(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
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
Some 29% said they believe that visual impairment is the most
“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.
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
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
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.