Disabled Israelis face financial hardships, says gov't report

Disabled Israelis face f

Despite widespread efforts by both government and non-governmental bodies, the plight of disabled Israelis remains severe. That was the conclusion of a Justice Ministry report to be released Tuesday, ahead of International Equal Rights for the Disabled Day, marked on Thursday. The report found that Israel has over one-and-a-half million disabled people, a rate of disability that is somewhat high, but not out of line with the rates of other developed countries. Of the 1.5 million disabled, the majority are women; 721,000 are of working age, and of those, 293,000 suffer from severe disabilities, the report says. The report also finds that 314,000 of the disabled are children, and that 193,000 of them are in need of regular medical attention. The report's statistics mean that over 19% of working-age Israelis have chronic health conditions that make daily functioning difficult, as do 65% of pension-age Israelis. Arab Israelis suffer from physical disabilities at more than double the rate of Jewish Israelis. Israelis of Middle Eastern and African origin have a higher rate of disability than Israelis of European and North America background. Physical disabilities also have a serious effect on employment, with 38% of the disabled population out of work as opposed to 18% of the general population, according to the report. Some 60% of those disabled who were surveyed said they had difficulty covering their monthly expenses. The emotional effects of physical disabilities can be very grave, the report finds, with 26% of those polled saying they felt detached from society and 31% reporting loneliness on a daily basis, as opposed to 8% and 4% for non-disabled people, respectively. Based on their sampling, the researchers said that there are some 75,000 disabled people who would have no one to count on in case of an emergency. Though the report finds high numbers of disabilities among Israelis.