SPOTLIGHT PELE: Ein Yael
PELE (a Hebrew acronym meaning 'solutions for children ALYN') is an innovation arena where customized solutions are developed for children with disabilities. The developed products are affordable and capable of adapting to the child’s social and age-appropriate needs. These solutions are for day-to-day use, seating and mobility, communication, leisure, play, and more.
PELE offers a unique entrepreneurship model that brings together entrepreneurs and developers with the target audience and one of the most state-of-the-art physical workspaces in the world that has both low-tech and sophisticated technological equipment to enable preliminary development of customized solutions.
Earlier this year, the staff of PELE were approached to develop solutions for children with physical challenges to enable them to partake, alongside their siblings and classmates, in the interactive educational experiences at the Ein Yael "Living Museum." Ein Yael is a popular archaeological park in Jerusalem visited frequently by elementary school classes and families with young children. The park features interactive workstations for ancient crafts, farming, and everyday life based on the Roman period.
While most of the grounds have already been made accessible for visitors who use wheelchairs, the stations themselves have not been adapted to the needs of children with disabilities.
This is where the staff of PELE, including 10 of the volunteers, have been hard at work finding solutions to either adapt the existing stations or to create, from scratch, parallel stations as follows:
1. Blacksmith’s bellows – the adaptation entails a powered mechanism that enables the child to operate the opening and closing of the bellows using a switch, which can be attached to and removed from the bellows as needed, according to the ability of the user. The solution has been tested on the bellows at Ein Yael, and is now being modified before the final version is delivered.
2. Blacksmith’s hammer for beating hot metal on an anvil – the PELE team have created a mechanical hammer which is operated by pulling a lever that releases the hammer, which then falls using gravity. The mechanism is covered with Perspex in order to protect users from accidents. The hammer has been completed and is currently awaiting transport from the PELE Workshop to Ein Yael.
3. Potter’s wheel for shaping clay (mechanical and powered methods) – the potter’s wheel is being created by the PELE staff to be operable on one side using a mechanical turning system by hand, and on the other side using a powered turning system operated by a switch.
4. Archery station – the PELE team was presented with the challenge of finding a solution for children with disabilities to be able to practice archery and the solution is in development.
5. Millstone – a solution is also needed to enable children with disabilities to use the millstone for grinding grain. The solution is in development, and pictured below is a sketch from the initial brainstorming session.
A finale event is expected to be held at the end of the year, during which children with disabilities from ALYN Hospital, the volunteers who worked on the stations, and special guests will be invited to inaugurate the PELE created and adapted workstations.