Airports, Trains and Train Stations to Become Accessible for Citizens with Disabilities

Kazakh airports, trains and train stations will soon become accessible for people with disabilities, according to Minister of Health and Social Development Tamara Duyssenova. The bill on Amendments and Additions to Some Legislative Acts of Kazakhstan on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, presented at the Mazhilis plenary session earlier in July and approved by the deputies, focuses mainly on helping citizens move freely around the country, as reported by zakon.kz.
“Firstly, we have ascertained that there are ramps and extra wheelchairs in airports, so that even now disabled people can travel by plane. We consider this measure as a necessary option every air company is obliged to offer. Some train stations have also constructed ramps, but we need to provide additional facilities in order to help disabled passengers entering a wagon,” said Duyssenova.
Those who violate the freedom of movement of persons with disabilities will be obliged to pay fines. Talking about the current position of citizens with disabilities, the minister mentioned that more than 100,000 people have a permanent work place.
“Many of these people have their own transport, but they can’t park cars together with other vehicles. There are special disabled persons parking spaces, which are free of charge. Most of them are provided around administrative buildings and local executive bodies,” she added.
The deputies also discussed the introduction of a new regulation that would allow people with disabilities to secure apartments exclusively on the first two floors to ease their movement inside the house. A line item of 10 billion tenge (US$53.5 million) would be allocated in the state’s budget for the needs of the disabled part of the population. A portion of this amount would be used to purchase speech processors for children who received cochlear implants, said Duyssenova.
Approximately 600,000 people in Kazakhstan have disabilities and the Jan. 20 ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities was one of the most important recent steps undertaken to improve their lives. The convention is aimed at providing employment possibilities for individuals with disabilities and progress in this area has also been achieved in the regions. The governor of the East Kazakhstan region, for example, has decided to provide training courses for children with physical disabilities in the hope they will be able to choose their future career and find suitable work.
“We need to educate these children and help them to find a profession which is of high demand on the labour market, such as an accountant or manager in centres for servicing the population. Children with disabilities should feel the support of the state,” said Akim (Governor) Daniyal Akhmetov.
The regional administration is currently deciding what occupations should be included in the list and how to efficiently put this idea into practice.

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