G. Gerapetritis and D. Michailidou presented all government policies for the disabled

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All the initiatives and policies of the government for people with disabilities were presented by the Minister of State George Gerapetritis and the Deputy Minister of Welfare and Social Solidarity Domna Michailidou, at the closing of the 1st scientific conference on the accessibility of people with disabilities. With the Minister of State giving the stigma of the government approach taking occasion from the title of the day (“Access everywhere”) and saying that the title “reflects the basis of our own policy, perception and worldview, all our vulnerable fellow human beings should have full access “.

This last cycle of interventions was started by the Undersecretary, who pointed out that both our urban and social space have been structured based on the needs of those who were formerly called “full members”, without any provision for people with disabilities. At this point, D. Michailidou called on the audience to consider what would happen if the reverse scenario was true, ie our cities were built only for wheelchair users, to write books only in Braille or to communicate with each other only in sign language. language. “Who, then, would be at a disadvantage?” He asked.

“Disability is part of the human condition and must be treated as an element of diversity that deserves recognition and respect. Our goal and one way for us is an inclusive society, where everyone has the right to pursue their own inclusive life plan and “The government, the prime minister himself, has made the protection of the rights of people with disabilities a top priority from the outset,” he said.

Given this, he continued, “the National Action Plan for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities puts an end to fragmented policies, every action, regardless of the body and the Ministry that implements it, is part of a comprehensive plan with clear and measurable goals.” Furthermore, at the institutional level, the National Accessibility Committee was established, which also reports to the Prime Minister, and the country is transposing Directive 882 of 2019 on accessibility requirements for products and services.

Closing her speech, D. Michailidou referred to three actions of the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs, for which, as she clarified, funding has already been secured from the Recovery Fund. These are:

– The personal assistant, the individualized provision of services to each person with a disability, without stopping the welfare – allowance benefits, as he clarified.

-The 24 million euros so that instead of “saving at home”, a “home accessibility” is made, in other words a coupon for changes in the home of the disabled, in their workplace, etc.

– The digital disability card.

For his part, the Minister of State, who has shouldered the overall project of policies for the disabled – was awarded by the organizers of the day afterwards – began by saying that “the issue of policy for the rights of people with disabilities was the first issue that arose in “New government, the first issue concerning horizontal policies. The prime minister himself in August 2019 called the National Confederation and activated a mechanism that remained dormant for years.” Thus, he added, “the national coordination mechanism next to the Prime Minister undertook the elaboration of the National Action Plan for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, a very ambitious goal that was realized last December. The National Plan includes all national policies distributed in 6 pillars and 30 targets, measurable, quantified, with “ownership” per Ministry and body “.

He went on to say that “the first major action was the establishment of the National Accessibility Authority, which has delivered opinions on major issues, such as the transposition of Directive 882 on accessibility of goods and services”. It has also developed an information system which will be launched in the public space on December 3, the day of the rights of people with disabilities and which will be fully accessible, and will gather all the material related to people with disabilities on a website.

Continuing the government report so far, a platform is used to record the country’s public buildings in terms of their accessibility, a project that is estimated to be completed in the near future. Already, about 3,500 public buildings have joined the platform and with fast track procedures to make the buildings accessible. In addition, within the framework of the “Philodimos II” program, 200 Municipalities and 4,000 school units have joined the program and “very soon all school buildings will become fully accessible”, announced G. Gerapetritis, who, elsewhere, referred to and the activation of the Greek Police so that “we do not have the morbid phenomenon of illegal stopping and parking”.

In the field of Culture, he noted that the slope lift on the Sacred Rock of the Acropolis has been put into operation, describing as “touching” the fact that our fellow citizens who until now had a natural inability to enjoy it, now have the opportunity to do so. He also announced the planning of the Ministry of Culture for the promotion of special accessible routes to museums, monuments and archeological sites, a project that has already been included in the Recovery Fund, as well as many other actions from the National Plan have been included in the Fund.

In sports, the electronic platform “Pelopas” has been activated under the responsibility of the Ministry of Sports, which records the accessibility of all stadiums and sports venues, said the Minister of State without hiding his disappointment that only 25% of these venues are accessible to people with a disability.

On the issue of special legislation, the minister noted that it is “the most multifaceted and malicious”, announcing that “in the next few days we will have an administrative codification of all legislation for people with disabilities, which occupies 7,000 pages.” He also referred to the issuance by the Ministry of Labor of announcements for 2,090 positions of special social groups: “it is a promise of the State for the recruitment of people with disabilities in the wider public sector, which remained inactive for many years and is now activated for the first time”.

In conclusion, the title of the conference, “Access Everywhere”, reflects the basis of our own policy, perception and worldview. All our vulnerable fellow human beings should have full access. Policies should be inclusive, bring them to the same starting line all citizens, to ensure what our Constitution requires, equal access to the economic, social, political life of the country “.

And, at the end of his speech, “if for one thing I feel really proud of our presence, it is for the issue of the policy we have pursued and it concerns the rights of people with disabilities”, said in a personal tone the Minister of State. “A public policy that was very neglected for many years by the Greek State, was treated in a completely fragmented way, things were done without being part of a comprehensive policy. We changed this model, created a horizontal policy based on structures, principles, central coordination and quantitative success indicators “.

In conclusion, “the most important indicator for the quality of culture, of our democracy is ultimately the way we manage people who have difficulties”, said G. Gerapetritis and expressed his satisfaction for the fact that “we contribute to the improvement “Their daily life. We will always be open for both the young and the old,” he promised in closing.

The rector of the University of Piraeus, Angelos Kotios, also participated in the same table, concluding the day: “There is a strong will, a movement to promote accessibility issues. It is something that concerns us all.” However, he added, “Sustainable development is not enough if it does not integrate accessible development more clearly,” the rector said, citing the example that before adopting any policy we look at the impact on the environment, so here too we could do the same. and with the dimension of accessibility. “Problems emerged at the conference, proposals were submitted to solve many challenges, we leave here more optimistic”, pointed out A. Kotios, while the coordination of the last part of the day was the journalist Costas Papachlimintzos.

SOURCE: AMPE

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Source From: Capital

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