Disability affects more than 1 billion people around the world and yet it is still often treated as a second thought when it comes to making mega-events accessible – the United Nations COP26 summit was no exception but this time the ‘oversight’ sparked an international incident and a very timely campaign.
Karine Elharrar, Israel’s Energy Minister, suffers from muscular dystrophy and as such uses a wheelchair for mobility. But when she attended the Glasgow climate conference this week alongside Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, she found herself unable to enter the conference complex due to accessibility issues - and was left out.
Her wheelchair was not allowed into any of the entrances; and while the prime minister’s staff tried to help her find a way in - including riding a shuttle, which was not wheelchair accessible either – she had no choice after two hours but to give up on attending the conference and make her way back to the hotel.
The problem was set straight the next day and British Prime Minister Boris Johnson apologized to the Minister for the “confusion with the arrangements”. But Access Israel saw an opportunity to amplify what the Minister had implied in her tweet following the incident (see below) and send a message on behalf of the millions of disabled ignored every day to the world and its leaders:
“Safeguarding our future, starts with caring for people”.
Agency Credits: Leo Burnett Israel
Chairman & CEO Publicis Israel: Yossi Lubaton
Client: Access Israel
Creative VP Leo Burnett Israel: Ami Alush
VP Innovation & Creative Technology: Oded Lavie
Creative Director: Oren Ben Naim
Copywriter: Achiya Darshan
Art Director: Yael Yaakov
Art Director: Nitzan Amir
Marcom Director: Eva Hasson
Video Editor: Rotem Gabay
Agency Producer: Menny Zarhia
Traffic: Danielle Barzilay
I came to COP26 to meet with my counterparts from around the world and promote our common fight against the climate crisis. It was sad to see that in 2021 the UN, who promote access for people with disabilities, do not ensure accessibility for people with disabilities to their events. I hope that the appropriate conclusions will be drawn from this event, so that the promotion of green energy and the removal of obstacles to energy efficiency will be the only things I need deal with.