Schools to Be Required to Accommodate Disabled Students

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

Disabled and handicapped students and their parents will soon be able to avail themselves of services designed to assist them, both in accessing facilities and in classrooms themselves. The Justice Ministry’s Ombudsman for Equality for Handicapped Individuals has approved a legal framework that will provide specific guidance to educational institutions in what they are required to provide  for handicapped students.

According to the rules, schools will be required to install handicapped-accessible ramps and elevators, as well as other physical equipment, such as acoustic classrooms and facilities to aid students who are hard of hearing, braille and technological resources for blind students, systems for sign language, accessibility for playground equipment and facilities to aid handicapped and disabled students on class trips.

The rules also lay out directives on how to inform students and families of their rights. Until now, providing information and access to such facilities has been based on availability of the resources and the ability of an institution to provide services. With the new rules, institutions will be required to provide resources and services, or find for students alternatives that are acceptable to them.

Avrami Turem, director of the Ombudsman’s office, said that “the inclusion of the educational system in providing appropriate resources for handicapped and disabled students will enable them to receive a proper and full education, opening up for them opportunities in the future. After much effort we have developed a set of rules that will provide true assistance to students and their families.”

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