Making the Old City more accessible
The City of Jerusalem is taking new steps to ensure that everyone is able to access the holy sites within its borders. One of the latest examples can be found in the city is an app that caters to the needs of the visually impaired. The Center for the Blind in Israel developed a phone application that uses the location of an individual in Jerusalem to link up to their database and tell the person about the place where they are at.
This is nothing short of tremendous for people that are not able to tell one part of the city from another due to problems with their visual acuity. The app works through one’s phone, giving detailed explanations of the places where the visitors go through a speaker or headphones.
The application is very helpful for tourists that can see, but it offers insights that visually impaired people can appreciate more as they try to understand everything about the city. The application is currently available in English, Russian, Arabic and Hebrew.
This app is just one of the ways in which Jerusalem is making the Old City section better equipped to handle people that have disabilities. As the app was launched on June 3 of 2019, the mayor of Jerusalem said that this is just the first of many actions that the city plans to take and that “Jerusalem is leading the way for ancient cities around the world.”
Since millions of people come to Jerusalem in an effort to visit the unique historical and religious areas, there has been a renewed effort on making it accessible to as many people as possible. Just recently, the city installed new walkways that can accommodate more pedestrians and even strollers for young children, allowing new parents to come explore the city. Handrails, wheelchair accessibility, and maps of the city give visitors a good idea about their location have been implemented.
More and more people are coming to Jerusalem to explore the ancient city, and they are setting a positive example with the app and the other measures put into place. As their efforts gain attention, it is ultimately hoped that other countries and religious sites will follow their lead in the future.