Under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal and with the participation of First Lady Olena Zelenska, a meeting of the interdepartmental working group to develop a draft National Strategy for the Barrier-Free Environment in Ukraine took place.
The meeting was also attended by representatives of the Government, the United Nations Development Program in Ukraine and NGOs.
"Barrier-free environment should become a state policy and a new social norm. We all need this Strategy to feel safe and live a full life in a country of equal opportunities," said Olena Zelenska.
For his part, the Prime Minister noted that hundreds of thousands of people feel uncomfortable due to a number of different factors: irrelevant infrastructure, ill-fitted educational processes, and bureaucratic barriers in the service delivery sector.
"The National Strategy for the Barrier-Free Environment in Ukraine is designed to change this situation. I am grateful to First Lady Olena Zelenska for her attention to this issue. Many people and families are really waiting for such a strategy. We must exert every effort to ensure its successful implementation," stressed Denys Shmyhal.
The Prime Minister noted that the day before, the Government had approved the National Economic Strategy-2030, which determines key areas for the development of Ukraine’s future and covers all spheres of life.
"The strategy of barrier-free environment together with the vectors of economic development until 2030 will shape a vision of how our country can realize its enormous economic potential and direct it to improve the quality of life in Ukraine," the Prime Minister said.
Denys Shmyhal stressed that both strategies are based on an inviolable axiom: "The individual is the highest value."
"All involved central executive bodies must begin to plan concrete steps to implement measures to create a barrier-free space. We need to ensure the planning and concentration of the necessary resources, in particular by attracting our international partners, so that the implementation of the strategy begins immediately from the moment of its approval," the Prime Minister stressed.
The National Strategy for the Barrier-Free Environment in Ukraine is based on a package of strategic initiatives developed by experts taking into account the best world practices for the creation of barrier-free space. These are proposals designed to change the basic conditions of accessibility and introduce barriers to education, economic activity, healthcare, and social protection. The initiatives have been developed by experts in six areas: physical, informational, digital, social, educational, and economic accessibility.