Press-conference devoted to the International day of persons with disabilities was held at National press-center on November 27. Speakers of the event were representatives of ministries, departments and NGOs supervising the sphere of disability in the Republic of Belarus: Razhanets A.A. (ministry of labour and social protection), Zmushko A.M. (ministry of education), Zhudina T.I. (“Inkotech”), Leschinskaia T.M. (RSPC of medical expertise and rehabilitation), Chutkova I.A. (deputy of the representative of Children’s fund (UNICEF), Drozdovskiy S.E. (Office for the rights of persons with disabilities).
Traditionally, Belarusian ministries and departments presented the report on the work they have done this year in the sphere of solving disability problems. In particular, the head of the department of state social support of the population of the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of the Republic of Belarus Razhanets A.A. said: “Persons with disabilities deserve not sympathy, but first of all their rights to descent life, labour and leisure have to be ensured. Disabled people present a special group in the country’s population structure. Today in Belarus there are 519 thousand disabled, including 25 thousand children with disabilities under 18”. The question of barrier-free environment was raised at the conference: “Only 19,6 billion rubles were allocated for the realization of the program on creation of barrier-free environment for physically weak people in 2011 and first 6 months of 2012. But the creation of barrier-free environment is not only the construction in accordance with the construction norms. Accessibility is provided not only by ramps. There are a lot of barriers in the life of a disabled person, they are almost in all the spheres of his life activity. And, of course, the wish of the society to accept persons with disabilities to its environment, the same as the wish of this category of citizens to integrate into the society “. – Said Mr. Razhanets.
Statistic data presented during the press-conference during the speakers’ speeches, according to the representatives of ministries, is available at these organizations’ web-sites.
The coordinator of the Office for the rights of persons with disabilities Sergei Drozdovskiy said: “Many numbers and reports on the measures taken to improve the life of persons with disabilities in our country were voiced today. But it is also very important to understand what the quality of work done in this sphere is. According to the results of sociologic public opinion poll we have held this fall, only 5% of the country’s population think that persons with disabilities get help at appropriate level. Accessibility: the building we are in now completely doesn’t correspond with the norms of barrier-free environment. Furthermore: pedestrian crossing, parking lot, hospital, grocery store and café – they are all unfit for persons with disabilities. Medicine: less than 10% of persons with disabilities know what the rehabilitation program is. Employment: 44000 job offers appeared and only 6000 applied for a job. How do we know it? We face such things every day, work on them. And we do not need December 3 to understand it. The most important thing we should mention about today’s reports – there is no involvement of persons with disabilities in all the work done, their participation in it. Unfortunately, in this situation all the ministries can continue their work, draw funds, but nothing will change. Only the signing by our country the Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities can change the situation. The adoption of the Convention is, first of all, the show of respect to persons with disabilities, what is the indicator of development of the country and the society.”
We remind that December 3 was proclaimed by UN General Assembly the International day of persons with disabilities. In Belarus this day was proclaimed, by the Decree of the President of the Republic of Belarus the Day of persons with disabilities of the Republic of Belarus.