Round table, organized by NGO “Belarusian association of social workers” took place on December 7, 2011. The main topic was: social adaptation of persons with disabilities.
The head of NGO “BASW”, PhD, the head of the department of rehabilitation of State Institute of Management and Social Technology BSU, chairman of board of NGO “BASW” Eduard Zborovskiy said “The understanding of disability in our society is changing. In the past we concerned disability only as the medical problem, now we pay more attention to its social aspects, and in particular to the rise of the social protection level, inclusion of persons with disabilities to everyday life. A person with disability, as any other member of the society, should have the possibility of self-realization in socium. The system of boarding houses doesn’t assist in it, because a person with disabilities is treated as a disabled in such institutions. He or she is completely dependent from the staff and the administration, is surrounded by not always needed attention. Has no right to choose. We have to develop the system of socialization of persons with disabilities, based on the principles of partnership, cooperation and equality. This is what the new project “Club house” is like. Mr. Zborovskiy made positive examples of dynamics of the condition of person with mental illnesses after they were included into social life. “The data of scientific researches in USA shows, that with innovation approaches to social rehabilitation the need in medical assistance and medicines had lowered by 25%. The dependence from assistance – by 25%. A person who feels needed by the society finds hidden before reserves to fight with his illness” – said Mr. Zborovskiy.
The representative of the Ministry of labour and social protection of the Republic of Belarus Orel N.A. is of the same opinion: “The statistics is the following: there are 76 boarding houses for disabled and aged people in the country. 17500 persons live there. But we have to understand, that boarding houses are not the best way to solve the problem. The main task is to return the capacity to a person with disability, return him to the society and give the right to choose where to live. Bogushevskiy children’s home is a good example of introducing new programs of social rehabilitation, where girls and boys undergo the program of self-dependence”.
Sergey Drozdovskiy, the coordinator of the Office for the rights of persons with disabilities, raised a question of disability with a view to human rights. “Disability, - he said, - is not the problem of a person with disability. This is the problem of the society, which cannot provide such person for the possibility to realize his rights and to live a full life of a citizen and an individual. The institute of boarding houses only emphasizes this problem. I wonder, if living in closed territory under the set by someone regime can assist in full inclusion of a person to the society? The state has to create the conditions for the persons with disabilities in normal life, but not in special institutions”. Talking about the problem of capacity, he said: “In the system of human rights of persons with disabilities, capacity is N 1 problem. There is not enough controllability in the country’s legislation in this sphere. Depriving of capacity is the civil death of a person. He cannot employ. It stops his existence as a citizen. Can our society afford it?”
The presentation of the project “Club house”, as the alternative to outpatient rehabilitation in the system of psychiatric help in the Republic of Belarus and the important step towards the realization of the Convention on the rights of person with disabilities, was held during the round table. Olga Rybchinskaya, the leading specialist of the program “Club House” told about the project: “Club house – is a model of social service for person with mental illnesses, which helps to organize their lives outside the hospital. Club house helps to pass the way from a patient to a personality and to return the feeling of personal significance, the lost skills in order to return to normal life. The rules of Club house are very simple, but effective: membership, cooperation, solidary responsibility and the participation in management”.
Analyzing the new project by NGO “BASW” “Club house”, Sergey Drozdovskiy said: “Office for the rights of persons with disabilities welcomes and supports the project. The standards of “Club house” correlate with the principles of the Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities. “Club house” gives a person with disability a possibility for self-realization and helps to join the full life of the society”.
Every society is as strong, as its members are. The opinions of speakers and guests, expressed during the round table on social adaptation and rehabilitation of persons with disabilities only proved this truth.