Abstract of S. Chaimovitz lecture


S. Chaimovitz
Commission for Equal Rights for People with Disabilities, Ministry of Justice,

We in Israel are in the middle of an extraordinary process in which the
public space is being redesigned in order to make possible the full
participation of people with a wide range of disabilities. Much more still
needs to be done, but much progress has been made. As one of a
number of individuals in Israel who has been intimately involved in this
entire process, including direct responsibility for the area of
accessibility in the Commission for Equal Rights for People with
Disability in the Justice Ministry since its inception over ten years ago,
I would like to take this opportunity to share with participants my own
"birds eye view" of where we have been and where we are going in
this process. I will discuss the range of factors that have facilitated
progress, including advances in technology, new regulations,
expectations of those who will benefit from the changes, and the
positive public image of organizations that make themselves
accessible. I will draw on our extensive experience in the Commission
to illustrate the operation of each of these factors. Finally, I will discuss
the interface between the fields of rehabilitation and accessibility, and
suggest that rehabilitation professionals would do well to encourage
people in their care to insist upon accessibility in the different spheres
of their lives, and thereby to play an active role in promoting the
"accessibility revolution".

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