'10% would accept their kid marrying blind person'

Survey released for Blind Day finds that some 29% of people believe visual impairment is the most difficult disability.

June 6, 2013 19:23
1 minute read.
A BLIND pupil reads a braille book.

Blind (R370). (photo credit: REUTERS)

Only 10 percent of Israelis would agree to their child marrying a blind person, according to a survey released by the Welfare and Social Services Ministry on Thursday, which marked Blind Day, a national day of solidarity with the blind.

On the other hand, the study, which was conducted last month among a sample of 302 people, also revealed that 70% of respondents believe that blind people can be worthy parents and 73% said they are willing to work under a blind boss.

Some 29% said they believe that visual impairment is the most difficult disability.

“This is a classic case of the NIMBY – not in my backyard – phenomenon,” director of the Center for the Blind in Israel Guy Simchi said in a statement.

“It seems that although most respondents are aware of the capabilities of the blind and visually impaired to integrate, work, and be good parents, discrimination still exists and does not enable real integration when it comes to choosing a spouse,” he continued.

Welfare and Social Services Minister Meir Cohen stressed that Thursday’s Blind Day is an opportunity to “emphasize the obligation of all of us to treat blind persons with complete equality.”

“It is clear to all of us that people with visual disabilities can work in almost any position and study in a wide range of academic tracks,” Cohen added.

“This day, organized by the Center for the Blind and the Ministry of Welfare, is a special day where we all convey a message to Israeli society: a blind person is a person whose sight may be damaged, but his senses, head and reason are the same as any person.”

There are some 24,000 blind and visually impaired people living across Israel. The Welfare and Social Services Ministry offers a variety of services for long-term treatment as well as daily assistance to eligible citizens.

Eligibility is determined according to the UNESCO definition of blindness, similar to the standard in European countries.

Blind Day was marked with various events organized by local authorities, universities and organizations for the blind across the country on Thursday, including blindfolds and activities in the dark for the public to experience blindness.

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