Government Action on Disability Policy
A Global Survey
Part II - Government Replies as Country Profiles

Israel

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© Dimitris Michailakis 1997

Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs (13 March 1996)
Compare with the following Country Report(s): ILSMH


General policy

There is no officially recognized disability policy in the State of Israel.

Since the adoption of the Standard Rules the Government has not done anything to initiate or support information campaigns conveying the message of full participation.

Legislation

The rights of persons with disabilities are protected from a specific group of persons with disabilities. Their rights are not protected by law. No judicial mechanisms have been adopted to protect the rights of persons with disabilities. There are administrative and other non-judicial bodies available for that purpose. These include: independent expert bodies and a special arbitration/conciliation body.

The general legislation does not apply to all persons with different disabilities. The general legislation applies only with respect to education, employment being applicable only for the veterans of war.
The following benefits are guaranteed by law to persons with disabilities: health and medical care, training, rehabilitation and counselling, financial security.

New legislation concerning disability is in progress at the "Knesset".

Accessibility

There are regulations to ensure accessibility in the build environment. The following measures have been promoted by the Government in order to facilitate accessibility in the build environment: marking parking areas, installing lifts and accessible toilets but not everywhere, access to public places but only in new buildings. A small financial support is provided for the costs of adapting private buildings to the needs of persons with disabilities, and specially adapted motor vehicles are being provided for. The special transport arrangements, usually in the big cities, for persons with disabilities are provided by self-help organizations. Special transport, when existing, is available for the following purposes: medical treatment, education, work, recreational purpose. When planning to build accessible environments the most difficult obstacles are: attitudinal factors, economic/budgetary factors and lack of enforcement mechanisms. There is no disability awareness component incorporated in the training of planners, architects and construction engineers.

Sign language for deaf people is recognized as the main means of communication between deaf persons and others. There are no Government measures for encouraging media and other forms of public information to make their services available. The following services are provided in order to facilitate information and communication between persons with disabilities and other persons: literature in Braille/tape, news magazines on tape/Braille.

Organizations of persons with disabilities

There is a national umbrella organization. No legal provisions exist mandating the representatives of persons with disabilities to participate in policy-making and to work with Governmental institutions. Organizations are often consulted when laws and regulations with a disability aspect are being prepared. This occurs only at the national level. The Government provides financial support to organizations. Persons with disabilities participate to a very limited extent in Government, legislature, judiciary, political parties and NGOs. The disabled persons' organizations in Israel have the role to: advocate rights and improved services, identify needs and priorities, contribute to public awareness, and provide services.

Co-ordination of work

There is a national co-ordinating committee reporting to the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs. The committee includes representatives of the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs, the Ministry of Employment, from organizations of persons with disabilities and from NGOs. The Government expects the co-ordinating committee to participate in policy development but not to perform other tasks.

Regards the effects of the co-ordinating committee an assessment, according to the Government, is premature, the committee having started only on 1 January 1996.



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Compare with the following Country Report(s): ILSMH