App for the blind is the latest in Jerusalem’s effort to make holy sites accessible

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JERUSALEM (RNS) — Refuit Golan had visited the Old City of Jerusalem before, but it wasn’t until she toured the ancient site while listening to a voice-guided tour for the visually impaired that she fully began to appreciate its history and significance.

“When you can’t see well, one stone is just like any other stone,” said Golan as she and two dozen other visually impaired Israelis meandered through the Old City’s warrenlike alleyways alongside several sighted companions with the help of a new app.

The tour, which Golan had downloaded on her cellphone and listened to on a small portable speaker, provided the kind of tidbits a tour guide would deliver, but added details and descriptions that a blind person would otherwise miss out on.