Friday, October 18, 2013

The Disabled in Israel

There's been a lot of misinformation about the situation of the disabled in Israel. My colleagues at Myers-JDC-Brookdale have done some interesting research into what the integration looks like, and where the challenges are.

There are some really fascinating and important findings in their research. First and foremost ... there's a significant percent of the population living with disabilities: 

 About a million Israelis (a quarter of the working-age population), have at least one disability, and almost half of those have more than one disability. The rates of disability are much higher for Arab-Israelis and Ethiopian-Israelis.

 19% of the working-age population have a moderate-to-severe disability and 6% a mild disability.

 Over 260,000 individuals receive some type of disability pension from the Social Security Institute, and the numbers have been growing rapidly. Another 50,000 people receive disability allowances from the Israel Defense Forces. 200,000 receive other forms of on-going income support.

 Disabilities are associated with complex health challenges: Diabetes is 3 times greater and high blood pressure is 2 times greater among working-age adults with disabilities than among the general population.

 About 40% of working-age adults with disabilities have children under age 18, and 20% have children under age 10.

Second, about 200,000 children (8% of all children) have a disability, and 40% of these have multiple disabilities 

 About 18% of families have a child with a disability.

 Children with disabilities are over-represented among children at risk. One-third of all children identified by programs for children at risk have some type of disability.

 More than 154,000 children with recognized disabilities are in the education system (from pre-school to high school).
85% attend regular schools, expanding opportunities for students but presenting challenges for the schools.

Third, there's a growing recognition of need to focus attention on young adults with disabilities 

 Almost 40% of young adults who are not working or studying have a disability!

If you want more information and sources on these findings, message me, or contact my colleagues at Myers-JDC-Brookdale. If you want to receive this blog on a regular basis by email (about twice a week, depending on what else I'm up to), sign up in the top-right box where it says "follow" ...

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