The Israel Youth Hostel Association (IYHA) does everything possible to promote equal rights for individuals with disabilities by maximizing accessibility in its hostels.
Every hostel contains several rooms that have been accessibilized in accordance with regulations and laws, and even beyond these legal requirements.
What’s in an accessibilized room?
  • Accessibilized spaces inside the room.
  • Adjusted height of furniture.
  • Bathroom and toilet includes accessories and accessibilized toilet, sink and shower with dimensions according to regulations.
All main installations in the hostel are disability accessibilized.

Accessibilized educational programs
In light of the importance that IYHA places on accessibilizing its hostels for individuals with disabilities, the hostel chain invests in ensuring its educational programs are also accessibe.
IYHA hostels in Tel Hai, Karei Desheh, Shlomi, Maayan Harod, Ein Gedi and Arad contain 3D reliefs of Israel that demonstrate the country’s topography. Next to each is a vocalized explanatory installation. The reliefs are touchable maps for individuals with vision impairments. The vocalized explanation is provided in Hebrew and English, as well as a version for individuals with cognitive disabilities. The vocalized installations are also equipped with accessibility for the vision impaired (Step here} and a loop system that enables individuals with hearing impairments to hear the explanation direct through their hearing devices.
The Acco and Poriah hostels have panoramic lookouts that integrate an illustrated plaque with vocalized explanation, including a linguistically simplified explanation.

Location and active adaptation to accessibility
Because we believe visitors with impairments should enjoy their travel experience as equals, the IYHA Education and Guiding Department offers complementary services which include tour programs, visitor guides adjusted to the target population, and transportation and security where necessary.
The leading principle is to adjust the trip to the abilities ad needs of the group, and adapt the content to the trip’s location. This creates an enjoyable educational experience that integrates and promotes group consolidation, enrichment, coping with challenges, and rest and leisure time. The programs we offer are modules geared to the target population’s designated activity and limitations. The department also addresses special needs with designated programs adapted to the unique nature of each group.

Ein Gedi Youth Hostel Accessibility Project
In an unprecedented step, and as part of our goal of accessibilizing hostels to individuals with impairments, IYHA established a new wing in the Ein Gedi Youth Hostel which serves as a home base from which people with special needs can travel and enjoy this unique part of Israel, adjacent to the Dead Sea and other important and fascinating historic heritage sites.
The new wing contains 18 fully accessibilized rooms addressing diverse impairments. They uphold all laws relating to accessibility, including wide doorways, comfortable wheelchair access to room balconies and equipment used by our guests, and easy access to the dining room, leisure areas, and the educational activities area. This is the first wing of its kind in Israel, able to simultaneously host dozens of visitors with impairments as a traveling group.
The courtyard adjacent to the wing contains a very large bas relief of Israel demonstrating its topography, with emphasis on the unique traits of the Ein Gedi and Dead Sea region. Next to the bas relief is the audial explanation device accessibilized to visitors with vision and/or hearing impairments, additionally providing a linguistically simplified explanation for individuals with cognitive impairtments. This wing earned the Ein Gedi Youth Hostel an award from the Commission for the Advancement of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities for promoting accessible tourism and equality in society in Israel.
In 2017 IYHA also received the Israel Access Prize in memory of Simha Lustig for this hostel, exemplary in the field of accessibility for individuals with disabilities.
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