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