Special Ed Library at Beit Chanoch

Beit Chanoch is Ohel Sarah’s school for boys ages 6-14 with mild to moderate cognitive disabilities. The school serves 80 students and has 75 staff members, including teachers, therapists, medical personnel, a psychologist and a psychiatrist.

The school had a small library with various features that are necessary for children with disabilities; as opposed to a regular library where books can simply be purchased and displayed, a special-ed library is vastly different in that it requires much work to be as accessible as possible.  Many books need to be re-written by the staff in symbol-based language and/or feature equivalent illustrations to accommodate the younger or lower-level children or those who are incapable of reading. The book format and texts need to be changed and enlarged, each page must be laminated and all books need to be rebound with hard covers for maximum endurance. This all necessitates many hours of work on part of the staff.  

The library featured 150 specialized books, and each class would enter the library twice a week with a special-ed language teacher who has undergone training by a speech therapist specifically for this task. Unfortunately, the library was destroyed in a fire with most of the books and furniture being unsalvable. 

As the library saw phenomenal success prior to the fire, it has led the school administration to decide on investing in a new, fully furnished and state-of-the-art library, featuring the following:

  • A large selection of 650 specialized books in various levels. The books need to be purchased directly from the publisher in an open computer format in order for our staff to adapt them to our students’ cognitive levels by adding features such as enlarged print, AAC symbols (augmentative adapted communication symbol-based language), corresponding illustrations and supplementary multi-sensory props. The books then need to be printed, laminated, bound and have a special hard cover added
  • A large, comfortably outfitted and wheelchair accessible library with specialized furniture adapted for children with special needs, with several personal reading corners as well as an assembly room for integrative learning 
  • A computerized lending system including a barcode for each book and a counter where the children will learn to check books in and out, promoting independence and responsibility. The books will be available for the students’ younger siblings to read at home, giving our students the opportunity to contribute to their families   
  • A special book series featuring stories of the students themselves, with all the above-mentioned features. This series of booklets will highly encourage the students to advance their reading skills as they will identify personally with the stories. The staff also plans to publish these stories in a children’s’ book available for purchase in the community, thus spreading awareness of people with special needs  
  • An integrative reading session for neighboring kindergarten students where, once a week, the staff will hold a joint story-telling session in the library assembly room for the school’s students and outside preschool children, promoting integration, communication and interaction with regular children 

The library will be instrumental in helping our students obtain many skills and abilities, such as self-occupation, patience and calmness, enriching the students’ language and comprehension level, helping students develop confidence and responsibility, strengthening communication skills, encouraging integration in the community and enabling emotional empowerment. 

Library Budget:

Specialized books (including materials and staff working hours)

141,500 NIS

34,114 GBP

Booklet series (including materials and staff working hours)

23,000 NIS 

5,545 GBP

Furniture and accessories for integrative learning 


19,287 GBP

Barcode computer system 


2,001 GBP



60,947 GBP

Supporting this project will provide young children with special needs with skills and abilities crucial for their advancement and integration. Dedication opportunities are available upon request.


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