Na Laga'at ("Please Touch")

Entity: Na Laga'at
Project Type: Core
Duration of Support: 1 year (2007)

Somewhat 1,000 deaf and blind people live in Israel today, in silence, darkness and solitude. Na Laga'at's primary goal is to fill the vacuum of services available for the deaf-blind population in Israel, and to serve as their voice and support. The group's theater productions are performed by Jewish and Arab deaf-blind actors, who share their dreams and their challenges with the audience, creating an opportunity to perform in front of others, sharing their stories across the country and across the globe

Established in 2002, Na Laga'at ("Please Touch") is a nonprofit organization aiming to advance the needs and aspirations of deaf-blind individuals (i.e. people who are both blind and deaf) in Israel; and to allow them to enjoy their most basic rights. The organization operates a theater group of deaf-blind actors, which provides them with an opportunity to present themselves as providers rather than receivers, highlighting their strengths rather than their weaknesses.

The organization's unique vision is to create an innovative and effective model for integrating deaf-blind individuals in society as equal, contributing citizens. Acting allows the actors a stage for artistic expression, thus enhancing awareness and acceptance of the deaf-blind in Israeli society.

The group first theater productions, "Light is Heard in Zig Zag" drew a large audiences in Israel, and was performed in the Israeli Parliament, the UN in Geneva, Schauspielhaus in Zurich, St. Lawrence Center for Arts in Toronto, and the Lincoln Center in New York. The donation was provided for the extension of Na Laga'at's original theater group, which included Jewish and Arab participants. Therefore, it served as a platform to confront physical disabilities, while creating the first dialogue between Jews and Arab deaf-blinds in Israel.

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