ASTANA – Roughly 75 percent of public facilities have been adapted to accommodate people with disabilities under the country’s 2012-2018 Action Plan, Healthcare and Social Development Vice Minister Svetlana Zhakupova announced at the recent Coordination Council regular meeting at the Ministry of Healthcare and Social Development. Zhakupova added that much still needs to be done.
“Currently 27,800 infrastructure facilities were registered and among them 17,000 objects are in need of adaptation for persons with disabilities while 11,000 facilities have already been adapted. Three-thousand-nine road signs and signals were installed near the organisations assisting persons with disabilities and 155 pedestrian crossings were equipped with sound devices in 2016,” said Zhakupova.
Personal assistant services and professional sign language interpreters are annually provided for about 16,000 people and free transportation services provided for 35,000 people by Invataxi service.
Zhakupova also announced that the government has made it easier for citizens with disabilities to apply for benefits. Automated services at medical and social departments allow citizens to apply for the establishment of a disability, special benefits and receive an individual rehabilitation programme. These services were provided for 28,000 people last year.
Technical rehabilitation aids except prosthetic and orthopaedic products were delivered to 14,000 people residing in rural areas as part of the agreement between the Healthcare and Social Development Ministry and Kazpost. More than 122,000 people belonging to this category were placed in permanent jobs.
Shyrak Women with Disabilities Association Chairperson Lyazzat Kaltayeva presented the results of the Advisory Institute on Disability and Public Monitoring of Disability Rights at the Coordination Council meeting. Vice Minister of Culture and Sports Aktoty Raiymkulova spoke about measures for the participation of citizens in the cultural and sporting life of the society.
The Coordination Council in the field of social protection of people with physical challenges is an advisory body of the government. It was founded to develop proposals and recommendations on issues of social protection of people with disabilities, ensure interaction of central and local executive bodies, organisations and public associations on issues of social protection and create equal opportunities for life and integration into society.
The council consists of representatives of national and regional associations for the physically challenged.