New bill to legally define rights, services for disabled citizens

The bill will define the rights of people with disabilities in line with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Disabled activists block the Azrieli Junction in Tel Aviv in May. (photo credit: MIRIAM ALSTER/FLASH90)
Disabled activists block the Azrieli Junction in Tel Aviv in May.
(photo credit: MIRIAM ALSTER/FLASH90)

A new bill will legally define the rights and services for Israelis with disabilities and over NIS 2 billion will be budgeted for additional services, according to the Welfare Ministry.

The bill will define the rights of people with disabilities in line with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities to which Israel is a signatory and make the basket of services more flexible to allow more personal choice for those entitled to the service.

It will also encourage independent living in the community by providing social worker assistance, household management training, household assistance, sign language translation, assistive technology, counseling and social education and treatment.

The bill will provide an option for a personal budget basket, which will allow the purchase of services according to the choice, needs and personal preferences of those entitled to the service.

"The Welfare Law for People with Disabilities is not an ordinary bill for me," said Foreign Minister Yair Lapid. "I am Yaeli's father. To anyone who says 'you are fighting for this law because of your daughter.' The answer is yes. Definitely. Completely. I would not have reached public life without her. You need something inside that motivates you. Out of the difficulty, sometimes out of the pain and frustration, grows the knowledge that it is our job - to change reality."

Disability Rights activists block Ayalon Highway to protest new state budget, August 5, 2021 (credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/MAARIV)Disability Rights activists block Ayalon Highway to protest new state budget, August 5, 2021 (credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI/MAARIV)

"Society is measured in accepting the different, in the question of whether it is reaching out to those who need it," added Lapid. "This bill will provide opportunities and rights for people with disabilities and will change their lives and the lives of their families. When asked what the most important decision I have made in politics, I always answer - to give free medicine to Holocaust survivors, for Dad. From today I also add this law, for Yaeli."

"This bill is a real revolution in line with a trend that is gaining momentum in the most advanced countries in the world," said Welfare and Social Services Minister Meir Cohen. "The meaning of the law is that the Welfare Ministry sees the person not through their disabilities but through their abilities, desires and dreams. When we say equal rights for people with disabilities - that's exactly what we mean."

"Hundreds of thousands of Israelis have been waiting for this news," said Sigal Moran, director-general of the Welfare and Social Services Ministry. "We will work to implement the bill in as short a time as possible."