Since the early hours of the morning, thousands of visitors came to the Port of Tel Aviv for the "Feeling Accessibility" happening themed "accessibility sports on land, air and sea", which took place on Friday, the 1st of June.
The event was the initiative of Access Israel in association with the Israeli Paralympic Committee, Israel Sports Association for the Disabled, Ministry of Culture and Sport, the Port of Tel Aviv and the Tel Aviv Municipality.
At the beginning of the happening, approximately 600 students from different primary schools of the Tel Aviv area arrived, participated at the various challenges and stations and met people with disabilities. Throughout the event, experiential games like basketball in wheelchairs, goalball, tennis in a wheelchair, rugby, tandem cycling for the blind etc. were held.
Identifying with people with disabilities
The object of this festive event was to increase awareness and identification with people with disabilities. The event offered a close encounter with various disabilities and allowed the participants to experience different sports for people with disabilities as well as other fun and challenging activities simulating as much as possible the feeling of having a disability, while showing the great potential of people with disabilities.
At the height of the happening, a fleet of Challenges Association boats as well as aircrafts of the Israeli Light Sport Aircraft Association passed over the Herzliya and Tel Aviv shores in honor of people with disabilities.
The visitors experienced blind walking and the feeling of having a physical disability while drawing graffiti with gloves on their hands
Experiencing disabilities and accessible sports
This unique happening featured a large variety of awareness and experiencing compounds under the "You have to try to understand" slogan, where visitors could experience disability first hand, through blind ice cream tasting, wheelchair obstacle courses, blind walking, graffiti with gloves, sign language tattoos, exposure to hearing impairment and many other activities. The event was made possible through the cooperation of many organizations and NPOs such as the Challenges Association, Shema, BeKol, MeHalev, Lighthouse etc.
In addition, an exhibition of games of sports for people with disabilities took place where visitors could participate, such as: wheelchair basketball, goalball, tennis, rugby, tandem cycling for the blind and other surprises.
Visitors participated in a wheelchair basketball games and experienced sitting water skiing using virtual reality technology
The main ceremony
The main ceremony in honor of Access Israel's 19 years of activity was hosted by Ilan Gazit, during which the search to discover the "next star" of Israel's Paralympic Sports, which incorporates all accessible sport activities, was officially opened.
According to Access Israel's founder Yuval Wagner, "We Searched for an original way to promote accessibility and equality for people with disabilities. 'Feeling accessibility in the air, the sea and on land', is unique in Israel and around the world. The port of Tel Aviv was chosen for its accessibility and wonderful sea and promenade ambiance. We are delighted to see a diverse audience of families, children, youth and athletes taking part in this extraordinary and educational event, having sporting, sensory and artistic experiences and meeting people with disabilities".
Yuval Wagner on stage The visitors while tasting ice cream blind
We would like to thank all the partner organizations who participated in organizing this day, without them, it would not have been possible: "Etgarim", which operated today a number of stations, ILAN Club, Spivak Ramat Gan, Beit Halochem Tel Aviv, Mehalev, Bekol, Migdal-Or, Yad Sarah, Alvin, Simchat Halev Association.
A huge thank you to all the sponsors and organizations which made sure that this kind of activity can take place: the Ministry of Culture and Sport , Amot , and Hapoalim Bank who contributed the main patronage, the Tel Aviv Municipality and The Port of Tel Aviv, Harel, Leumi Bank, Ben Leumi Bank, Mehalev, Nature Valley, Migdal, Sadan, Ista , Toto, Southern Sports, Eyal Coatings, Hydrophix, Team 3, IKEA, Superpharm, Kilat, Crowne Plaza, Yochananoff, Osem, Nestle and Lavetach.
Thank You to the joint Access Israel and Paralympic Committee team who had worked tirelessly to organize the event, And especially: Head of Access Israel's educational department Liat Ori, Access Israel's instructors, Israel's Paralympic Committee's CEO Nissim Sasportas, and Avi, Oren and Shirel from the Israel's Paralympic Committee's .
Access Israel North – A.I.N
Access Israel – the Eilat and Arava district
Space for Independent Life in the Galilee and the Golan
Sweet Theater group
The greatest thanks to all the volunteers, the inspirational athletes - love you, you are champions!
Special thanks to the producer of this event :
Oranit Ben Dror of Events that Touch
Technical producer – Gil Biran and the Rakefet team
The Public Relations Office - Lea Schneider
Shai Sagi of One Man Brand, in charge of all the professional design surrounding us.
See you in the 2019 'Feeling Accessibility' event!
To the event's photo album click here
Photography: Guy Taieb
participants go through a wheelchair obstacle course
The visitors learn to sign words in signs language The Sweet Theater group