The first group of representatives of different Belarusian institutions, NGOs and initiatives, working with persons with disabilities, finished participation in study seminar “Lifetime study: employment and social activation of persons with disabilities” in the frames of which the study visit to Poland was organized.
The expert of the Office for the rights of persons with disabilities Galina Krot explained, that Belarusian and Polish specialists managed to get acquainted not only with the theory – legal base of the discussed topic, but also with practical examples. Visits to different social institutions of Poland became a wonderful opportunity to understand the topic better. Institutions’ conditions and infrastructure give persons with disabilities opportunity to study and to work in comfort. The participants had also tried to analyze what experience our country can adopt from the neighboring country, what barriers exist in Belarus and how we can overcome them.
The aim of the seminar was to have the participants to get acquainted with international and national mechanisms of human rights protection, to discuss the support of persons with disabilities in Poland and other countries, to present the system of professional education for disabled including special, integrated and inclusive education.
The study visit to Poland was aimed at getting acquainted with the whole bunch of possibilities of professional education and employment of persons with disabilities, as at free labour market, so in case of employment with rendered assistance. It included visits to rehabilitation center, to labour workshop, enterprises of professional activity, center of professional consulting for persons with disabilities, to enterprises of protected labour etc.
Such dogs are specially trained for accompanying blind people; their price reaches several dozen thousand dollars
Equipment which lets people with vision impairments to use computer
Maria Golub, a member of Bobruisk primary organization “Nadezhda” of PA “Belarusian association of assistance to disabled children and young disabled”:
– During the participation in the seminar we got a lot of useful information on human rights, Polish system of education and employment of persons with disabilities. We liked information on such topics as: identity of disability, methods of defining professional liability of persons with health problems, working out of individual plans of development for persons with disabilities etc. And, what is very important, we managed to exchange contacts with colleagues from different regions for further cooperation.
Valentina Lesnova, freelance journalist:
– After the visit to enterprise “Different stuff workshop” you understand that you can learn a lot from persons with psycho-physical illnesses. They make beautiful decoration, notebooks, glass watches. I was impressed by handmade birdhouses. It is amazing – how beautiful they can be! One more useful project for people who care about the environment – “Disabled for the environment ECON”. This organization managed to organize separate collection of waste in their district. These people deserved confidence of local citizens. In the beginning they were only telling about the possibility of separate waste collection, distributed information materials. Citizens liked the idea and it was the start of the huge ecological project.
I got an incredible emotional charge and understood that disability is not the end of your life!
Inna Klapotok, the head of parental committee of Grodno children hospice:
– I want to thank all the organizers of the seminar, everything was prepared very well that is why the week passed very fast.
For me, as for the mother raising a wheelchair-bound child, this seminar was an unexpected discovery. I found out that there are countries, where all people can realize their right for work regardless of their physical abilities. Thanks to the information I got I started to understand the real picture of how the enterprise, where persons with disability work, can be created; but at the same time I understood that it almost impossible to do it without the state’s support. But we have to keep trying. It is very good that there were a lot of practical material at the seminar, in particular, we were shown how persons with disability work and how they study.
At the same time I want to offer to invite more persons with disabilities, active parents to such educational events, in order they can see how to move on, to make them understand that you can study, work and that their life should not be limited by their apartment.
The second similar seminar is planned for September. These educational events became possible thanks to the cooperation of Helsinki human rights foundation (Poland) and the Office for the rights of persons with disabilities (Belarus).