Professor Doron Dorfman Publishes 2020 Israeli Municipal Accessibility Index
For the second year—in his capacity as an affiliated researcher at aChord-Social Psychology for Social Change—Professor Doron Dorfman has led a study on attitudes toward disability in Israel and the state of disabled Israelis.
Co-authored by Dorfman, Malkito Azene, and Dr. Yossi Hasson, the Municipal Accessibility Index in Israel 2020 is sponsored by The Ruderman Family Foundation, the Ted Arison Family Foundation, the Israeli Ministry of Justice Commission for Equal Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and JDC Israel.
"This research examines public opinion of the Israeli population toward people with disabilities along with perceptions of Israelis with disabilities and experiences during the COVID-19 pandemic," explain the authors in their research abstract. "This is the fifth year this research has been conducted, [which allows] for a longitudinal analysis of trends and developments in Israeli public opinion."
Among their 2020 findings, the authors report that the research results continue a four-year trend of steady improvement in perceptions, emotions, and behavior toward people with disabilities.
That positivity continued into the COVID-19 pandemic: "The analysis of the perceptions and experiences of people with disabilities with regard to the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrate that during the first lockdown, there was a rise in the sense of community among both disabled and non-disabled Israelis."
However, the report also highlights continuing underemployment of people with disabilities, a situation exacerbated by the pandemic. "In regard to the labor market, only 49% of individuals with disabilities reported they were employed at the time of the survey ... compared with 69% of non-disabled respondents. More people with disabilities reported they were furloughed compared with non-disabled individuals (17% as opposed to 8%)."
"Taken together, the findings from this research showcase the complexity of looking at disability both from an 'inside view' (of people living with disabilities) and an 'outside view' (that of nondisabled individuals), specifically during times of crisis," note Dorfman and his co-authors. Their findings, they hope, will provide an empirical basis to develop laws and policies designed to promote the rights and well-being of Israelis with disabilities.
On Dec. 3, 2020—which is International Day of People with Disabilities—The Jerusalem Post reported on the team's findings in two stories "People with disabilities disproportionately hurt by coronavirus pandemic" and "Israeli public's attitude towards disabled people improving."