Briefly about the results of the meeting of the expert discussion, which took place in Kyiv on the topic “Children and women with disabilities”, August 20, 2020 at the Address: Kyiv, st. Iryninska 5/24, on the 3rd floor at the initiative of the Women’s Movement “For the Future”.
At the round table met ascetics and specialists who care for people with disabilities: Victoria Opanasyuk, mother of a 14-year-old boy with cerebral palsy (CP); Halyna Kozlova, director of the Kyiv City Family Center (KICC) “Family House”; Khachatryan Lilit, representative of the NGO “Forum of the Peoples of Ukraine”, Platform “Ukraine EU”; Khachatryan Olena (Zhytomyr) director of the private school “Universe”, where children with disabilities study; Leonid Ponomarev, a girl with a disability, blind; Natalia Latysh (Poltava), a member of the Business Ukrainian Women NGO, Access program, and I, Volodymyr Cheslavskyi, the head of the Eternal Ukraine NGO.
Victoria Opanasyuk was the first to speak, saying that a base on Kotelnikova Street in Kyiv (10 cars) is used for the needs of people with disabilities in Kyiv, but only for children who go to inclusive centers. Transport is often idle, although the need is high. Officials have only promises. The real problem is the reluctance to create an inclusive space for normal communication between people who are in an inclusive state and normatively typical people.
About the state program “Vacation for parents”, which was implemented in Vinnytsia region. The essence of the program is to temporarily leave children who are tied to parents with a severe disability and give their parents the opportunity to rest. For most parents, this is tantamount to leaving their child to whom they are attached. The main problem for officials is the lack of understanding of the ways of understanding the problems of people with disabilities, the attempt to “solve” the problem by refusing or unsubscribing. Hence the reluctance to create an inclusive space. Today, children with mental disorders have only one alternative, to study at the Special Secondary School “Nadiya”, where about 40 children have been studying recently. Previously, such children were many times less. Also, an important topic remains the “invisibility” of mothers and fathers of people with disabilities, who put most of the work to create an inclusive environment on their shoulders.
When entering universities, admissions commissions “invented” the following trick: in the case of a trial EIT online, to limit the right to enter by interview, which reduces the opportunities for admission for children with disabilities.
The next speaker was Halyna Kozlova, she stressed that society is not ready to accept special people. In fact, at the local and national level there is no effective mechanism for analyzing the needs of people with disabilities, and hence the chronic “unsolvability” of problems and the introduction of real inclusion. There is no clear interaction with members of the public, instead funds that are completed upon completion of the operation and funding of the program. Real public activists go unnoticed by officials. At the same time, legislative changes are taking place. To date, positions have been introduced in schools as “tutor’s assistant” or “child’s assistant”, ie tutor. Such support may be provided by the decision of the commission of the Inclusive Center, where you need to enter all the necessary documents. The problem is that there is a shortage of such specialists in the labor market. Drahomanov and Grinchenko University trains an insufficient number of such specialists. An example of a lack of understanding in addressing the needs of people with disabilities is the closure of a library for the blind in the Kyiv region. There are no enterprises where blind people could work.
Khachatryan Lilith, noted that “before entering the international level it is necessary to do homework to create an inclusive environment.” Today, there is one bus per million city that meets all the standards for people with disabilities. Due to our persistence, a museum adapted for people with inclusion or people with disabilities has appeared in Ukraine – the National Museum-Reserve “Battle for Kyiv in 1943” (on the site of the historic Lutyzh bridgehead). This is the only museum that has two ramps with a rise corresponding to the norms of DBN B.2.2−9-99. Such success was ensured by the great efforts of activists. In order to effectively build an inclusive space, it is necessary to create a permanent Interdepartmental Commission, which would include representatives of the Ministries of Health, Youth and Sports and Social Policy, as well as members of the public. The traditional problem of meeting the employment quota for people with 4% disabilities is not being met.
Another participant of the meeting, Leonid Ponomarev, spoke about her life’s wanderings as a blind person and even about running in the local elections as a deputy. Now she works as a journalist and graduated from Shevchenko University in the relevant field. “To communicate with typical people, people with disabilities must be” head and shoulders “above their peers,” said Leonid. When she graduated from the 5th boarding school in Kyiv, all her acquaintances were “voluntarily” sent to the University of Ukraine. She now teaches visually impaired children. For people with disabilities, officials have identified two universities where all “interested” are sent, the above-mentioned University of Ukraine and the Academy of Labor, Social Relations and Tourism. Other institutions try not to take people with disabilities.
Olena Khachatryan, a resident of Zhytomyr, spoke about her positive practice at the Italian-Ukrainian private school Vsesvit, where she works. The problem of employment remains a big problem after receiving general secondary education, despite the tax relief of 8.41% of SDRs for the work of an inclusive specialist. A positive example of pupils of the Zhytomyr school is a young man with a disability who graduated from the Zhytomyr Agrarian Academy and became the world champion at the Paralympic Games. When he read Janus Korsak’s poem “I am a man” at the prom, everyone cried. Educational forums and other activities are currently being held at the school to improve the learning environment of children with special educational needs. In the city of Zhytomyr for special children there is a dance ensemble “Snowdrop”. The city authorities fully compensate for the education of children with disabilities in a private school, which is impossible to find in other cities of Ukraine, and the norm for typical children is compensated 30% of the cost of education, which stimulates the desire to learn special children.
Pils spoke; Latvian Natalia, who spoke about her experience in the United States and about her impressions of getting acquainted with the issue of inclusion in Western society. The first thing she emphasized was that an inclusive society began to take shape in 1976, when the relevant law was passed, which the UN adopted as the basis for writing the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. An interesting feature of the acceptance of construction sites into operation is the presence in the selection committee of a blind person and a person in a wheelchair, because their opinion is no less important than the norm of typical specialists and their comments are made in the defective act as a priority.
The last speaker was Volodymyr Cheslavsky, whose speech you can watch on video.
Speech by the head of the NGO “Eternal Ukraine” Volodymyr Cheslavsky. Expert discussion on August 20, 20 in Kyiv