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  • Polish prison: life of inmates with disabilities

    4 March 2014

    Jarek Kopczuk, HR defender, a representative of Helsinki foundation on human rights tells why other inmates do not help disabled ones; why administration is ready to pay for household running costs and to help a released prisoner with employment and a place to live.

    - Can you tell us about the conditions people with disabilities are kept in Polish prison? Very often such inmates need some special conditions.

  • Public control over the realization of state programs is needed

    11 February 2014

    Office for the rights of persons with disabilities continues the series of regional meetings on the participation of public in the process of the preparation of state programs. The last meeting took place in Mogilev and before it in Viciebsk, Minsk and Brest.

    The coordinator of the Office for the rights of persons with disabilities Sergey Drozdovskiy emphasizes that state programs are worked out and adopted at the level of ministries, realized - at local. The quality of these documents depends on how the existing situation is reflected in them. NGOs working on the topic know what to include to state programs and how to improve them, that is why their potential shouldn’t be underestimated. Besides, the participation in creation of state programs is a chance to introduce to the legislation the norms making it closer to international which is oriented to the principles of the Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities.

  • Why is higher education inaccessible to the majority of people with disabilities?

    7 February 2014
    Only 10 percent of people with disabilities in Belarus have higher education. What is preventing these people from getting higher education and how to overcome these barriers?
    – Today disability all over the world is understood as the problem of interaction of a person and the environment. The best way to avoid exclusion from the society is to get higher education, – says Sergey Drozdovskiy, the coordinator of the Office for the rights of persons with disabilities. But higher education in our country is almost inaccessible for persons with disabilities. As on November 2013 about 10 percent out of 532 thousand persons with disabilities in Belarus got higher education. Among them 6 percent of wheelchair-bound adults, 10.7% with vision impairments, 6.3% with hearing impairments. 
  • Judge issues the final decision in case of Evgeny Shevko

    5 February 2014

    We remind that a young person in wheelchair a couple of months ago was going to fly to Estonia for the participation in a study visit. The inviting party while buying the tickets warned that the passenger needs special service. Airport staff guaranteed to provide Evgeny with a special wheelchair, without which it is not safe to board a plane.

    In practice it was in a different way: he was transported from the boarding ramp to his place not in a special wheelchair, but in a “chair” with four wheels.


  • The right to choose and dosed support instead of institutions

    31 January 2014

    Independent living of persons with disabilities is a trend in socially developed countries and specialists consider that our country has all the chances to follow it. The main thing is to organize social support properly, to create in local society a complex of services which will give a possibility to “special” people to realize their rights for labour, sufficient living level and will help to organize their life independently.

    According to Sergey Drozdovskiy, the project coordinator of the Office for the rights of persons with disabilities, historically every country has its own mechanisms of social protection, which have formed depending on the peculiarities of the country’s development. 

  • What are the guiding principles of accessible education

    16 December 2013

    Problems of the accessibility of higher education for persons with disabilities were discussed in Minsk. Representatives of NGOs, Bologna committee and the Ministry of education, universities’ teachers and practicing lawyers took part in discussions of the topical round table organized by the Office for the rights of persons with disabilities.

    A lot of topical issues had been discussed: “very individual” approach to persons with disabilities who are entering higher educational establishments, inaccessibility of environment, absence of special educational equipment, unpreparedness of teachers and so on.

  • Statement on the International day of persons with disabilities

    10 December 2013

    On December 3 the world commemorates International day of persons with disabilities. This day is a usual one for long reports by state authorities in every country on solving the problems of persons with disabilities, the day of obligatory mentioning of disability issues in mass-media. But there is another way to commemorate this day – celebration. The reason can be state’s and society’s success in overcoming disability barriers and integration of persons with disabilities.

    It is not possible to think of the society’s development without understanding the generally accepted strategy, coordinated plan of actions. When we talk about disability it is the Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities (UN 2006) which is the binding element between the development goals, importance of human dignity and states’ policies. 155 countries out of almost 200 have signed the Convention. They acknowledged and accepted its principles and started to observe and realize in practice the concrete rights of persons with disabilities, made a step towards the society of persons with special needs. The Convention has become the universal language of communication in solving disability issues, entrusted to state authorities.

  • Office’s specialists have prepared proposals on amendments to the Education Code

    22 November 2013

    There is a possibility that the next year the Education Code will be amended. It will be done after holding the monitoring based on the existing problems in this sphere.

    The Office’s specialists have many times emphasized that it is very important that NGOs should take part in working out draft laws, any state programs, including those for persons with disabilities. It will help to make draft laws really work and to be capable of solving concrete problems.

  • The third meeting on problems of public’s participation in development of state programs took place in Vitebsk

    14 November 2013

    Heads of regional NGOs working with problems of persons with disabilities and representatives of local authorities were invited to the discussion in the frames of informational campaign “Accessibility”. – We all have to discuss and right down our proposals. We have to think and speak out. The program of address aid is especially important and maybe we should start with it – says the head of Vitebsk Oblast organization “Beltiz” Konstantin Lamchanovsky.

    But we have to proceed from the real problems existing in the region. They can be very common, such as disability discrimination and can be very specific – inaccessible environment. There are some problems with public transport, service in public places and so on.

  • What is hiding behind the doors of Belarusian institutional care facilities for disabled?

    4 November 2013

    Institutional care facilities for disabled are the legacy of USSR. They are some kind of clinics, because historically disability was understood as an “irreversible diagnosis” and a person with a disability as a patient who can’t live without the constant medical treatment. Today all around the world and in Belarus those social practices are considered more successful that assist the independent living of persons with disabilities. The existence of institutions contradicts this approach. Besides, foreign experience shows that it is possible to organize independent living in local community, for example, in Denmark people don’t even remember what institutions are. Sergey Drozdovskiy, the coordinator of the Office for the rights of persons with disabilities says what we have and what we want to achieve.

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