Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal chaired an offsite meeting of the Barrier-Free Council in Vinnytsia with the participation of First Lady Olena Zelenska.
"Barrier-free environment remains our absolute priority. Access to facilities and services for all citizens should be simple and as convenient as possible," the Head of Government said.
The Prime Minister also emphasized that the elimination of barriers and obstacles was now a cross-cutting issue in the work of the Government and all state institutions. According to him, a considerable way has already been covered and a number of key decisions have been made that laid the foundation for a barrier-free environment.
- State construction standards have been updated and are already being applied in the course of reconstruction.
- Reform of military medical and healthcare expert commissions has been launched. An electronic queue for MECs has been introduced, the number of commissions has been increased, and the digitalization of services and simplification of the disability registration procedure for servicemen continue.
- Introduction of the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health continues. This will help to return people to the economy, enable them to work and be an active member of society.
- Modern European standards of accessibility in digital services are being applied. This opens up opportunities for people with hearing, visual, and cognitive impairments to receive administrative services, study online, and realize their potential without obstacles.
However, Denys Shmyhal noted that there are also a number of challenges that need to be addressed. In particular, barrier-free access to storage facilities: "We will consider this task during Government meetings. The Government will instructed to supplement the Action Plan for the implementation of the National Strategy for Creating Barrier-Free Environment to include relevant points on the inclusiveness of shelters."
"As long as the war is going on, unfortunately, there will be more people in need of prosthetics. This means that your work becomes even more crucial. Now we know for sure: the whole country must become a barrier-free zone. It should be our whole space. Physical space - when convenience does not end with infrastructure changes. And mental space - when opportunities are not limited anywhere, in anything," Olena Zelenska emphasized.
During the meeting of the Barrier-Free Council, the participants reviewed the results of the Action Plan implementation for the first half of 2023. Separate ministries and regional military administrations also presented flagship projects to develop a barrier-free environment.
"Today we talked more about dignity and respect, because this is what barrier-free environment is all about. We have to create decent conditions for our veterans and for Ukrainians who are doing everything for Ukraine to win," emphasized Denys Shmyhal.
Following the meeting of the Barrier-Free Council, it was decided to approve the flagship projects presented for implementation. Regional administrations were also recommended to develop and approve projects to develop rehabilitation assistance.