Study: Disabled Face Employment Discrimination

YERUSHALAYIM -
An aide takes care of an elderly Israeli man sitting in a wheelchair. Photo by Abir Sultan/Flash90
An aide takes care of an elderly Israeli man sitting in a wheelchair. (Abir Sultan/Flash90)

Some 700,000 Israelis of working age are considered disabled, but fewer of them have jobs now than in the past, a study by the government office in charge of equal opportunity for the disabled said in a report presented to the Knesset Tuesday. The report was unveiled as the Knesset commemorated an international day for the promotion of rights of the disabled.

Slightly more than half – 51 percent – of Israelis ages 18 to 65 were working in 2015, compared to 79 percent of the general population in 2014. Income in households where one of the spouses is disabled is 25 percent less than for nondisabled Israelis, and 56 percent of the disabled earn less than NIS 6,000 a month, compared to 45 percent of the nondisabled.

Even worse is the situation for visually impaired Israelis. Fifty-six percent of Israelis with disabilities other than visual impairment are employed, according to the Migdal Or organization which works with visually impaired individuals – but only 33.2 percent of visually impaired Israelis work. It takes a blind or visually impaired individual between one and two years to find a job on average, double the time for nondisabled people.

The study included a poll of 100 disabled Israelis, as a scientifically determined representative sample of the disabled population. Fifty-eight percent of those polled said they had been discriminated against in the hiring process because of their situations. Forty-five percent said that they had been insulted or discriminated against while on the job. Sixty-four percent said they did not report discrimination – which is against the law – because they did not believe that it would make any difference.