Bill advances in Knesset committee to standardize diagnosis of learning disabilities

Currently students’ diagnoses are not always recognized by all post-secondary education institutions in the country.

November 18, 2013 20:09
1 minute read.
Education Minister Shai Piron at the weekly cabinet meeting, August 25, 2013.

Shai Piron at the weekly cabinet meeting 370. (photo credit: Mark Neiman/GPO)

The Ministerial Committee on Legislation unanimously approved on Monday an amendment to the law for the rights of students with learning disabilities proposed by Education Minister Shai Piron, as a first step toward standardizing the diagnosis procedure of learning disabilities in Israel.

Since its implementation in 2008, the law has aimed to protect the rights of applicants and students with learning disabilities in the post-secondary education system, regulate the diagnosing of learning disabilities and establish a support system for students suffering from such disabilities.

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Students who are diagnosed with learning disabilities such as ADHD or dyslexia, for example, are entitled to receiving benefits from their higher education institutions during their studies.

The current situation however, is such that students’ diagnoses are not always recognized by all post-secondary education institutions. This means that while a student could be considered eligible for learning disabilities benefits at one university, he may not be at another.

In improving this aspect of the law, the approved amendment states that, as a first step toward standardizing the diagnosing process, it is important to establish clear criteria for who has the authority to diagnose learning disabilities.

Two new committees will be established for this purpose. First, an experts committee will work to determine a set of training requirements that a professional will have to complete in order to have the authority to diagnose the disabilities.

Secondly, an admissions committee will decide whether a candidate has met the criteria to be recognized and certified as a diagnostic professional.

Education Minister Shai Piron said in a statement that the change to the law “is another step in promoting and making higher education more accessible,” and that it will “help each student maximize his skills and integrate the higher education system in Israel.”

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