Our Profile

Israeli Human Rights Organization of People With Disabilities (Non-profit Association)

93 Arlozorov St., Trade Union Bldg., Room 34, Tel Aviv 62098

T.: (+972) (0) 3 6921681/3, (+972) (0) 3 6921105, F.: (+972) (0) 3 6921555

E-mail: maavak2@netvision.net.il

General Background

Regarding the world’s disabled community, Israel is not an exception – 10% of the population is handicapped with various limitations.  Israel’s disabled people are cut into four categories as far as their rights are concerned, namely:  army related disabilities, work accidents disabilities, hostile activity related disabilities and general disabilities.

Among the 165,000 people with general disabilities are those who get disability grants – children and adults with inborn limitedness, disease or accident related health problems, physical, mental, sensorial or cognitive limitations.

Generally, treatment and rehabilitation differs between disabilities, implementing a patronage approach that looks at the disabled person as useless, capabilities-less and dependent on benevolence, instead of seeing the person as an individual who has ability to participate in any sphere of human activity and able to turn into an active member of the society, who is creative and contributive regarding himself and the whole Israeli society.  Therefore, a vast number of the people with limitations in Israelare bound to social failure, poverty and distress.

Israeli Human Rights Organization of People With Disabilities

Israeli Human Rights Organization of People With Disabilities started its activity in 1999, with a group of citizens who had decided to take their destiny in their own hands and act on behalf of all the Israeli handicaps. A large scaled demonstration for changes in mobility rights, in policies and in inequality between genders ignited the movement.

The top of our activity was an additional street demonstration, better known as “the biggest demonstration of the handicapped”, during the winter of 2001/2002 – 77 days under harsh conditions of Jerusalem winter. This action has caused considerable changes and gave us wide social support.  As a result, we caused both legal and community changes as part of recognizing us as people with equal rights.

Israeli Human Rights Organization of People With Disabilities has been acting as a Non-profit Association since then, both in everyday situations and in state of emergency (see the account of our activity during the Gulf War and, in particular, the Second Lebanese War), on behalf of all the Disable Community in Israel in all possible areas and in getting better rights for employment, housing, recreation, equal representation, decent existence and standard of living.

Cooperation between various local authorities and the disabled is still the biggest challenge we face.

Currently we count more than 6,000 members.

Vision

Israeli Human Rights Organization of People With Disabilities promotes and defends the rights of the disabled population in Israel.  It believes that the time is right for this part of the population to lead its destiny.

Israeli Human Rights Organization of People With Disabilities is determined to struggle for equal rights and respect of the handicapped as a part of the Israeli society in all areas of life.

Israeli Human Rights Organization of People With Disabilities influences law-making and participates in social process changes, in order to create social infrastructure that will help our society to become more human, equal, just and pluralistic, advancing human rights in general and peoples’ with handicaps in particular.

Israeli Human Rights Organization of People With Disabilities acts to unite the whole disabled community in the country as a part of the struggle for real social equality.

Objectives

  1. The Association will act to decrease discrimination and to ensure equal rights for the handicapped both in public and private aspects of life (including employment, housing, accessibility, health-care, education, transportation and social, community and sport activities).
  2. The Association will demand equal representation of the disabled whenever their rights are concerned.
  3. The Association will act to eliminate any existing distortions in public bodies that offer services to the disabled.
  4. The Association will act to advance legislation concerning the handicapped life.
  5. The Association will act to communicate information among the disabled as per their rights and to represent unique needs to other parts of the society.
  6. The Association will act to ensure acceptable standard of living for those who cannot earn their living costs.
  7. The Association will lead activities to support mutual individual’s assistance among the community and encourage its members to fulfill those needs.

Strategies

  1. Lobby activity in the legislation field, including law initiation.
  2. Cooperation in development of unique projects with the National Insurance Institute, Government Authorities, the Joint and other Non – Profit Associations.
  3. Appealing the Court, including the Highest Court of Justice.
  4. Promotion of our aims through the media, among both the disabled community and the Israeli society in general.
  5. Individual counseling and assistance to people who face the bureaucracy, including legal counseling.

Achievements

  1. Participation in various boards dealing with disabled people’s needs and workforce integration.
  2. Participation in the formulation of the accessibility chapter in the “Equal Rights for the Disabled” Law adoption procedure.
  3. Improving Disability Grants.
  4. Continuation of Disability Grants after reaching retirement age.
  5. Improvement in the “Special Services Grant” field.
  6. Reaching full equality between men and women in the “Special Services Grant”.
  7. Rise in Disability Grant for minors and making it equal to that of adults.
  8. Promoting a law allowing studying of disabled children in regular schools.
  9. Set-up and operation of the “MAGEN” (Flexible Emergency Response) Project during the Second War in Lebanon in association with Joint Israel, supplying immediate assistance to disabled people in war affected areas. During its operation the project emphasized the power of our community mutual assistant value.

Organizational Structure

  • Chairman – Ronnie Shechter (Full-time Position)
  • Spokesperson – Yoav Kraim (Part-time Position)
  • Office services (2,5 Positions)
  • Employment and Social Welfare Project Leaders (1,25 Positions)

A national-wide network of volunteers and activists performs the main part of our activity.

Generally speaking, our activity is performed by people who face various disabilities themselves.

Budget (2006 figures)

The total annual budget for 2006 was NIS 2,200,000

Income sources where membership fees, donations and supports.

“MAGEN” (Flexible Emergency Response) Project expenses excided NIS1,410.000.

  • After the Second War in Lebanon, as a result of “MAGEN” Project we have received funds that allowed us to partly compensate other activities. We have hired temporary part-time Project Leaders. One of them deals with employment issues, the other concentrates on support and welfare.
  • Since 2002 the association’s offices are generously hosted at Trade Union Building in Tel Aviv. This allows a considerable funds saving.However, we see a great importance in keeping ourselves as a neutral Non-Profit Organization that represents all the disabled community ofIsrael regardless their political preferences. |
    Currently our Office occupies two relatively small rooms that are not enough for our activity. We have to point out that a considerable part of our volunteers are wheelchair-bound, and, thus, require extra space in comparison with a usual office.

 Future Thoughts and Plans (Fulfillment depends on the Budget):

Activity and Human Resources

  1. Extending spokesperson’s position to full-time.
  2. Employing a Parliament Lobbyist on a regular basis to support our vision.
  3. Continuation and widening of the Employment Project (2 Positions)
  4. Continuation and widening of the Support, Counseling and Welfare Project (4 Positions)
  5. Establishment and Management of a consumer club for our members (1/2 Position)
  6. Internet database and access channels’ development, containing rights, activities, initiations, etc. (1/2 Position)
  7. Volunteers’ financial support – mainly travel expenses – around NIS60,000 a year.
  8. Annual Conference – NIS 20,000

Budget key: full-time annual employer’s cost – NIS 120,000

Infrastructure

Locating and renting a set of offices to support the organization’s various activities.

Basically: 3 rooms and a kitchenette accessible by the disabled.

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