The Knesset handed out on Sunday certificates of appreciation to 12 of its employees with special needs, including some with Down syndrome and autism and others who are severely handicapped. The workers were previously employed in the framework of Knesset agreements with non-profit organizations, but in late 2008 the Knesset upgraded their status to that of regular Knesset employees.
A few months ago the Knesset won the Shalem Fund Award of Excellence for integrating mentally handicapped people among its employees. Knesset Speaker Yuli-Yoel Edelstein said he views the employment of people with special needs as a project of the utmost importance which sets an example for the public sector.
The employees work at the Knesset switchboard, deliver mail to MKs, carry out various secretarial tasks, work in the printing and publications department and also as ushers.