Children’s Rights – Special Needs and Integration
Since its establishment, our Firm has been working to promote the rights of child pupils with special needs (autism, Down syndrome and other disabilities). In doing so, we have represented parents and families in their struggles to integrate child pupils into regular educational institutions, obtaining rights in special education schools, placing toddlers in day care rehab institutions, preventing suspension and exclusion from educational frameworks, and variety of other issues related to children’s rights.
We believe in the right of every person to integrate into the community (the “right of integration”), in that a healthy society is measured in its ability to contain the different, and the right of each parent to choose his or her child’s educational framework according to their educational view.
Globally, in the last few decades, the movement to integrate students with special needs into ordinary educational settings has expanded, and we see this as an extremely welcome and important trend. Over the years, we have represented dozens and more parents of pupils with autism, Down syndrome, and other disabilities in their struggle to integrate into normal educational settings. Despite the difficulties, we believe that there is room for optimism and over time the integration of the special child will become a rule and will not be considered a unique phenomenon.
At the same time, we see ourselves as an address to every parent whose rights and children’s rights have been violated, whether they choose to integrate their child in a regular setting, or in a special education setting, and of course also to parents of ordinary children whose rights are violated – and this often happens. Petitions that we have filed have often resulted in courts ordering the Ministry of Education to integrate the child to the educational settings requested by the parents, and over the years, the children have successfully integrated into what the parents requested and also were able to integrate into their community .
As part of the advocacy for the autistic community and promoting the struggle of special needs students, the Firm has been operating for a decade, in full cooperation with the ALOT – a non-profit organization, a legal support project that assisted hundreds of families to date. At the same time, the Firm is working to promote the Down Syndrome community and provides the Center for Integration of the YATED association, for many years, with ongoing legal assistance as well as assistance to families facing difficulties vis-a-vis the Ministry of Education.