MKs Disabled For a Day

For the first time in the Knesset, many Knesset Members experienced first-hand the hardships of accessibility for disabled persons.

Malkah Fleisher , | updated: 11:59

Woman in a Wheelchair
Woman in a Wheelchair
Courtesy of Johan Lundberg

For the first time in the Knesset, many Members of Knesset – including Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin – experienced first-hand the issue of accessibility for disabled persons.

They walked with guide dogs, went up ramps in wheelchairs and tried to speak sign language as part of International Disabled Persons Day that was observed Tuesday.

The event took place under the auspices of a special project conducted by "Access Israel" to increase awareness of accessibility issues, using experiential stations to subject the Knesset Members to the challenges faced by thousands of Israelis. "The idea behind the project is to allow Knesset Members to sense, learn and feel, if only for a few minutes, what people with disabilities feel every day their whole lives," said a representative of the organization. 

The organization stressed that "a lack of access to so many places causes 720,000 people with disabilities and their families a lot of suffering, and often prevents them from leaving their homes and taking part in society as citizens with equal rights in a democratic country."

"Access Israel" hopes that the day of experiencing the challenges of life with disabilities will encouraged Knesset Members to pass more legislation and regulations in favor of people affected by the challenges.

Other organizations involved in the experiential day were the Association of Guide Dogs, Tower of Light, an organization assisting the blind, as well as the Golan Winery, which provided wine for a blind wine-and-ice-cream taste test.