Nov 04: The Russian government is working out a program for social adaptation of disabled people. The country’s Prime Minister Vladimir Putin mapped out its guidelines at a government session on Wednesday.
Currently, Russian cities are disabled-unfriendly. The government will allocate dozens millions of dollars to change the situation, Vladimir Putin said.
Constructing new facilities for physically challenged people doesn’t cost that much and doesn’t need any special equipment, Putin said. I have recently visited the Verkhnyaya Vereya village, which was built from scratch after wildfires, where all vital buildings have facilities for disabled people. The government should just pay more attention to the problem.
The prime minister also discussed careers for people with disabilities. Companies that employ disabled staff will have more benefits, Putin pledged. This year, such employers received 30,000 rubles (1 thousand dollars) per one disabled employee and this sum will double in 2011.
The head of Russia’s Agency for Implementing the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Alexander Lysenko said such a program has been much awaited.
Adopting this program is an important measure as it will bring into life the concept of universal design –that is, to produce buildings, products and environments that are accessible to disabled people.
A member of the Public Chamber Vladimir Krupennikov agrees.
The disabled need not only elevators and wheelchair ramps but also access to information and communication means. Society should be ready to accept them, thus the government should provide for tolerance towards disabled people.