KKL-JNF for People with Special Needs

KKL-JNF is creating a new reality by making it possible for people with physical limitations to spend time in open spaces and feel close to nature.
In recent years, KKL-JNF has been investing great efforts and resources, with the helping of its friends worldwide, in creating forests and recreation areas specially designed for people with physical limitations, taking into consideration their functional needs so that they can get around comfortably and safely.

KKL-JNF planners and landscape architects are assisted by the services of consultants in this field, in the planning of solutions for improvements in serving this population.

Unlike urban sites, development in natural areas is mostly done with a minimalist approach, whose aim is to enable a trip and recreation in nature on a reasonable level of comfort, with maximum affinity and respect for nature, and elements with additional historic, scenic or archeological value.

Nevertheless, most KKL-JNF sites, information centers and scenic lookouts are made suitable for people with special needs. Every project planned by KKL-JNF takes accessibility considerations into account, and a lot of work is being done to upgrade existing sites and make them accessible for people with special needs, in accordance with the conditions of the location and the limitations of the budget.

By doing so, KKL-JNF is creating a new reality and making it possible for this population to spend time in open spaces and feel close to nature.

Guidance sign in braille writing for the visually-impaired. Photograph: Flash 90

The work being done by KKL-JNF to make sites accessible for people with special needs includes:

  • Marking recreation areas suitable for those who are limited in mobility and improving the access roads to them.
  • Avoiding the building of stairs, making roads with moderate slopes (up to 8%) and installing handrails for stairs and ramps.
  • Making hard ground surfaces to enable mobility for people who move in wheelchairs or carriages.
  • Installing low picnic tables and grill stands close to parking areas. In most picnic areas (that are topographically suitable), about 10% of the picnic tables and grill stands are suitable for those who move in wheelchairs.
  • Installing curbstones to prevent wheelchairs from swerving and to enable safe mobility for people whose vision is limited.
  • Creating signs, audio stands and aromatic plants, in order to enhance the nature experience for people whose vision is impaired.
  • Using induction coils for people whose hearing is impaired (a type of wireless loudspeaker achieved by magnetically transmitting sound to hearing aids and cochlear implants with telecoils).
  • Developing hiking trails of different lengths and scenic lookouts suitable for people in wheelchairs.
  • Installing playground equipment and sports facilities that are suitable for people with disabilities.
  • Installing restroom facilities designed for people in wheelchairs.