Special in Uniform integrates young people with autism and other disabilities into the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and in turn into Israeli society. It focuses on the unique talents of each individual participant to help find a job within the IDF that is a perfect fit, with the belief that everyone belongs and has the right to reach his or her full potential. Special in Uniform focuses on the ability, not the disability, of each individual, encouraging independence and integration into society
Special in Uniform was founded by Major General (Res.) Gabi Ophir, Lt. Col. Ariel Almog and Lt. Col. Tiran Attia. With a profound appreciation for the value of every life, these three visionaries continue to inspire the integration of people with all abilities into Israeli society.
To an Israeli young adult, serving in the IDF is more than a national duty. It is the gateway to independence. An opportunity to learn new skills. A chance to form lifelong friendships. A way to develop a sense of pride in serving your country … just like everyone else. It is the rite of passage for every 18-year-old.
Well, almost every 18-year old. For young adults with special needs, this milestone is often marked by unbearable sadness as family and neighbors report for service, leaving them behind. For parents of young adults with special needs, this is a time of anxiety and worry as they wonder what options are available for their “child” as they pass from teen to young adult.
How can they find a sense of purpose? How can they integrate into Israeli society and contribute in a meaningful way?