On measures to create a barrier-free environment
In recent years, creation of an accessible environment for people with disabilities is one of the main issues on the agenda at the meetings of various levels. A high level of attention of the institutions involved led to sustained work on creating a barrier-free environment with the involvement of representatives of organizations for people with disabilities at all its stages.
The main areas of this work are:
- improvement of current legislation;
- assessment of accessibility of facilities and services in the main spheres of human activity for people with disabilities and inventory (certification) of facilities;
- informational support of policy.
To improve legal and regulatory framework of accessible environment creation, a Draft Law of the RK “On amendments and additions to certain legislative acts of the Republic of Kazakhstan on the rights of persons with disabilities” had been developed for submission to the Government. The Draft provides for amendments to 27 laws and regulations which will make it possible to establish the legislative framework for creating an accessible environment, to ensure effective enforcement of constitutional rights of persons with disabilities and to create favorable conditions for their full integration into society.
The Draft Law “On the ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities” had been developed and submitted to the Government. Within the first direction of the “Employment Road Map-2020” program (Providing of employment through the development of infrastructure and housing and communal sector) the necessity to ensure accessibility of socially significant facilities in the construction/ overhaul of these facilities is established.
The assessment of accessibility of facilities (certification) started in 2012. In total, accessibility certificates are to be compiled for 55 thousand social infrastructure facilities. As of September 1 of this year an inventory of about 24 thousand (23 495) facilities had been carried out, of which 18.5 thousand facilities are defined as “needing to adapt” (78,7%).
As part of the regional plans on creating a barrier-free environment approved with the local executive bodies, 2 135 facilities would be adapted in the current year, among them 697 facilities - under “Employment Road Map-2020” program, 1438 - at the expense of local budgets. Analysis of adaptation plans provided by regions showed that the issue of conversion and reconstruction of buildings to ensure their accessibility for people with disabilities is actively pursued in South Kazakhstan, Akmola, East Kazakhstan and Kyzylorda regions. While in Atyrau region and Almaty adaptation of facilities has not started. 745 facilities had been adapted over 9 months
As of September 1 of this year, 315 facilities were checked, among them 192 facilities comply with the SNiP requirements, 123 – do not comply. To ensure transparency and efficiency of measures undertaken on facilities adaptation, the department’s website provides an opportunity to evaluate online the quality of adaptation of each facility (demonstration of public monitoring online).
To enhance public control on facilities adaptation, in all country regions the social groups were established, involving media representatives that on a monthly basis visit adapted facilities and check whether the specified facilities are in fact accessible. In case any nonconformity is detected, recommendations to address comments are sent to local executive bodies.
The Interactive map of facilities accessibility was launched in a pilot mode on the example of Kyzylorda region. It is planned that any citizen of the country will further be able to examine the accessibility status of any facility at the place of his residence.
In 2014, targeted current transfers amounting to 857, 8 million tenge were allocated from the republican budget on the development of 21 “Invataxi” services, installation of 10 441 road signs, equipping 138 pedestrian crosswalks with lighting devices at the locations of organizations, oriented on servicing of people with disabilities, as well as provision of sign-interpretation of news programs of regional TV channels. Authorities of employment and social programs organize provision of services of individual assistants and sign language specialists for people with disabilities.
To evaluate the situation on formation of conditions for accessibility of facilities and services in the current year the Ministry has developed the Map of social indicators, enabling to determine how many people with disabilities live in a particular area, and which regions require more attention from the government to create comfortable living conditions for all citizens regardless of their health status. This map is presented on the screen, of persons with disabilities currently live in South Kazakhstan (106, 2 thousand people), Almaty (71.1 thousand people), Karaganda (63.4 thousand people) (demonstration of the Map of social indicators).
In order to get actual information on the work executed by the Ministry on the issues of creating an accessible environment for people with disabilities, the section “Social protection of people with disabilities” was created on the department`s web-site (demonstration of the section “Social protection of people with disabilities”).
In conclusion, I would like to note that the relevance of the issue in question today has changed not only the public attitudes towards disability, their way of life and life activity but also affected their self-esteem, allowing them to take a fresh look at their possibilities. This is evidenced by the requests of people with disabilities to employment agencies for employment - the number of requests in the current year increased by 47% in comparison with the previous year.