Petah Tikva is to be more accessible to the deaf now

During the last two years, the Petah Tikva municipality has been operating the “Accessible Community” project for improving accessibility to people with all types of disabilities in the city. In the framework of this project, the municipal hotline, which is accessible by voice phone number 106, has been prepared to accept also FAX messages from people, whose disability precludes their use of regular phone.

This evening I was in a meeting, in which the manager of the hotline told us about the project. They accept for forwarding also FAX messages for the police, Magen David Adom (the Jewish/Israeli counterpart of Red Cross) and the firefighters. The FAX number is (03)9040304. We also got a form, which can be filled quickly in case of emergency for FAXing to the hotline. About fifty deaf people (1/4 of the total deaf population in Petah Tikva) participated in the meeting. The opportunity was utilized also by a representative of the Israeli Social Security, who told us about the vocational rehabilitation services provided by Social Security. The Web site of the municipality of Petah Tikva (http://www.petah-tikva.muni.il/) is not accessible to the Mozilla browser, which I used, due apparently to use of a IE specific extension at the home page. However, http://www.petah-tikva.muni.il/htmls/hebrew/moked.html gets you directly to the municipal hotline center (the page is written in Hebrew). I sent a complaint to their Webmaster, emphasizing the problem of blind people, who absolutely must use special browsers to browse Web sites.

Author: Omer Zak

I am deaf since birth. I played with big computers which eat punched cards and spew out printouts since age 12. Ever since they became available, I work and play with desktop size computers which eat keyboard keypresses and spew out display pixels. Among other things, I developed software which helped the deaf in Israel use the telephone network, by means of home computers equipped with modems. Several years later, I developed Hebrew localizations for some cellular phones, which helped the deaf in Israel utilize the cellular phone networks. I am interested in entrepreneurship, Science Fiction and making the world more accessible to people with disabilities.

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