Rivlin: People with disabilities entitled to full equality of opportunity

President meets with the Equal in the Livingroom initiative for people with disabilities.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

President Rivlin
President Rivlin
Flash 90

President of Israel Reuven Rivlin today, Sunday, met with the Equal in the Livingroom initiative for people with disabilities. Commissioner for Equal Rights for People with Disabilities Avremi Torem and Vital Zinger, Paralympian and leading campaigner for equal rights for people with disabilities also participated in the meeting.

Equality in the Livingroom is a national educational campaign that will hold one hundred virtual parlor meetings where people with disabilities will share their stories. The initiative was established by the Commission for Equal Rights for People with Disabilities at the Ministry of Justice to mark this month’s International Day for Equal Rights for People with Disabilities.

“As a society and as individuals, we sometimes tend to relate to people with disabilities as those who need ‘helping’ or to ‘do them a favor’, to be charitable. This last month and today’s event here remind us all, as individuals, as organizations and businesses and as policy-makers that people with disabilities like all Israelis, are entitled to full equality of opportunity. By right, and not on sufferance,” said the president.

He added, “The State of Israel and Israeli society have come a long way regarding the integration of people with disabilities in the workforce, accessibility of buildings and services, in education and culture, in leisure and welfare. But there is no doubt that we have not finished and that there is much work still ahead of us. Particularly now, as we are dealing with the corona crisis, when many people’s finances and health have been affected, we must do all we can to ensure that no-one is left behind.”

“Dear Vital, it is a great honor to welcome you here, as a Paralympian, social activist and an inspiring woman. Your story is proof positive that there is nothing standing in the way of disability and that with a great deal of desire and one small opportunity, the sky is the limit,” he said, ending his remarks by saying,” I wish that in the coming year we will all continue to create opportunities, to work for accessibility to services and activities and to create Israeli Hope for all Israelis.”

Commissioner for Equal Rights for People with Disabilities Avremi Torem: “Thank you, President Rivlin, for hosting Equal in the Livingroom and for your great support for this issue. People with disabilities are 20% of our society and are to be found in every part of it: in Bet El, in Tel Aviv, in Tira and in Kibbutz Rosh Hanikra. We created Equal in the Livingroom to break down the stigmas around people with disabilities and to hear their stories. Each one of us has a vital role to play of acquaintance and acceptance in our society. Only together can we create a strong Israeli society that includes all parts of the people. A society like this is one we want to live in and to bring our children up in.”