Alin Beit Noam is developing a national project to improve computer accessibility for people with intellectual disabilities to allow them to enjoy a social media platform – an inseparable part of people’s social lives today. Most people with intellectual disabilities cannot use the internet due to usage being dependent on reading ability, orientation in complex and busy interfaces, understanding complex language and so on. Therefore, despite the majority of the population using the internet for leisure, acquiring information, and maintaining social ties, these activities are, on the whole, inaccessible to people with intellectual disabilities. This is a significant issue in day-to-day life and has become even more of an issue since COVID-19, as a result of which many people with intellectual disabilities have found themselves isolated from their daily lives and unable to enjoy the automated solutions offered to the general population.
Alin Beit Noam decided to create accessible digital solutions for people with intellectual disabilities. The project is called Net.Haver and includes the only social media network in Israel accessible for people with intellectual disabilities, a news site, information that is cognitively accessible, and social Zoom groups on a variety of subjects.
The project offers users accessible, simplified information, a space for self-expression, community creation, widening social circles and enjoying adapted leisure activities.
Users who are so inclined can take on a variety of roles in the network: writer, instructor for new users of the site, Zoom group instructor, and member of the website development advisory committee. The site is run for people with disabilities and together with them. Users are a part of all areas of activity, in line with the principle, “Nothing About Us Without Us”.
Net.Haver is a project of the Ministry of Welfare and the National Digital Israel Initiative, which recognized the importance of this project and adopted it. Donations from different organizations and foundations support the project.