Choice Within the Israeli Welfare State: Lessons Learned from Legal Capacity and Housing Services

Roni Holler, Shirli Werner, Yotam Tolub, Miriam Pomerantz

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter examines the way that the choices of Israeli adults with intellectual disabilities are shaped by different disability laws and other state policies in two domains: legal capacity and housing services. In Israel, legal capacity issues are regulated by the 1962 Legal Capacity and Guardianship Law, which has recently been amended to provide preference for supported decision-making alternatives over guardianship. We show how prior to the amendment the law and its practice infringed on individuals’ right to freedom and autonomy, especially given the extensive use of plenary guardianship and lack of meaningful supervision and regulations. An additional concern is related to the limited consideration given to the individuals’ voice in guardianship appointment processes. The new amendment moved the Israeli legal capacity system a major step away from this guardianship regime. This positive change is currently very much on paper with several concerns and challenges still in need of being addressed.

With regard to housing services, we first focus on the process through which services are provided to adults with intellectual disabilities and the role assigned to service users in the process. We then describe the current housing solutions available in Israel, from the most common, large congregate facilities to community apartments and family homes. Finally, we show how each of these living schemes affects the individuals’ right to choice in their daily lives. We conclude by providing several recommendations that represent initial steps in overcoming some of the aforementioned challenges within the two fields.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationChoice, Preference, and Disability
Subtitle of host publicationpromoting self-determination across the lifespan
EditorsRoger J Stancliffe, Michael L Wehmeyer, Karrie A Shogren, Brian H Abery
PublisherSpringer International Publishing
Number of pages24
ISBN (Electronic)9783030356835
ISBN (Print)9783030356828
StatePublished - 2020


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