Thursday, February 9, 2017

Joining the struggle against institutionalization

Caption reads: "There were buildings where the stench was simply
unbearable..." Screen grab from the Israel
Channel 2 TV expose of serious deficiencies at
Neve Ha'irus (full video online here)
One couple on the Bizchut forum with whom I've communicated (see "My contribution to Bizchut's forum on the Neve Ha'irus scandal" and "The evils of institutionalization are now on the front burner" and "One small step for people with disabilities - Help make it a giant leap") is now compiling a list of Israeli parents whose children with disabilities live at home.

The goal is to gain some traction for our fight to win "personal assistance baskets" (in Hebrew: סל סיוע אישי). That is the only way to right the injustice being perpetrated by our government: it spends over $3,500 (13,374 shekels) per month on, for instance, every child in the Aleh institutions.

Children with disabilities living with their families receive a tiny fraction of that via National Insurance.

If you are such a family and resent the way we are unfairly saving the government millions of shekels in outlays each year at the expense of our children's welfare, please add your name to this list.

If you like, submit your details to me via this form [click] and I will pass them along to the parent who is compiling the list.

Also, anybody interested in demonstrating on behalf of the closure of Neve Ha'irus (see my post "Not a Dickensian tale" for background), Bizchut is organizing a protest outside that institution for people with disabilities today.

Here is what Naama Lerner of Bizchut wrote on the Bizchut forum (translated to English by me):
On Thursday, 09/02, we will demonstrate opposite the institution, Neve Ha'irus. Neve Hairus is a paradigm for all similar institutions in Israel. And we will tell the State, "Shut down all these institutions. incorporate the concept of in-community living in the law of equality and appoint an ombudsman to ensure that cases like this do not recur." 
With regard to our personal initiative, though, Naama wrote:
"Leave it to us and the Knesset members, Uri Maklav and Ilan Gilon. In order for the new law regarding fully funded  in-community living and personal assistance baskets to progress it must pass a vote in the Knesset committee for legislation. The cabinet ministers on that committee are opposed to it because of its high cost and primarily because it involves significant structural changes to the Ministry of Welfare. We are embarking on a major campaign to soften those committee members and to convince them to pass the bill. It will be a long haul. Sadly." 
Later she added:
"It will be a slow struggle, a sisyphian one, and there is no alternative but to conduct it will lots of patience and teeth-gritting."

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