Between 800,000 and 1 million people of prime working age in Israel suffer from
disabilities, according to a report by JDC-Israel released on Monday ahead of
International Day for the Rights of People with Disabilities on
The study found that the breakdown of disabilities among this
population is 17.5 percent physical, 9.2% mental, 4.2% cognitive, 4.2% vision
and 3.7% hearing.
In addition, 2.5% of those with disabilities have a
learning disability and 2.1% suffer from a chronic illness. According to the
report, about 5% of the working-age population in Israel suffers from severe
disabilities. Another 11% have moderate disabilities and 5% have light
disabilities, which do not disturb their daily activities very much.
hope for the day when our society does not need to mark the International
Disability Day because people with disabilities are fully included in all
aspects of our society,” Jay Ruderman, president of the Ruderman Family Fund, a
partner in the JDC’s program for the integration of people with disabilities
into society, Israel Unlimited, said on Monday. “A fully inclusive society is
not only a matter of fairness, but will be a better, more just place for
While the rate of people with disabilities in Israel is similar
among men and women, it is higher among Arabs (24%) than Jews. The rate of those
with severe disabilities is almost double in the Arab sector.
220,000 of Israeli children have disabilities, more than half of which are
learning and behavioral disabilities.
The study also showed that almost
half of people with disabilities in Israel have more than one type of
disability, with the most common combination being mental and
The report stated that people with multiple disabilities often
struggle to find services adapted to their needs, since most help services
provided by the authorities are designed for one type of
According to the figures, about 80% of people with disabilities
in Israel have become disabled between the ages of 18 and 65. People with
acquired disabilities, the report indicates, face more difficulties in
maximizing their rights and being recognized as disabled by the
About 60,000 people aged 23-26 have disabilities,
representing about 14% of the general population in the same age group in
Israel, and 38% of the young people who don’t work or study.
the JDCIsrael, young disabled people have special needs in terms of their
ability to live independently in the community and their transition from
education to the workplace. However, only 10% of them have received vocational
training and rehabilitation services in the country.
In terms of benefits
from the state, about 22,000 people have received general disability allotments
in 2012, the majority of whom have mental disabilities.
with disabilities, about 33,500 have received benefits from the state in 2012,
an increase of 10% from the year before.
The report also revealed that
about half of people with disabilities in prime working age are employed in
Israel, compared to 72% of the general population.
In addition, the
average monthly salary of an employee with disabilities is about NIS 1,400 less
than that of an employee without disabilities. About 44% of people with
disabilities who remain unemployed – more than 200,000 people – expressed the
desire to work.
However, the study found that only 5.4% of employers
report that they employ people with disabilities. The rate of employment of
Jewish men with disabilities is double that of Arab men with
When it comes to education, more than half of people with
disabilities have not completed a high school matriculation exam, compared to
36% in the general population. Only 58% of them use a computer, compared to 83%
in the general population and about 46% don’t know English, compared to only 21%
of those without disabilities.
Some 182,000 children recognized by the
state as having special needs – 9% of the total child population – studied in
the Israeli education system in the 2011-2012 school year.
22,000 were enrolled in special education schools.
The figures also
showed that people with disabilities spend less time doing activities outside of
their homes than people without disabilities.
About half of those with
severe disabilities and 35% with moderate disabilities say they experience a
strong feeling of loneliness, compared to 20% among people without
The JDC report also stated that one of the biggest problems
the disabled face in Israel today are the negative attitudes that society
expresses towards them.
Stigmas and prejudices hamper the inclusion of
people with disabilities in school, in the workplace and in the community in
general, the study showed.
These attitudes affect their everyday lives
and bring about discrimination and alienation.
The report showed that
while most of the public – 86% – say they would agree to live next door to or
rent an apartment to a physically disabled person, the percentage is much lower
when it comes to a person with autism or mental or cognitive
About 18% of Israelis believe that people with disabilities
are dangerous for society.