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Hod Hasharon will spend NIS 19 million on an "accessibility" program for the disabled throughout the city over the next 11 years, reports Yediot Hasharon. One of the central aspects of the program will be forcing business owners to make their premises accessible as a condition for obtaining a business license.
According to the report, some 5,600 residents of Hod Hasharon have "special needs," including 1,200 disabled adults, 580 disabled army veterans, and 100 people with severely impaired vision. The city has already spent NIS 1.7m. in recent years on special projects for the disabled, including lowering sidewalks, building two classrooms for the hearing-impaired, and arranging special dance classes. The city now expects to spend NIS 1.6m. in the next year, continuing the work on lowering the sidewalks, as well as installing 10 traffic light systems for the hearing-impaired and making five public buildings accessible.
Mayor Hai Adiv said the city would not issue business licenses to owners whose premises were not accessible to the disabled, and the city was holding discussions with business owners on how to do this. "As a local authority, we are doing all we can to create the optimal conditions for accessibility and safety for the entire public," Adiv said.
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