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Access Unlimited - Your Guide to Israel: Explanation and presentation

Bendel J, Gur Z. Kalkuda A. Access Unlimited, Your Guide to Israel , Israeli Ministry of Tourism 2003


The guide caters specifically to tourists with disabilities and their families. It enables them to plan their trip and to know what to expect at each site.

Unlike most people’s experience, the quality of a vacation for someone with a disability is a function not only of the ability to enjoy what the sites feature, but also the ability to gain access to the sites themselves.

A visit to an inaccessible site can result in disappointment instead of joy, one that can be compared to settling in a hotel room after a long day and finding out that the toilets are out of order. Can you imagine how you might feel in such a situation? This is a very realistic scenario for a person using a wheelchair, who finds that he cannot even enter the rest room.

Structure of the guide

Each site was audited and graded by our professional staff to determine its level of suitability to individuals with impaired mobility; people using wheelchairs or other devices such as crutches or walkers, as well as those who are visually or hearing-impaired.

The guide has been divided into four major geographic sections, and 11 subsections, traversing the country from north to south. These are followed by a detailed description of all sites in the section, grouped according to type e.g. Attractions, Museums, Holy sites, and Accommodations.

Each site has been given an overall grade rating its accessibility level, with special attention to important elements such as parking, accommodation facilities, restrooms and food services etc. Additional information about accessibility services at petrol stations and road services, airports, facilities for sports activities and beaches are presented in a table format.

The guide is unique due to its simple and clear presentation of the information for people with different types of disabilities. The grades are based on mathematical equations which ensure objectivity as well as consistency. The grade at the top of the description of each site provides a quick screening of the chosen venue, enabling the reader to quickly and efficiently research the specific details of sites which seem most suitable.

Looking at the following example from the guide, you can see that the Underwater Observatory in Eilat is graded 3 for wheelchair users, meaning that the site is fairly accessible. Now you can look for further details. The elements most commonly sought are noted on the left.

In this case the parking is suitable for the wheelchair user – however, the rest room is only partially adapted. The description specifies which elements do not meet the standards. In this way the person knows what to expect and can make a decision as to whether the conditions suit his personal needs or whether he should make special arrangements prior to the visit. Your Guide - grading system example

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