About Shira

Shira Yalon-Chamovitz, Ph.D.



Shira Yalon-Chamovitz, PhD, OTR, is the Director of the Israeli Institute on Cognitive Accessibility, and Dean of Students at Ono Academic College. She developed the technique of "Simultaneous Plain Language Interpretation", also known as the Yalon Method, as a means of cognitive accessibility. The Yalon Method was first implemented globally during the Eurovision Song Contest 2019, where she and her staff provided cognitive accessibility to the broadcast of the Eurovision through a digital video live stream, which involved translating what was said in real time into plain language.

Most of Yalon-Chamovitz's research has concerned adults with cognitive disabilities, and she has published extensively on a range of fields including practical intelligence, virtual reality, and theoretical model of practice for cognitive accessibility. Prof. Yalon-Chamovitz has published extensively on a variety of subjects concerning adults with intellectual disabilities, including "practical intelligence", "virtual reality" and "accessibility". Her work has received national and international attention, in particular her work on developing a framework for accessibility for people with intellectual disabilities. From this framework she later developed the concept of cognitive ramps. She served as the national adviser on intellectual disability for the Israeli Commission on Equal Rights for People with Disabilities in the Ministry of Justice, and for the Israel Ministry of Social Affairs and Services. As such, she testified before the Knesset and was instrumental in drafting the accessibility legislation. In particular, she introduced the term "language simplification" into the national accessibility lexicon.

Prof. Yalon-Chamovitz received a Bachelor of Occupational Therapy and Masters of Science in Occupational Therpay from the Haddasah Medical School / Hebrew University of Jerusalem School of Occupational Therapy, and a Ph.D. from the Department of Educational Psychology at University of Connecticut. Prof. Yalon-Chamovitz was the founding Director of the Department of Occupational Therapy at Ono Academic College, was the also founding director of the Burton Blatt Institute's Israel office. Prior to her appointment at OAC, Prof. Yalon Chamovitz was on the faculty in the Department of Occupational Therapy at Tel Aviv University, as well as visiting scholar at the University of Washington, Seattle. She was formerly Director of Ancillary Services for Ellwyn Jerusalem. She has given numerous lectures and workshops to governmental, public and private organizations. She is a licensed occupational therapist and service accessibility expert, specializing in cognitive accessibility.