JDC establishes council for labor rights of the disabled

American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee announces establishment of national council aimed at promoting rights of people with disabilities in work place.

July 28, 2010 03:34
1 minute read.
A group of disable individuals gather together.

wheelchair 311. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski/The Jerusalem Post))

The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee announced this week the establishment of a national council, funded with NIS 4 million, aimed at promoting the rights of people with disabilities in the work place.

According to a statement released by the international non-profit, the National Council for the Rights of People with Disabilities in the Workplace will develop countrywide programs to improve job opportunities for people with disabilities, as well as advancing the rights of the disabled in the workplace. Ra’anan Dinur, a former head of the Prime Minister’s Office, has already been appointed to lead the council.

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“Integrating people with disabilities into the workplace contributes to both society and the economy,” commented Arnon Mantver, director of the JDC-Israel.

“Aside from the direct influence that integration has on the financial situation of people with disabilities, it is also a way to improve relations between all people in society.”

Figures published Sunday by the JDC showed that roughly 700,000 people with wide ranging disabilities – including physical, mental and emotional disabilities – live in Israel today. Of that number, some 450,000 suffer moderate disabilities and a further 250,000 more extreme forms.

The JDC’s research showed that roughly 57 percent of people with moderate disabilities and 23% of those with extreme disabilities are currently employed; compared to 69% of people who have no disabilities. Only 5% of Israel’s workforce is considered to have disabilities.

Less than a month ago, the Ministry of Trade, Labor and Industry also launched a new initiative aimed at increasing the representation of people with disabilities in all government offices, national and local.

Beni Fefferman, Director of the Administration for the Integration of People with Disabilities in the Labor Market, told The Jerusalem Post that it was essential for all people to realize that “there is an additional group in our society – people with disabilities – who are able to work and contribute to the labor market just like anyone else.”

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