// About Us

Bizchut is the leading and longest running organization devoted to promoting the rights of people who have disabilities in Israel. Our deep commitment to social justice leads us to believe that people with all types of disabilities have the right to full equality and inclusion. Several aspects of our work single us out:

Background

Guiding Principles

  • All disabilities - We promote the rights of persons with all disabilities at all levels of functioning. This means our work is not categorized according to type of disability but by rights. 

  • Human rights - Our work is rooted in a human rights worldview. Bizchut was established by the Association for Civil Rights in Israel in 1992 and since then we have been engaged in promoting a human rights discourse on disability rather than approaches that emphasize medical and social care.

  • Policy change - Bizchut seeks to bring about policy change. This is why we choose to focus on issues that have yet to be regulated by law and where a breakthrough is needed in conceptual approach and practice.  

  • Independence - Of some 100 disability organizations with budgets that exceed one million ILS, Bizchut is the only one funded only by donations. We receive no government support and collect no payment for our services. This approach is rooted in our belief in the importance of maintaining full independence when promoting rights vis-a-vis government agencies. 

  • Bifocalism - Bizchut works at both the macro and micro levels. Our Human Rights Hotline, the lectures we give and our activities in the field keep us connected to the reality on the ground. By working on legislation, filing court petitions, engaging in dialogue with government ministries and the media, we impact policy. The connection between the micro and the macro levels runs as a silver thread through all our activities.

Bizchut’s vision:

Promoting the rights of persons with all types of disabilities in all areas of life while securing equality, dignity and full inclusion of persons with disabilities within Israeli society.

Five core values

​Bizchut’s work to promote equality for persons with disabilities is based on five core values. These five values reflect the bleak history of rights violations against persons with disabilities and are also the linchpins of change:

  1. Living in the community - Years of exclusion and tracking into segregated institutions, which remain par for the course in many services delivered to persons with disabilities are countered by promoting independent living for each and every person with a disability.

  2. Accessibility - Equality for persons with disabilities requires the introduction of accommodations in public facilities and services. Equality cannot be discussed without addressing our obligation, as a society, to provide accommodations. Accessibility is a broad term that encompasses both the obligation to make physical locations accessible and also provide a wide range of additional accommodations and supports to enable inclusion and equality persons with non-physical disabilities.

  3. Autonomy and choice - Persons with disabilities are repeatedly denied the right to make their own decisions about their lives as any other person would. Autonomy and choice are the cornerstones of equality and they are constantly called into question in various ways - professional committees that assess service delivery, guardianship appointments, involuntary hospitalizations and more.

  4. Non-discrimination - Persons with disabilities experience discrimination in many arenas - employment, education, public services, admission into cooperative communities and more. Equality cannot be promoted without fighting the various forms of discrimination.

  5. Liberty - Depriving persons with disabilities of their liberty is often perceived to be legitimate - placement in closed institutions, use of physical restraints, isolation, placement in sheltered employment facilities, removing a person’s financial liberty and more. Ensuring the right to liberty is the foundation for promoting the equality of persons with disabilities.

  1. Independent Living - Promoting the right to live in the community and receive personalized services. Bizchut pursues this goal by exposing the violation of rights inside institutions and calling for a transition from institutionalization to independent living. Bizchut is also promoting legislation that will establish the right of every person with a disability to live independently in the community.

  2. Access to Justice - promoting the right to accessible legal proceedings, with an emphasis on police investigations and court proceedings which are currently inaccessible to persons who have psychosocial disabilities, intellectual disabilities, autism and communication impairments. Bizchut promotes training in this field all over the world, works to establish the role of ‘access to justice intermediary’ as a profession and pushes the justice system to recognize and implement its obligations in this area.

  3. Legal Capacity (guardianship) - Promoting the rights of all persons with disabilities to make decisions about their lives based on their will and preferences. As part of this work, Bizchut promotes recognition for supported decision-making, reduced use of guardianship and recognition of alternatives to guardianship.

  4. Education - The right to equal, inclusive education for all students with disabilities. Bizchut promotes the provision of a broader array of services in conjunction with ending segregation/separation of students who have disabilities.

  5. Psychiatric Hospitalization - Ensuring human rights during psychiatric hospitalization with an emphasis on ending the use of physical restraints and isolation and reducing the use of involuntary hospitalization.

  6. Monitoring - promoting monitoring of the state of human rights of persons with disabilities in Israel by both civil society and government.

  7. Promoting the CRPD - Bizchut works to promote the assimilation of the CRPD by submitting shadow reports.

  8. Human Rights Hotline - Bizchut responds to individual requests for assistance on issues affecting the rights of persons with disabilities. Bizchut receives some 1,500 calls every year.

Bizchut’s activity: