Livni touts regulations ensuring access for disabled

New regulations passed by Knesset for disabled to independently access information through braille or hearing devices.

Disabilities wheelchair disabled 521 (photo credit: Moshe Shai)
Disabilities wheelchair disabled 521
(photo credit: Moshe Shai)
Speaking at a ceremony in Tel Aviv on Monday marking the International Day for Disabled Persons’ Rights, Justice Minister Tzipi Livni said accessibility for the disabled was “a societal obligation.”
The ceremony, whose slogan was “Inclusive Service,” also marked the implementation of a number of new regulations for ensuring greater accessibility for disabled persons to various services nationwide.
The regulations, which went into effect in recent weeks, require a wide range of purchasing and implementing of new equipment and policies so that persons with a variety of disabilities – including the blind and the deaf – will be able to independently access information through braille or hearing devices.
The new regulations were passed by the 18th Knesset and apply to all government offices, other public bodies and certain private sector services. All offices for which the regulations apply have six months to update their policies.
“Some things that are taken for granted – like going up some small stairs and trying on clothes in a store – are not taken for granted by disabled persons,” Livni said. The justice minister added that improving access to services for the disabled was the “way to ensure true equality and to make it possible for them to participate,” even if it it involves investing resources and efforts.
Karin Elharar, a wheelchairbound Yesh Atid MK who is also chairwoman of the Coalition for Integrating Children with Disabilities, said the new regulations “provide a response to issues that until now did not exist,” and that new levels of accessibility could “transform their lives for the better.”
Justice Ministry directorgeneral Guy Rothkof also announced that the ministry had received funding for 20 new positions designated for disabled persons, and called for joining “the Justice Ministry family.”