(photo credit: COURTESY YAD SARAH)
Trips to nature and historic sites around the country for people confined to wheelchairs are being organized for the first time by Yad Sarah.
More than 1.5 million Israelis suffer disabilities, among them many unable to walk. Although much progress has been made in recent years to make such sites accessible, there is still a long way to go, according to the voluntary organization that assists the sick, disabled and lonely.
The physically disabled who go on tours often find that once they manage to reach site, tour guides are unaware of the medical and other needs of the disabled and move around too fast for them to be part of the group, said organization director-general Moshe Cohen. The Yad Sarah tours, however, are completed suited to the disabled, who are taken by Nechonit vans, with resting time, eating places and other factors chosen with their needs in mind.
The first one already took the disabled on a four of Jaffa. Kobi Bar, a tour guide who led the group as a volunteer, said: “It was a privilege to share our knowledge with people who have special needs and show them our beautiful country. We are contributing to their quality of life.”
The vans take participants aged 18 and older from their homes and return them when the trip ends. For information and making arrangements, call *6444.