Disabled teen .
(photo credit: INGIMAGE / ASAP)
Around one out of three people in Israel would not want to live near or study with a disabled person, according to a survey released on Monday.
According to the survey by the Commission for Equal Rights for Persons with Disabilities, which is under the jurisdiction of the Justice Ministry, 69 percent of the Israeli public knows a person with some form of disability.
In addition, 22% of people know someone who is disabled through their workplace.
Despite this, 40% of respondents said they would be bothered if their children were to study in preschool or school with a disabled child.
Furthermore, 30% of respondents said they would also be bothered to live in a neighborhood with disabled people.
In 2014 there were some 1.6 million people with disabilities living in Israel, of which some 878,000 were between the ages of 20 and 64, while 488,000 were aged 65 and over.
The survey was conducted by the Dialogue Institute among 503 respondents on December 28 through 29, 2014. The results reflect a +/- 4.5% margin of error.
“As has been shown by the survey findings, our society has trouble accepting people with disabilities and integrating them. Sometimes when people feel sorry for the disabled, they will tend to give them a donation and charity, but they will not agree to live in their neighborhood, work with them or study with their children,” said Ahiya Kamara, the commissioner for Equal Rights for Persons with Disabilities.
As such, the commission recently launched an awareness campaign illustrating some of the difficulties experienced every day by people with disabilities due to discrimination or a lack of accessibility in public spaces.
“I believe that only when the public will recognize people with disabilities, study with them in schools, meet them in the public sphere, work with them and live side by side as neighbors and as people with equal rights, prejudice barriers will be removed and people with disabilities will experience less social isolation and discrimination,” said Kamara.
The law for equal rights for people with disabilities imposes an obligation on all public places, whether privately or publicly owned, to maintain accessibility provisions for the disabled. The Commission for Equal Rights for Persons with Disabilities is responsible for the implementation of the law as well as its enforcement, whereby public areas that do not meet the requirements by law are subject to criminal and civil sanctions.
“It is a vicious cycle that we are working every day to break, whereby accessibility of the public arena plays an important role in the integration of people with disabilities in society,” he said.