For the first time in Israel: 800 people attended the 5th Access Israel International Conference on Technology in Accessibility Service, in the Tel Aviv David InterContinental, on March 20th

A wheelchair obstacle course through virtual reali (Enlarge)
A wheelchair obstacle course through virtual reali

800 people attended the 5th Access Israel International Conference on Technology in Accessibility Service to People with Disabilities, in the Tel Aviv David InterContinental, on March 20th.

The Access Israel 5th Annual Conference, dedicated to Accessibility to all in our Digital and Technological Era and Accessibility Services to People with Disabilities, featured highly prominent lecturers from the worlds of technology and business – both Israeli and international; an ample technological compound, where leading organizations presented their developments; and - for the first time – a simulating area where people could experience various disabilities, using assisting technology.

With technology an inseparable part of our lives, and we must ensure its accessibility and practicality to all.

18% of Israel's population nowadays are people with disabilities, and the elderly are 11%. With technology made accessible to them and to their families, they can realize their potential and be better integrated in society.

800 people attended the Conference, among whom were accessibility and technology professionals as well as representatives of companies, organizations, local authorities, government ministries and others.

Many companies, like Mobileye, OrCam, Taldor and others exhibited their latest developments in the conference ample presenters' area.


The following technological solutions were showcased in a unique simulation and experience area:

  • A Party of the Senses, inviting people to experience music from the viewpoint of people with impaired sight and hearing. The solution displayed was the Woojer Vest creating vibrations to the music's rhythm.
  • A cinema complex, with dubbing technology, audio amplification and a vocal account by GalaPro and The Library for the Blind offer the hearing and sight impaired the film experience. 
  • Playing the Angry Birds game with head movements only, using the Sesane Technology. 
  • A wheelchair obstacle course, after which participants were invited to experience extreme sports and activities through virtual reality. 
  • A blind shopping simulating course, featuring a Shufersal compound, a clothing shop and an Estée Lauder makeup display.

blind shopping course   Mr. Gilad Adin tries the OrCam technology
In pictures: Blind shopping course and Mr. Gilad Adin tries the OrCam technology



Simcha Lustig Access Israel Award


The Simcha Lustig Access Israel Award for exemplary accessibility was given to organizations and to developments of assisting technology.

Among the recipients were the Asuta Medical Center, the ANA Israel Youth Hostel Association (IYHA) and the Institute for the Advancement of the Deaf Persons in Israel and the National Library for the Blind, with the cooperation of the National Insurance.


In pictures: Yuval Wagner with Naomi and Dafna Lustig,  And one of the winnig organization's representatives recieving the award


The speakers:

Gila Gamliel – Minister of Social Equality, Arik Pinto – CEO of Bank HaPoalim, Avrahami Torm – Commissioner of Equality for People with Disabilities in the Ministry of Justice, Richard Bernstein – a (blind) Supreme Justice from Michigan, Yuval Vagner – President and Founder of Access Israel, Victor Calise – a Commissioner for People with Disabilities from New York and others.

Gila Gamliel – Minister of Social Equality:

"Currently, 20% of the population in Israel are characterized as having some sort of disability. It is our duty to do what we can to ensure that in our society people with disabilities can have as enabling and self-sufficient a life as possible, utilizing the technological possibilities available to us in realizing these goals.

"About a month ago, I passed a resolution in Government to build an innovative and unique inclusive neighborhood for people with disabilities and people without disabilities, which will be accessible to all residents and visitors, regardless of their physical condition, age or origin. This is a social startup, a model that can be duplicated and distributed in Israel and around the world."

Arik Pinto – CEO of Bank HaPoalim:

"Accessibility is not strange to me. I had contacted Polio as a child, and I have had difficulty walking ever since. I walk slowly and think fast. This difficulty automatically defines me as a person with disability and I want to rebut this definition. I am not a person with disability; all my life, I have fought to achieve my personal and professional dreams; I have never allowed my limitation to stop me. I have a physical impairment; any limitation is set by the society I live in."

Yuval Vagner – Founder of Access Israel

"Technology is a great power; it has the capacity to dramatically improve the lives of people with disabilities, to enable us to do things we would not have dreamt of in the past. This is an opportunity not to be missed!"

Adi Te'eni – Facebook CEO:

"In the course of 24 hours, 2 billion pictures are posted by users – accessing them to sight and hearing impaired people is a great challenge. We at Facebook have appointed an accessibility team to the task."


In pictures: Arik Pinto, Gila Gamliel and Adi Te'eni

We have further held two professional sessions, with some of the leading figures of the technology market:

  • Global Organizations as Leaders of Accessible Technologies – with Adi Sofer Te'eni – CEO of Facebook Israel, and Nati Avrahami, CEO of Taldor.
  • Smart Cities
  • The Future of Information Accessibility
  • Marathon of Technology Presentations
  • The Future of Accessibility of Websites and Apps

More on the Conference's Agenda:

  1. Assimilating Accessibility in Large Organizations
  2. Accessible Technology in Smart Cities
  3. Accessibility of Websites and Apps
  4. Accessibility of Automatic Devices
  5. Accessibility of Information
  6. Innovativeness and Futuristic Technologies
  7. Developments in Technologies Assisting People with Disabilities
  8. Accessibility in Emergencies

We heard lectures by fascinating Israeli and international speakers, who are high-ranking officials in some of the leading technology and business companies:

How can our Technology Infused Future be Made Accessible to People with Disabilities – by Victor Calise – one of the leaders of Microsoft's Accessibility Department, and Minki Margalit – an innovation entrepreneur.

A lecture by the world's information accessibility expert, Mr. Ricardo Garcia of the Georgia University's AMAC Accessibility Solutions and Research Center.

The Connection between Smart Cities and Accessibility - by the international leading expert, Mr. James Thorston of G3ICT.

The Upcoming Changes in Websites and Apps Accessibility - by the people generating these changes – Lisa Seeman of IBM and a W3c WAI Committee Member, Shaula Heitner, head of the 5568 Israeli Standard Committee, Adv. Eran Tamir of the Equality Commissionership and others.

Accessibility in Emergencies - by Victor Calise – New York's Equality Commissionership.


In pictures: A discussion panel and the participants in the convention


Photography: Niv Kantor


A Photo Album >>

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