Changing Attitudes toward People with Disabilities and their Integration in Society
Of the 1.5 thousand people with disabilities currently living in Israel, 314,000 are children (untill age 20) and the other 697,000 are adults (ages 20 to 64). Every third person in Israel has a person with disabilities in his/her immediate family. The population of people with disabilities includes people with physical, sensory (blind and visually impaired, deaf and hearing impaired), cognitive and mental disabilities and function limitations resulting from chronic illness.
Research conducted by Prof. Arik Rimmerman indicates a high rate of negative attitudes toward the disabled population in Israel, as well as a sense of loneliness and isolation prevalent among people with disabilities compared to people without disabilities.
• 31% of disabled persons report a sense of loneliness (compared to 4% of non-disabled persons)
• 1/4 of severely disabled persons report that they do not have friends (compared to 8% of non-disabled persons)
• 2/3 of disabled persons wish to be more involved in community and society
• 1/3 of disabled persons wish to volunteer
Other studies show that employers’ negative attitudes are identified as the
primary obstacle to the absorption of people with disabilities into the workforce. Nevertheless, close familiarity with people with disabilities contributes to changing attitudes toward them, appreciation of them and willingness to help.
Upon the establishment of Israel Unlimited for the planning and development
of services for the advancement and integration of people with disabilities in the community, it was agreed that activities will be more effective if at the same time they contribute to fostering an environment conducive to the advancement of people with disabilities and their integration in society.
1. To bring about a positive change in attitudes toward people with disabilities living in the community
2. To contribute toward enhancing the quality of life of people with disabilities and their integration in society as a result of the change
People with disabilities, family members, professionals and volunteers participating in projects conducted in the framework of Israel Unlimited, with an emphasis on four locations where several Israel Unlimited projects are being conducted.
1. Developing tools for raising awareness through a variety of projects to be developed by Israel Unlimited, identifying the most effective strategies to foster an environment conducive to the advancement of people with disabilities and their integration in society, and selecting those most suitable for implementation by Israel Unlimited beyond the project level.
2. Utilizing the platform of six Centers for Independent Living and the Accessible Community project conducted in 50 locations throughout the country, as well as the partnership of the Government, JDC, the Association of Community Centers in Israel and the local authorities, to promote a wide-scope, nationwide campaign to change attitudes through about 1,000 activists.
Partners and Funding
Organizations for people with disabilities, local authorities, Israel Unlimited project operators, Israeli philanthropists and others.