenting on a panel entitled “Access, Opportunity and Success: Innovative Programs from Africa and the Middle East.”