ClwstwrCOP26: Minister's wheelchair access issues highlight wider inclusion failures

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    An Israeli minister, Karine Elharrar, was unable to access the COP26 conference in her wheelchair. Her experience highlighted how -  even at high-profile, global events - accessibility failures make life difficult for people with disabilities.

    What happened?
    • The Israeli infrastructure minister, Karine Elharrar, has muscular dystrophy and uses a wheelchair
    • She couldn’t get into the first day of the COP26 climate summit because the only options were to walk, or take a shuttle that wasn’t suitable for a wheelchair.
    • The UK Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, apologised after the Israeli delegation complained.
    • Ms Elharrar was able to access the second day of the summit
    What are the key facts?

    Everyone should have the opportunity to participate in events, regardless of any disability. COP26 is a high-profile conference looking at what’s arguably the defining issue of our time. It’s not just embarrassing that Karine Elharrar couldn’t get into the conference, it highlights that accessibility is still a major problem - even for VIPs at global events. The situation is even worse for many disabled people simply hoping to go about their day to day lives.

    Why is this important?
    Shirish Kulkarni, Clwstwr