A Special Academy
for People With Special Needs
Today, thousands of people with autism or intellectual development disabilities have almost no opportunities to learn, work or receive therapy after they finish high school and most remain fully dependent on their families. The Shira Center aims to change this paradigm by creating an innovative, first-of-its-kind model that connects the benefits of academic campuses to the needs of young adults with autism and special needs who wish to continue living a meaningful life within a supportive community.
What We Do
The Shira Center provides young adults with autism and special needs an opportunity to be included in a university environment, while continuing to study and work according to their desires and abilities. The center is located on campus, creating collaboration between neurotypical and special-needs students, with the aim of being an inclusive environment for all and increasing empathy and leadership skills among participants and the surrounding community.
We dream of building a center in every university in order to improve the futures of people with special needs and their families, increase empathy in our society, and also contribute to the professional training of social workers, psychologists and therapists in the field.
Our therapists, teachers and volunteers enjoy a healthy work environment, with decent wages, emotional support and guidance, and a constantly developing program that allows them to dream big and see the results.
About Shira Center
Shir is a young woman with autism, who always dreamed of becoming a university student, just like her brother and sister. Her family searched for a place that would allow her to do that. The journey took years - with no results. Finally, Shir’s family decided to pave their own path and founded the Shira Center. Today, alongside families with similar stories, they are committed to building more Shira Centers wherever needed.
The first Shira Center opened on March 2022 at the Rupin Academic Center, Israel
Each student at the Shira Center has a special study program tailored to their needs and interests, as well as an opportunity to work at the university (with guidance). We believe in creativity as a strategy for better communication and emotional support: our activities combine story-telling, music and sports, as well as technological innovation.
All of our students enjoy a personal study program tailored to their needs and interests
Students work on campus, with support and guidance, and according to their desires
The surrounding community benefits from working and studying alongside people with special needs. It develops empathy, leadership skills, and the ability to bridge communication gaps
We take care of our world through recycling and sustainable agriculture, and believe that communities that know how to include everyone, become stronger and more sustainable for all