AKIM to launch donation day to help intellectually disabled

Thousands of children are set to knock on doors throughout the country, asking for contributions for the promotion and treatment of some 34,500 people with intellectual disabilities in Israel.

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November 16, 2014 20:20
1 minute read.
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Ambassador Matthew Gould, his wife Celia and their daughters, with young people from AKIM Givatayim who came to help decorate their succa.. (photo credit: COURTESY BRITISH EMBASSY)

AKIM, the National Association for the Habilitation of the Intellectually Disabled is to hold its annual donation day on Monday.

Thousands of children are set to knock on doors throughout the country, asking for contributions to AKIM for the promotion and treatment of some 34,500 people with intellectual disabilities in Israel.

Last week, AKIM presented the findings of the third index of Israeli society’s attitude toward the inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities to First Lady Nechama Rivlin.

The findings showed an improvement from the previous year in public attitude towards people with intellectual disabilities, though it also reflected some worrisome figures. The study found that some 18.5 percent of Israelis believe that a person with mental disabilities is dangerous to society, an improvement from 31.2% the previous year. In addition, some 30% of the public believes that a person with mental disabilities should live in a separate framework, compared to 43% the previous year.

And 13.7% of the population said they would not want to live next door to a disabled person, down from 18.8% last year. Some 8.3% of Israelis said that they would feel tense in the presence of a person with intellectual disabilities, compared to 13.8% last year.

In addition, 9.5% of the population said they would distance themselves or avoid meeting a person with intellectual disabilities, compared to 18.1% last year.

However, the study also found that nearly a third of Israelis, 32.4%, believe that this population group should not have the right to bear or raise children.

Furthermore, 24% believe that intellectually disabled people should not be allowed to make their own decisions about medical treatment and 20% believe that the mentally handicapped should not be allowed to vote.

AKIM, celebrating its 63rd year, operates a network of some 60 branches managed by 300 professionals and 2,000 volunteers and active parents. The organization offers services ranging from advancing the rights of the mentally handicapped, to kindergartens and nurseries, as well as job training and recreational programs.

Donations to AKIM can be made by phone at 03-766-2211.


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