Old City of Yerushalayim to Become Handicapped-Friendly


old-city-of-yerushalayimGood news for disabled people seeking to tour Yerushalayim: The capital’s Old City and holy sites will soon be made more accessible to invalids. Invalids using wheelchairs will be able to move around the quarters, deaf people will be able to “listen” to explanations about the different places, and blind people will be able to tour the Old City with the help of special technological means.

 The National Insurance Institute’s fund for the development of services for the disabled and the YerushalayimDevelopment Authority recently allotted NIS 10 million (about $ 2.7 million) to make the Old City of Yerushalayimfully accessible to invalids.

 The Old City is one of the most important tourism spots in Israel and the world, and is visited every year by many tourists. But disabled people find it difficult to tour the Old City’s quarters, markets and holy places due to lack of accessibility for people using wheelchairs and people with other disabilities.

Providing accessibility will include making the Shaar Yaffo compound suitable for invalids and preparing accessible walking tracks in the Jewish, Christian and Muslim quarters. The NII is also looking into buying a car to drive disabled people around the Old City.

In addition, central tourist attractions will be made accessible, including the Tower of David Museum, the YerushalayimArchaeological Park and Davidson Center, the City of David and the Herodian Quarter and Wohl Archaeological Museum in the Jewish Quarter.

 People with eyesight or hearing disabilities will be introduced to hearing aid, three-dimensional models which can be touched, vocal signs and visual transcriptions.

NII Director-General Esther Dominissini says she hopes the Old City project “will provide additional touring and recreation options for people with disabilities.”

{Yair Alpert-Matzav.com Israel/Ynet}