Newsletter Spring 2015

Happy Pesach and Happy Easter, refreshing and energizing spring festivals!

In honor of the festival of freedom, we’d like to share with you 3 encouraging freedom stories – people whose lives have changed for the better after being released from limiting situations.

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Rami is a person with Aspergers.  For many years his guardian made decisions for him, including the fact that he lived in a hostel.  With help from Bizchut, he managed to have the guardianship arrangement cancelled.  We helped Rami make his case to the guardianship agency that was in charge of his finances but didn’t do what he requested or respond to his needs. Today, Rami lives in a student apartment in the north with roommates he has chosen.  He is in charge of his life, he has the freedom to choose his friends and no-one else makes decisions for him or decides how he should spend his money.

To arrange a lecture on alternatives to guardianship (in Hebrew) press here.

freedom

Ami, who if from the center of Israel spent months in a psychiatric hospital where he was restrained and tied up for hours at a time, often in contravention of existing procedures.  Following intervention by Bizchut that included a demand to reduce the restraints and to obtain a second opinion, Ami is no longer considered a danger to himself or his surroundings.  He life has turned around: he is still in hospital but is no longer tied up for most of every day and goes home regularly for visits.  This year the festival of freedom has a different meaning for Ami and his devoted family.

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Almog is a young man with a disability who was beaten and humiliated by a gang of boys at his school.  He decided to make a complaint to the police and the main suspect in the case was charged.  Many people with intellectual or mental disabilities are denied the basic right of having their complaints heard or giving testimony in court stemming from the mistaken assumption that their evidence is not admissible or that they don’t have the capability or capacity to give testimony.  Thanks to accommodations in investigative and testimonial procedures provided by Bizchut, Almog was able to tell his side of the story in court.  When the verdict was read out and it was clear the suspect had been convicted, Almog felt as though his freedom had been returned to him!