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Global Perspectives: OT Students Study Rehab in Israel

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This year, Associate Professors Yael Goverover and Gerry Voelbel from NYU Steinhardt’s Department of Occupational Therapy traveled to Israel with students to participate in a course entitled “Disability in a Global Context.”

Taking place in Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, and surrounding communities, the class focused on the services available to individuals with disabilities living in Israel through an exploration of local schools, hospitals, markets, museums, and other spaces.

Yael Goverover and Gerry Voelbel posing in the desert in Israel.

Professors Goverover and Voelbel, who taught Disability in a Global Context during the 2019 January Intersession.

By incorporating this international study into their coursework, students had the opportunity to compare and contrast the rehabilitation programs available to children and adults with disabilities in Israel with those offered in the United States.

In particular, the course investigated the impact of Israel’s unique cultural, political, and historical context in shaping the rehabilitation services offered throughout the country. 

The course also enabled students to interact first-hand with state-of-the-art occupational therapy technology available in Israel. At Sheba Medical Center in Tel Aviv, students experienced the intersection of virtual reality and rehabilitative therapy and learned how computerized technology, sensors, and video analysis can help speed patient recovery.

A group of students posing in the Dead Sea.

The class swimming in the Dead Sea and enjoying the area’s mineral-rich mud.

Between lectures, hands-on field visits, and interviews, students also had time to partake in quintessential Israeli activities, such as swimming in the Dead Sea, hiking in the Negev Desert, and tasting local cuisine.

Throughout these experiences, students benefited from Professor Goverover’s nuanced knowledge of Israeli culture and customs as a native of the country.

Next year, students will have the opportunity to study with OT faculty in London and Shanghai as well — check out NYU Steinhardt Global Affairs for future application dates

Yael Goverover

Associate Professor of Occupational Therapy

yg243@nyu.edu

Gerald Voelbel

Associate Professor of Occupational Therapy; Director of Rehabilitation Sciences

gv23@nyu.edu