Tuesday, September 27, 2016

New tentacles for Aleh

July 2016 visitors to Aleh's
desert facility [Image Source]
Many of you believe institutionalization can be defeated without ever mentioning Aleh - flag bearer of Israeli institutionalization. Many of you explain that singling out Aleh, the largest chain of institutions in this country, will only weaken the movement. You emphasize that our goal must be to shut them all down. And that we must resist being side-tracked by attacks on specific ones.

And so, fortuitously for Aleh, it remains unhindered by that activism.

Aleh is expanding, flourishing and extending new tentacles throughout this country unimpeded by laws, judicial decisions or negative publicity. Moreover it is winning the praise and largesse of people from every walk of life in the Jewish community both in Israel and abroad. People who are, inexplicably, ignorant of the global movement to de-institutionalize all people with disabilities. And Aleh is gloating about all that. Just visit its website.

Which brings me to its latest project: a new town beside its desert institution, aka Aleh Negev. Now you may wonder, with good reason, why an enterprise dealing in children with disabilities would segue to the real estate domain. But it is easily understood when you just look at all the other realms it occupies in addition to its original, core raison d'etre: institutionalization.

Here is its latest media release reporting the September 13th laying of the cornerstone for Aleh Negev's" new residential neighborhood...
The new neighborhood will be adjacent to the village [that refers to the institution (FR)] and will enable staff, volunteers and students to be more available and more accessible to the village’s residents and patients, saving valuable time currently spent on long drives to work, and contributing to the unity and quality of life of the village’s staff..." [Aleh source
First, it's noteworthy that Aleh'a PR cronies themselves concede here that, in this institution, more than 200 individuals exist in isolation from the rest of society. They can only be reached by their caregivers, according to the Aleh site, after "long drives to work" leaving them not very "available or accessible" to their charges.

Of course, it goes without saying that depositing highly-dependent people in such a location also isolates them from their own families who may not have the time or resources to trek there often.

This real estate venture is just another of several initiatives that Aleh is embarking on. Another is the construction of "hospital wings" in each of its branches. The argument is that such wings - and huge sums of money are already being raised for them - will enable residents in need of hospitalization to be cared for in the very institution where they exist 24/7. But why? Ambulances can transport them just as easily as abled people.

Aren't people with disabilities in need of hospitalization entitled to the same standard of hospital care as the the rest of the population? Should they be treated in some two-bit, ersatz hospital "wing" just because it will help open the purses of compassionate, ignorant donors?

I haven't heard any other protests against these "hospital wings". Please let me know your views on this issue.

Israeli activists for people with disabilities: wake up and smell the coffee.

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