Government Implementation of
the Standard Rules
As Seen By Member Organizations of
Disabled Peoples' International - DPI
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© Dimitris Michailakis 1997
The Board of Representatives from the Organizations of Disabled People, DPI, Czech Republic
Compare with the following Country Report(s): the Czech Government, ILSMH, RI, WBU
The officially recognized disability policy is expressed in law, in guidelines adopted by the government and in policy adopted by NGO's. The emphasis in this policy is on prevention, rehabilitation, accessibility measures, individual support and anti-discrimination law.
The government has conveyed the message of full participation through media campaigns. The Government states that, the message of full participation is conveyed by the Plan of Actions for the Handicapped Persons adopted in 1993.
The rights of persons with disabilities are protected by general legislation. According to the Government, the rights of persons with disabilities are protected by a combination of special legislation and general legislation. The judicial mechanism available to protect the rights of persons with disabilities is due process (legal remedy through courts). The non-judicial is a governmental body (administrative).
General legislation applies to persons with different disabilities with respect to education, employment, the right to marriage the right to parenthood/family, political rights, access to court of law, the right to privacy and to property rights. The following benefits are guaranteed by law to persons with disabilities: health and medical care, training, rehabilitation and counselling, financial security, employment and participation in decisions affecting themselves.
The following laws have been enacted, since the adoption of the Rules: Social Security Law, Accessibility Law, New Evaluation System of Status of Health Sheltered Workshops System. According to the Government, the legislation of the Czech Republic is being changed to a large extent. Even laws and regulations which may concern disability include special articles, applying to persons concerned.
There are rules to ensure accessibility of the built environment which establish national design standards requiring that public places, the outdoor environment, means of public transport (regulations are prepared now) and housing are made accessible. According to the Government, there are no regulations requiring that housing is made accessible. Accessibility in the built environment is observed by local governments and by the organisers/providers of the activities. According to the Government, accessibility in the built environment is observed only by local governments. The following measures have been promoted in order to facilitate accessibility in the built environment: levelling off pavements, marking parking areas, installing automatic doors, lifts and accessible toilets, ensuring access to public places, improving accessibility in housing, providing financial support for adapting private buildings to the needs of persons with disabilities, installing special lighting and using contrast colours for visually impaired and providing specially adapted motor vehicles. According to the Government, measures such as levelling off pavements, installing automatic doors, lifts and accessible toilets and improving accessibility in housing have not been promoted. Special transport arrangements include free transport, based on the level of impairment. Special transport is available for medical treatment, education, work and for recreational purpose. The most difficult obstacles, when planning to build accessible environments, are attitudinal factors, economic/budgetary factors, technical factors, lack of co-operation from other organizations/institutions and lack of enforcement mechanism. There is a disability awareness component incorporated in the training of planners, architects and construction engineers.
Sign language has no officially recognized status, is not used as the first language in education of deaf people and is not recognized as the main means of communication between deaf persons and others. However, sign language is taught at the university level and courses are organized for interpreters by NGO's. According to the Government, the right of deaf children to be educated by means of sign language is guaranteed by law. There are government measures to encourage media to make their information services accessible to persons with disabilities, but there are no government measures to make other forms of information services accessible to persons with disabilities. The Government states that there are no measures to encourage media to make their services accessible to persons with disabilities. The following services are provided in order to facilitate information and communication between persons with disabilities and others: literature in Braille/tape, news magazines on tape/Braille, sign language interpretation being available for major events and easy readers for persons with mental disabilities. According to the Government, easy readers for persons with mental disabilities are not provided.
Organizations of persons with disabilities
There is a national umbrella organization. There are legal provisions mandating the representatives of persons with disabilities to participate in policy-making and to work with governmental institutions. Organizations of persons with disabilities are sometimes consulted, when laws and regulations with a disability aspect are being prepared. According to the Government, organizations of disabled people are always consulted, when laws and regulations with a disability aspect are being prepared. Consultations occur at the national level. The government gives financial and organizational/logistic support to existing or new organizations of persons with disabilities. The Government states, that it only gives financial support to organizations of persons with disabilities. Persons with disabilities participate to a very limited extent in judicial authorities, to some extent in government, legislatures, political parties but to a great extent in NGO's. The role of organizations of persons with disabilities is to advocate rights and improved services, mobilize persons with disabilities, identify needs and priorities, participate in the planning, implementation and evaluation of services and measures, contribute to public awareness, provide services and promote/organize income generating activities. According to the Government, organizations do not promote/organize income generating activities.
Co-ordination of work
The co-ordinating committee is reporting to a central body, chaired by the Prime Minister. The committee includes representatives of some Ministries and of organizations of persons with disabilities. According to the Government, the committee also includes representatives from the private sector. The government expects the co-ordinating committee to participate in policy development but not to perform other tasks. The establishment of the co-ordinating committee has had the following effects: improved co-ordination of measures/programmes, a better dialogue in the disability field and improved promotion of public awareness. According to the Government, other effects of the establishment of the co-ordinating committee are improved legislation and more effective use of resources.
The adoption of the Rules has in part led to a rethinking of the approach to disability policy. The Government states that the adoption of the Rules has not led to a rethinking, the philosophy expressed in the Rules being already involved in the Resolutions of the Czech Government.
Contents of the DPI Report | Compare with the following Country Report(s): the Czech Government, ILSMH, RI, WBU