Making the Hebrew University accessible for people with disabilities
הנגשת האוניבסיטה העברית לאנשים עם מוגבלות
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

 
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The Wolstein accessibility project

Decision regarding the Project
Accessibility Survey
Fund Raising
Nature and Scope of the Project
What does this site offer ?

Decision regarding the Project

In the Ombudsman's Report of 1999 it was noted that many problems were located in regard to accessibility on the various campuses of the Hebrew University. In response, the University administration decided to relate seriously to the issue and embark on a process to solve the problems identified. In order to accomplish this goal professionals, expert in the field from Shekel - Israel Center for Accessibility were charged initially with implementing an accessibility survey on the Mount Scopus Campus, the Edmond J. Safra Campus on Givat Ram and the Agriculture Faculty in Rechovot.

Accessibility Survey

The survey was undertaken between December, 2000 and April, 2001 and related to each and every building on all the campuses. In each building the problems of accessibility for people with mobility, vision and hearing disabilities were identified and a range of possible solutions for these problems was presented. This extensive survey served as excellent "raw material" for the architects who were recruited by the University to prepare detailed work plans to solve the accessibility problems. In May, 2001 the survey was translated into English and served as a tool for fund raining.

Fund Raising

The University identified a group of potential donors in the US who have a connection and commitment to the topic of accessibility. The donors donated a very respectable sum - $ 750,000 for this purpose. At the same time, the University submitted a proposal to the Fund for the Development of Services for People with Disabilities of the National Insurance Institute that agreed to match this donation such that the project was budgeted in the amount of $ 1,500,000.

Nature and Scope of the Project

The Mount Scopus Campus was selected to be the first to undergo the process of becoming accessible since it is the largest of the campuses with more than 20,000 students attending daily. At the same time it was decided to give priority for the needs of people with mobility problems since the solutions in this area generally require the most investment. In addition, it was decided to operate for the benefit of people with hearing and vision disabilities, at the pace that funding became available. The central approach was "the absolute solution approach", which declares that one is not to compromise on the quality of the solution, while paying attention to cost saving solutions in the implementation and maintenance. The main route chosen for accessibility was the third level - the central transfer on the campus. This level serves as the "backbone" of the entire campus such that making it accessible will people with disabilities to reach most of the sections of the campus. In order to enable accessible connections between level 3 and the other levels ramps and elevators were installed. In addition, the entryways to various buildings and paths between buildings were remodeled; new, approved elevators and specially adapted bathroom facilities were installed. As of September, 2003 the cross-campus level is accessible for people with disabilities as are many of the other levels. A significant number of inter-building paths have been upgraded, as have most of the bathroom facilities. In addition the Nancy Reagan Plaza, adjacent to the Frank Sinatra cafeteria has been made accessible, as have most of the entranceways to the campus buildings. The work is continuing on various sites on the campus and the specially adapted signs will be installed shortly.

What does this site offer ?

This site enables individuals with disabilities to get up to date information regarding the extent and nature of available accessible facilities. In addition the site provides a video describing the project, pictures and a map outlining the accessible routes, means for ambulating between levels, location of shops and services adapted for the needs of people with disabilities.

Created by Eleanor Atrakji
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