Mapping the terrain of disability legislation: the case of Israel

Arie Rimmerman, Michal Soffer, Dana David, Tsilly Dagan, Roni Rothler, Lior Mishaly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


In this study we systematically map and analyze all disability-related laws and regulations in Israel from 1948 – the year the State of Israel was established – to the present. All 55 laws and 124 regulations (and their amendments) that addressed disability were analyzed via qualitative content analysis; we categorized the legislation into either bio-medical-based policy or rights-based policy. Findings show that most of the legislation reflects the bio-medical approach. Bio-medical-based legislation is being carried out in Israel alongside rights-based legislation even after the enactment of the Equal Rights for Persons with Disabilities Law of 1998. It seems that legislators tend to perceive disability as synonymous to impairment, as a personal tragedy and a medical problem, rather than as a civil rights issue.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)46-58
Number of pages13
JournalDisability and Society
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2 Jan 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014, Taylor & Francis.


This work was supported by the Division for Research and Planning of the National Security Institute of Israel.

FundersFunder number
Division for Research and Planning
National Security Institute of Israel


    • Israel
    • bio-medical model
    • disability legislation
    • social model


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