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Israel To Open First College For Students With Autism And Learning Disabilities

The first Israeli college designed to accommodate students on the autism spectrum and with learning disabilities is set to open in March 2016.

The college, to be called BE Academic College, which will be run jointly by Beit Ekstein, an organization devoted to helping people with learning and developmental disabilities, and the Open University, a distance-learning school with multiple branches across Israel. BE Academic College will be based at Beit Ekstein’s campus in the Tel Aviv suburb of Givatayim. The school will offer three programs designed to give its students a boost to enter the workforce: psychology and education, psychology and communications, and economics and computer science.

“Out of close familiarity with the world of graduates with learning disabilities comes the establishment of the BE Academic College, whose goal it will be to make academic learning possible by building a supportive and adapted curriculum,” Beit Ekstein said in a statement.

In order to serve its target population, the college will not have entrance requirements, and will offer specialized career guidance for the students. Upon completing the four-year program, students will receive a degree from the Open University, an institution accredited by the Israel Council for Higher Education.

The IDF has also developed a program for autistic soldiers. In a article earlier this month, the Jewish Telegraphic Agency profiled an autistic soldier who was “using his exceptional attention to detail and intense focus to analyze visual data ahead of missions. Soldiers with autism can excel at this work because they are often adept at detecting patterns and maintaining focus for long periods of time.”

[Photo: U.S. Embassy Tel Aviv / YouTube ]