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Friday, January 5, 2024

Special in Uniform

In The Politics of Autism, I note that we need more study of how autistic people fare in other countries.

Pesach Benson at the Jewish News Service:

At the heart of the Emergency Logistics Warehouses in the Israel Defense Forces Home Front Command base in Ramla, an extraordinary scene unfolds daily. Young soldiers, dealing with various disabilities and neurodiversity, are actively contributing to Israel’s war effort through their dedicated service in the Special in Uniform (SIU) program.


Soldiers such as Ilai, who is on the autism spectrum, exemplify the program’s ethos.

“Me and my friends, we’ve all got different special needs,” he explains without pausing from his meticulous work. “We know how critical things are at the front, and we responded to the nation’s call, no questions asked. We’re here to give to Israel, to contribute all we can to our country and fellow citizens.”


The SIU program is a collaborative initiative of the IDF and Jewish National Fund-USA, which focuses on integrating young people with physical and mental disabilities into the Israeli military and society.

Around 1,000 Special in Uniform soldiers, from communities across Israel, serve in 45 bases in all branches of the IDF.