IN ADVANCE OF THE PAPAL VISIT, YAD SARAH OFFERS ITS SERVICES FOR SPECIAL NEEDS TOURISTS AND PILGRIMS

1 April 2009

As part of the preparations for the visit of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI to Israel in May 2009, the volunteer organization Yad Sarah extends an invitation to all special needs tourists and pilgrims to utiltize their special services and equipment hire for visitors with special needs.

These services, which are available from the moment the visitor arrives in Israel to departure at Ben Gurion airport, are offered either against a deposit or for a minimal fee. The disabled visitor can request the following services: lending of medical equipment and assistive devices; wheelchair lending and other mobility aids; transportation for disabled and elderly visitors in specially-equipped vans and trained drivers, including transfers to/from Ben Gurion airport; oxygen machines and portable cylinders with carts. In addition, the organization can offer recommendations and referrals for medical services; touring and site accessibility information and professional advice on equipping hotel rooms to make accommodation more accessible and therefore more comfortable for the disabled visitor.

Advance notification of at least 1-3 weeks is required to reserve these services. Interested parties should contact the organization via the English-language website www.yadsarah.org or by email to tourism@yadsarah.org.il or by telephone to 972-2-644-4633 or fax: 972-2-644-4628.

Further information for tourists with special needs can be accessed at the Tourism Ministry's website (available in 11 languages): http://www.goisrael.com/Tourism_Eng/Tourist+Information/Discover+Israel/Facilities+for+the+Disabled.htm