The Prime Minister of Ukraine Volodymyr Groysman calls on regional state administration, local authorities to introduce the position of the Commissioner for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and to include an issue of the realization of the needs of people with disabilities in the regional development programs. The Head of Government was quoted as saying during a meeting on the implementation of the suggestions and recommendations of the UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The recommendations of the Committee have been summarized in a special action plan for the period up to 2020.
"We have triggered decentralization, major repairs of the country, rehabilitation of road infrastructure, transport. We commenced to modernize and upgrade a lot of things, but on this way we must never forget about the people in need. We mustn’t forget about the accessibility component", said Volodymyr Groysman. "It is important to focus on whether we do not understand the problem, as it was on times of the USSR, when people could not get out of the apartment, or we recognize the problem, remove barriers and help people integrate into the society. I urge you to ponder on it. It would be appropriate if, both within the Government and the RSAs, local authorities there were authorized persons."
The participants of the meeting noted that the current situation regarding the providing for the needs of people with disabilities was improving on the one hand - the state allocates substantial funds for the implementation of measures, ensured dozens of documents aimed to improve construction norms and licensing procedures. On the other hand, the quality of work accomplished is often far from perfect. Given that the cost of projects for retrofitting schools, centers for administrative services provision or arranging underground passages makes up millions of hryvnias, people with disabilities lack physical capacities or access to the building – either the ramp angle does not meet the standard or is covered with slippery tiles - either to use water closet or to get downstairs when the width of the ramp does not correspond the size of the wheelchair. And there are examples of negligent activities all over Ukraine.
The Head of Government stressed that from now on, every construction project should be subjected to an audit on the part of both social services and the public, primarily disability organizations.
"At present, there exists a sufficient number of legal norms. There are enough financial resources. However, why it is not possible to map out construction of a qualitatively new architecture and functionality? We are allocating hundreds of billions to modernization, but as the result, we see outdated and unfit facilities. This entails everything else, inter alia architecture, the quality of work, and the use of materials. If we lay a slippery tile in school - this is a security issue, and sometimes a life. We understand that. So the question is about a range of issues, and most importantly - the responsibility ... I do not look for those guilty, but I want to see where the good example will lead", the Prime Minister stressed.
Appealing to representatives of local authorities, the Prime Minister stressed that it would be hard to surprise citizens by a new a public garden or bus in the not distant future. According to him, competition will serve as a tool that solves problems of people. The Head of Government also reminded that the work of groups which check the use of resources in the regions is underway. Inspections will be carried out regarding implementation of an action plan for protection of the rights of people with disabilities. On the outcomes of these inspections, both achievements and mismanagement will be demonstrated on the air.
The Prime Minister proposed together with the Ministry of Regional Development, Construction, Housing and Utilities of Ukraine to work out typical projects of the most important social objects – crosswalks, public transport stops, hospitals, schools, etc.
"We need to draw attention to our expenditures and what we do. We changed the rules and offered opportunities – I urge to pay attention to the quality of work", Volodymyr Groysman stressed. "At one time I came up with a formula for building a new quality of life in Ukraine - there are funds on the ground, there are powers. We must have the third component - conscience. "