Today, Ukraine and the whole world celebrate the International Day of People with Disabilities. Creating a barrier-free space and a comfortable and accessible environment for all citizens is a priority of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in shaping state policy aimed at the harmonious integration of people with disabilities into public life. The topic of inclusiveness, accessibility, tolerance and wide opportunities for self-realization of people with disabilities is constantly in the focus of attention of the First Lady Olena Zelenska.
"Today we are talking not only about people with disabilities, but also about the contribution of everyone involved in solving their problems - social workers, volunteers, teachers, health workers, as well as entrepreneurs who create jobs for people with disabilities," said the President.
According to the President, Ukraine is purposefully moving towards improving living standards for people with disabilities, despite the challenges of the war in the east and the COVID-19 pandemic.
In particular, in the framework of the Large Construction National Program initiated by the President, inclusive infrastructure facilities, public spaces and sports and children's playgrounds are being built, where children of different ages and with different health conditions can play. With the assistance of local governments, a swimming pool accessible to people with disabilities has appeared in Zolotonosha, as well as an inclusive tourist location in Kaniv. A sports and rehabilitation center is being completed in Krasyliv. Renovated educational institutions and student dormitories are becoming barrier-free.
Social services for people with disabilities are being implemented in each community: accommodation for people with disabilities, temporary leave for parents caring for children with disabilities, support during inclusive education (child assistant and teacher assistant), etc.
"And to make it easier and more convenient for people with disabilities to receive social services, we are creating electronic government services. After all, on the Internet there are no steps, queues and slow officials who are always at lunch. Through the "Diia" portal you can apply for a subsidy, pensions or re-issuance of pensions, get different certificates," said Volodymyr Zelenskyy.
In addition, this year in Ukraine a modern rehabilitation system was created in accordance with the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health. The creation of multidisciplinary rehabilitation teams and the development of rehabilitation care on the basis of evidence from the first day of illness or injury continues.
A Barrier-Free Council was formed under the Cabinet of Ministers in April this year to create a barrier-free space. At the meetings of the Council with the participation of Olena Zelenska there was an active discussion of proposals to the Action Plan for 2021-2022 for the implementation of the National Strategy for Barrier-Free Space in Ukraine until 2030. Following the proposals, the plan was approved by the government in July.
In order to increase the level of social responsibility of business, the "Business without Barriers" community was created on the initiative of the First Lady of Ukraine. It brings together about 20 leading international and Ukrainian companies that share the values of living and working without barriers, implement barrier-free practices in their activities and create conditions for employment and comfortable work of people with disabilities.
Legislation is also being updated in accordance with modern challenges and needs of people with disabilities, taking into account the best world experience.
Next year, medical care under the program of medical guarantees of the National Health Service of Ukraine will be provided to people with hearing impairments - with the provision of translation into Ukrainian sign language.
"People with disabilities are not people with special needs. Because their needs are the same as those of other citizens: to live without restrictions, to move freely on the streets of the city, to be able to study, work, play sports, go to the cinema or a museum. They have the same right to express themselves, to reveal their talents as other citizens. And we as a state must provide them with such an opportunity. Inclusiveness should become a new norm in all spheres of Ukraine's life," Volodymyr Zelenskyy stressed.