Livni orders municipalities to make outdoor areas accessible to disabled

Burden of providing accessibility will be put on local municipalities; final implementation is pending Lapid's approval.

A man in a wheelchair [Illustrative]. (photo credit: Carlos Jasso/Reuters)
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 adjustments.
While some locally maintained areas will need to be adjusted to be accessible to the disabled by November 2018, some will have until November 2021.
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 explored.
“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.