Disability Rights Clinic
In Israel today, an estimated 10% of the population lives with physical, sensory, mental or cognitive disabilities. Although Israel has undergone extensive legislative reform in the area of disabilities, proactive advocacy on behalf of persons with disabilities has long been neglected, and therefore the implementation of these reforms leaves much to be desired.
The Disability Rights Legal Clinic was established in 2003 in response to this painful reality. The Clinic provides legal aid and disability rights information to persons with disabilities in Israel and their family members, empowering them and fighting for their equality under the law in all areas of life. The most common problems that arise concern accessibility, social security, guardianship, housing, employment, insurance, special education, medical treatment, and governmental benefits.
The Clinic is based upon three founding principles: legal advocacy, outreach and education. The clinic functions on all these levels - it is a legal aid center for people with disabilities and their families, an information center concerning the rights of people with disabilities, serving both individuals and organizations, and an educational-practical course for our students.
The Clinic's services are provided by third- year law students, who are guided, taught and trained by the two Clinic lawyers. The students draft letters and appeals, represent clients in negotiations, and prepare written legal rights information and guidance for people with disabilities. Ours is the first and only Clinic in Israel where disability law is taught and practiced. The Clinic receives an average of 100 requests for assistance each month.