The Rights of People with Disabilities Clinic

 

"As a student, the Clinic offered us a unique look into the complex world of individuals with disabilities. This firsthand experience offered us a new perspective and understanding, beyond what we would learn from a textbook. We met with academics and a community activist who work tirelessly to promote an accessible world for us all. In addition, we were able to practice handling disability discrimination cases and promoted policy change projects."

second-year law student 

 

The Rights of People with Disabilities Clinic works to promote the integration of people with disabilities into society in two main areas — by realizing their rights in the fields of higher education and the employment market; and by advocating for policy change and for the active implementation and enforcement of existing legislation. This mission is reflected in four main activities: pro-bono legal advice for individuals and non-governmental organizations in the field of disabilities; advancing and advocating for policy change to promote equality for people with disabilities; legal work on precedent-leading cases, including filing petitions with Israel’s Supreme Court; and raising public awareness of disability issues and rights. 

 

Among the Clinic's recent achievements: 

  1. The Clinicachieveda settlementfor 50,000 NIS of compensation for a women with a mental disability who was employed by the Eilat municipality for 30 years as an assistant in a nursery school. She was dismissed without notice and the municipality refused to consider her an “employee” during the entire period.

  2. Accommodation at the workplace: The Clinic submitted a petition to the Tel-Aviv Labour Court on behalf of a client suffering from a visual impairment who is highly educated. The client applied for work at two market research companies, explaining that due to his blindness he needs a special program installed on the computer, which provides accessibility to the text appearing on the screen (a reading device). Both companies refused to install the device on their computer, even refusing to examine this possibility. The Court issued a highly important precedent, determining that employers must make active efforts to hire candidates with disabilities, and that once a person's application was rejected on the basis of his disability, including lack of effort to make accommodations, the burden of proof lies with the employer. The court awarded the client damages of 45,000 NIS.