IKEA, Israel’s most beloved homegoods stores, has collaborated with two nonprofit organizations, Access Israel and Milbat, to create furniture add-ons accessible for people with disabilities. Together, the three organizations are working on the initiative called ThisAbles, with the aim of better integrating people who live in Israel with disabilities, and creating a way for them to live more independently.
About one out of 10 people in Israel lives with disabilities, and the collaboration allowed a variety of needs to be realized. Many people with disabilities require different kinds of furniture, and with just a few tweaks, the existing IKEA furniture can be made more friendly for people with special needs.
IKEA has added 13 products to its furniture specifically to create solutions for people with disabilities to live more comfortably at home. These products include simple add-ons such as a mega switch, an easy handle, a glass bumper, couch life, curtain gripper, and more.
Shuki Koblenz, the CEO of IKEA Israel, says “IKEA has vowed to create a better daily life for as many people as possible, and we feel it is our duty to create this initiative and allow people with disabilities to enjoy a wide range of products, furniture and household items.”
There is also cooperation between McDonald’s and the Israeli app RightHear which goes in a similar direction, specifically for the visually impaired. Sensors installed in strategic locations in the restaurant communicate with the app via Bluetooth, and can tell visually impaired people exactly where they are. All 180 branches of McDonald’s in Israel are now accessible. The app also works in places like Habima Theater and the Azrieli Shopping Center in Tel Aviv, and the Assuta Hospital.