Excited to be chosen for the EDI GSL Experience in Israel

Thursday, June 20, 2013

A Reflection on my Time at the Commission

Today was our last day at the Commission. It is bittersweet to be concluding our time there, but I definitely feel that I accomplished a lot over the last three weeks. As we submitted our final report, Lawrence and I talked about how it seems like only yesterday that we were given the lofty research assignment, and even though we were concerned about finishing it on time, we are now so proud of the 55 page comprehensive analysis we put together on sheltered workshop policies in Austria, Canada, the UK, and the USA.

This morning I met with Gaby for a couple of hours to go over some last minute questions about my work on the accessibility document that I edited and wrote a brief report on for the UN. She explained to me how helpful it was for the Commission, as nobody in the office would have been capable of translating such a long document into proper English and how excited they are to be able to share with other nations the accessibility policies that Israel is implementing. Hearing that certainly made all of the hard work and time worth while!

Additionally, this afternoon Lawrence and I had a final meeting with The Commissioner, Gaby and Yisrael to discuss our findings and reflect on our experiences at the Commission. It was interesting to examine what other countries and certain states' orientations are toward sheltered workshops, particularly as Israel is grappling with determining how to address them. Even though I already have my opinions regarding the effectiveness and viability of workshops, I think that the conversation and my work over the past few weeks has caused me to reflect on other factors and issues that I never fully considered. Every country we discussed has had their successes and failures in the way that they handle workshops, and I think that Israel is trying to take a step back and really learn from other nation's examples (and failures) before they formulate the details of their own policies. Being able to speak to the Commissioner about my work and resultant findings and recommendations truly made me feel like I made a significant contribution toward the development of the sheltered workshop bill in Israel, which is extremely rewarding.

This experience has truly been a once in a lifetime opportunity, and I am so grateful to the Commission and all those at EDI, Cornell, and in Israel who made my internship possible. I am sure that my time at Elwyn will prove to be just as valuable.




  1. Hi guys,
    I've just caught up on your last few posts - wow!! Sounds like you are having a really amazing experience!! I can not believe how much you have achieved at the Commission in 3 weeks - well done!! And it sounds like you've made the most of really getting to know the culture and visiting some sights too. It's fantastic to read all about it and especially to see the photos! Enjoy your time at Elwyn - looking forward to hearing all about that too!!
    Take care,

  2. Awesome recap Laura, so good to hear about your time at the Commission! -Erin