The former Minister of Social Welfare and Social Affairs (MOLSA), Mr. Isaac Herzog, instructed the Division of Services for People with Intellectual Disabilities in the MOLSA to convene an international panel of experts in order to obtain evidence-based data and various opinions concerning Israel’s services as compared to other Western countries. The report, based on the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities, recommended that Israel should finalize the transformation in ideology and policy concerning community residential options for persons with ID, whereby, in the near future, practices may be guided by the personal choice and preferences of the individual. More specifically, it is recommended that:
1. A change in background legislation (i.e., laws and regulations) needs to take place so that community-based housing and services become the clearly preferred and mainstream policy option. 2. A change in legal capacity legislation (and a publicly announced policy of interpreting existing legislation expansively) to ensure that persons with ID are given an equal right to express their own preferences and to have others respect their choices.
3. A comprehensive and systematic transitional-program needs to be designed in order to develop community infrastructure and services. Community-based residential services should be quality services and should promote community inclusion, facilitate choice and self-determination. 4. Parallel to these developments, all institutions should be phased-down and eventually closed; Persons who reside in such institutions need to be gradually transferred to community-based residences. 5. Service budgets should be individualized. That is, delivered services should be grounded in personal choice and the will and needs of the individual and family. Services for adults with ID should become person-centered and the services for children, family-centered. This, of course, implies a new approach to the legal capacity of persons with ID.