Access Israel and FAISR (Friends of Access Israel)
By: Howard Blas
Wagner is the reason Access Israel exists. Twenty years ago, Yuval Wagner, a recently paralyzed helicopter pilot, ignited a public awareness campaign and founded Access Israel. Having elicited (then) President Ezer Weizman’s attention, the President invited Wagner to celebrate this accomplishment together. Access Israel’s impact on access and inclusion of people with disabilities is now experienced worldwide.
I was lucky enough to attend the Access Israel Conference last year. It is one of the BEST, most action-packed conferences I have ever attended. It was an opportunity to hear from great speakers, learn from colleagues, tour accessible Israel, and participate in Access Israel’s well-known Dinner of the Senses.
During Covid, Access Israel continued to provide important content on accessibility online. They have hosted 8 international mega-webinars which often last 6 hours. They are attended by 700 people from 80 countries. They have thus far addressed such topics as “Accessible and Inclusive Smart Cities for All During and Post COVID-19,” “Accessible Remote Education” and more. Each webinar features experts in the field and is fully accessible.
The Access Israel website is a gem for such resources as their Accessible Vacation Guide, and their Israel Accessible Technology Developments guide.
All of Access Israel’s resources and knowledge would easily qualify them as Disability Difference Makers. their visionary leadership and commitment to assuring that EVERYONE is included truly makes Yuval, Michal, Rani, Jamie, Access Israel and FAISR TRUE Disability Difference Makers!