Yutah with MK Gilon (seated) and Eran Yosub.
(photo credit: Lahav Harkov)
Every June, the Knesset marks “Blind Day,” when seeing-eye dogs help MKs, who are blindfolded to feel what it’s like to be blind, walk through an obstacle course.
Now, a golden retriever in a jacket will be a ubiquitous sight in the Knesset, as Yutah the puppy trains to one day help a blind person navigate his or her way.
Yutah is being trained by Eran Yosub, an intern for MK Ilan Gilon (Meretz).
“She’s a lot less harmful than a lot of other people in this building,” Gilon, who has dogs of his own, quipped Wednesday.
“The first time I talked to [Gilon’s staff], I said I’m not coming alone, I come with Yutah every day,” Yosub recounted. “Unlike other workplaces, which saw her as a problem, things when smoothly here and everyone was in favor of it.”
Yosub said Yutah “is working hard and is ready to help,” joking that “she has a few bills ready.”
Gilon, who walks with a cane or rides a scooter around the Knesset because of a handicap from polio, is very active in advocating for the disabled.
“We don’t say handicapped. Everyone has their strengths and weaknesses,” he said.
On Wednesday, Yutah’s first day at the Knesset, the Subcommittee for Accessibility was reestablished, with Gilon returning to the helm.
“In recent years, there have been positive and far-reaching developments in the area of accessibility, but the sense is that there can always be more, so that Israel will be more accessible and so that no staircase or curb can be an obstacle for a person to get where he wants,” Gilon said after being voted in to the job.