Making Businesses Accessible
The Jerusalem Municipality wants all businesses and public spaces across the city to be accessible for people with disabilities.
The greater the accessibility to the place and the activity within, the greater the number of people who visit, they longer they stay, and the more they consume what it has to offer. This is the reason accessibility is an economic resource no less than it is a social one. The Equal Rights for People with Disabilities Law of 1998 sets the principle according to which every place providing a service to the public must be accessible to people with disabilities, and requires that anyone responsible for such a place make it accessible to people with disabilities.
Accordingly, the Business Licensing Law 1968 was also amended, and it is no longer possible to provide or renew a business license without proof that the accessibility guidelines have been followed according to the accessibility chapter of the Equal Rights for People with Disabilities Law.
On June 22, 2012, Equal Rights for Persons with Disabilities Regulations went into effect (accessibility adjustments for public spaces in existing buildings - 2011). Below are the regulations that detail which adjustments entrepreneurs are required to carry out in their businesses in order for them to be accessible to people with disabilities.
Implementation of the regulations, for which a gradual application has been established as detailed below, represents a condition for providing and renewing business licenses.
Accessibility Examination for a Business:
In order to receive approval of accessibility from the municipality, which, as stated, represents a condition for receiving and renewing business licenses, you are required to carry out an accessibility examination of the business in accordance with the law’s guidelines and the regulations enforced by it by December 22, 2012, and to furnish the Business Promotion Division at the Jerusalem Municipality with an opinion by an authorized accessibility Buildings, Infrastructure, and Surroundings advisor on your behalf that details the results of the examination, stating whether there is a need to carry out work to make the business accessible and in the event they are needed, what they are.
The list of authorized accessibility advisors for the Buildings, Infrastructure, and Surroundings authority can be found on the website of the Ministry of Justice.
Note that the list is updated from time to time and it is your responsible to monitor any changes.
If the accessibility advisor determines that you must carry out work to make your business more accessible, you will have to carry out and complete the work by November 1, 2015. You will then need to furnish the Business Licensing Department with an independent Buildings, Infrastructure, and Surroundings advisor opinion, drafted on your behalf, which authorizes that your business is indeed accessible to people with disabilities, and abides by the demands set forth by the regulations.
Note that, starting September 1, 2012, in accordance with directives in the Building and Planning Regulation (Permit for Limited Work) of 2003, you can submit an application for a limited building permit to carry out accessibility work on businesses in a quick and easy way, as accessibility facilities of all types are covered by the regulations relating to a limited work (except for elevators).
Attach a photograph of the entrance to the business with any request, as well as building plans for the place of business, the license file number, the name of the business, the address, owners’ names, and a return telephone number. Without these items of information, it will not be possible to provide a proper response.
For the list of businesses that do not require submission of a preliminary opinion by an Authority for Buildings, Infrastructure, and Surroundings Accessibility advisor as a condition for receiving accessibility approval during business licensing procedures.
Attention: these pages include the main points of the regulations relating to most small businesses whose area is less than 100 sq. meters and restaurants whose seating space is less than 25 sq. meters. The information on the website does not constitute a substitute for the regulations themselves— it is the regulations which are binding.