A man in a wheelchair [Illustrative]..
(photo credit: Carlos Jasso/Reuters)
Justice Minister Tzipi Livni on Sunday announced that she would be ordering
various outdoor public areas, such as cemeteries, playgrounds and beaches, to be
made accessible to the disabled.
While many public buildings already have
rules relating to accessibility to the disabled, the same has not been equally
true about outdoor public areas until now.
Livni rolled out the new
policy with a letter to Interior Minister Gideon Sa’ar to put him as well as the
local municipalities under his authority on notice.
The justice minister
will put most of the onus for making the designated public areas accessible,
including financially, on the local municipalities.
As a result, the
statement noted that the new order would take effect in stages, to defray the
cost to municipalities over time, for making the necessary
While some locally maintained areas will need to be adjusted
to be accessible to the disabled by November 2018, some will have until November
Further, Livni stated that in cases where an adjustment was
impossible for objective, engineering reasons or to preserve the natural
landscape, exemptions would be available or alternative approaches would be
“The rules constitute another step in ensuring the rights of
the disabled ‘to participate equally and to be active in society in all areas of
life’ as dictated by law,” Livni wrote in the letter.
She added that she
was also delaying final implementation pending final approval by Finance
Minister Yair Lapid.