‘Disabled US Jews twice as likely to live in poverty

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18 Nov 2021, 8:37 am

Jerusalem Post

Quote:
A comprehensive survey released Wednesday of 2,321 Jews asked about disability issues showed progress on some fronts but huge challenges on others.

The survey was carried out by RespectAbility, a US nonprofit organization that fights stigmas and advances opportunities so people with disabilities can participate fully in all aspects of the community.

On the positive side, it demonstrated that Jewish communal organizations are making steady advances toward building a more inclusive community for people with physical, sensory, mental health and other disabilities.

At the same time, the survey identified substantially higher poverty rates among those with disabilities, in spite of high levels of education and a strong desire to work on the part of this community.

The new study showed that 65% of respondents felt the Jewish community was better at including people with disabilities compared to five years ago. Only 1% felt the community was doing worse.

But the income gaps among disabled and nondisabled were pronounced. While many respondents preferred not to answer income level, among those who did, there were significant differences between those with and without a disability at the highest and lowest ranges of income.

But one in five people with disabilities noted they or another disabled individual in their household have been “turned away from an activity at an organization in [their] faith community because of its inability or unwillingness to make a reasonable accommodation.”

The surge in the use of virtual formats in response to the COVID-19 pandemic increased the ability of 73% of disabled individuals to access their faith community.

Fifty-seven percent said that their faith organizations have made commitments to “diversity, equity and inclusion”; and among those, 88% included disability as part of their diversity.


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