Legal Advice & Grassroots Advocacy

National and International Advocacy

Promoting the rights of persons with disabilities is not just a moral imperative; it’s a matter of social justice. It has to do with creating societies where everyone, regardless of their abilities or disabilities, can enjoy the same opportunities and lead fulfilling lives.

Advocacy encompasses a range of activities and initiatives that strive to break down barriers and ensure that individuals with disabilities enjoy the same rights and opportunities as everyone else. Involves raising awareness about the challenges faced by people with disabilities, including lobbying for legislative changes and the elaboration of public policies that protect and enhance the rights of persons with disabilities.

National Level

In the national context, through well-planned public interventions before the Knesset (Israeli Parliament), relevant Ministries, and other public authorities, AKIM has been leading the push for significant changes in legislation and public policies concerning the rights of persons with disabilities in Israel and the welfare of those providing care and support for these population.

In 2023, AKIM led the coalition lobbying for improved compensation for direct care professionals, which has come to a successful conclusion with a new agreement that provides a significant increase in salaries. AKIM CEO Sigal Peretz Yahalomi spearheaded the coalition and led the struggle. The total package of additional funding amounts to 330 million NIS (90 million USD).

AKIM also have played a major role in helping shape a new ground-breaking law that passed in 2022 fostering the transition of persons with disabilities from institutional to community living. Adopting a person-centered approach, according to the new law the tailoring of services (personal plan) will be based on input from the person her/himself.

The legislation anchors the principle of “budget follows the person”, where the monetary support will be allocated to the person, who will choose how best to access services. The bill is accompanied by a significant allocation directed mainly towards advancing inclusion in the community.

International Level

Advocacy requires collaboration, network building, and coordinated efforts. In the International arena, AKIM has also been playing an increased role throughout the years.

The International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) was adopted by the UN in December 2006, and entered into force on May 3, 2008, establishing international standards for the implementation of human rights of persons with disabilities in all aspects of life. The State of Israel ratified the CRPD in 2012, and thus is actively obligated to promote equality for persons with disabilities in all areas of life, while monitoring its internal progress of implementation.

Every four years, the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, a group formed by 18 international experts, holds a review session to access the level of implementation by State-Parties, of rights and obligations deriving from the CRPD.
Israel periodically reports to the UN Committee, and AKIM Israel closely follow up this process and actively contribute to this international process.

The most recent session took place in August 2023 in Geneva. To support the discussions and influence the concluding observations of the Committee. AKIM presented a report, whose content can be accessed here

AKIM is also a member of Inclusion International, an international network of people with intellectual disabilities and their families.

Zero Winner 2020

AKIM won the Zero Project Award 2020 with the project “Making museums and sites of leisure cognitively accessible”, in collaboration with Keren Shalem and the National Insurance Funds.

Since 2021 the organization was granted Consultative Status in the ECOSOC – the UN Economic Social and Cultural Rights Council.

Legal Advice & Grassroots Advocacy

AKIM’s advocacy on behalf of people with IDD is led by a legal department widely regarded for its unparalleled professionalism. Specializing in the fields of disability legislation and the rights of people with disabilities, our team combines legal experience and passion with community activism and compassion. They are shaping the world to meet the needs of all people and actively advocating for the realization of rights.