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Government Implementation of the Standard Rules
As Seen By Member Organizations of
Inclusion International - ILSMH

Czech Republic


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© Dimitris Michailakis 1997

Sdruzeni pro Pomoc Mentalne Postizenym, ILSMH, Czech Republic
Compare with the following Country Report(s): the Czech Government, DPI, RI, WBU


General policy

The officially recognized disability policy is expressed in guidelines adopted by the government. According to the Government, disability policy is also expressed in law and in policy adopted by NGOs. The emphasis in this policy is on rehabilitation, accessibility measures, individual support, prevention and anti-discrimination law.

Since the adoption of the Rules the government has not done anything to initiate or support information campaigns conveying the message of full participation.


Legislation

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 recourse procedure, by a special agency dealing with anti-discrimination issues. Non-judicial mechanisms include an Ombudsman and a governmental body (administrative). According to the Government, the judicial mechanism to protect the rights of disabled people is due process (legal remedy through the courts). The non-judicial mechanisms include 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. According to the Government, the rights of marriage and of parenthood/family are not guaranteed by law. The following benefits are guaranteed by law to persons with disabilities: health and medical care, training, rehabilitation and counselling, financial security. According to the Government even the benefits of employment and of participation in decisions affecting themselves are guaranteed by law.

No new legislation concerning disability has been enacted since the adoption of the Rules. According to the Government, the legislation of the Czech Republic since the adoption of the Rules, is being changed to a large extent. Every law and regulation which may concern disability contains special article(s) applying to the persons concerned.


Accessibility

There are rules to ensure accessibility of the built environment which establish national design standards requiring that public places and the outdoor environment are made accessible. According to the Government, there are standards which require that even air transportation is made accessible. No responsible body exists for observing the accessibility of the built environment. According to the Government, local governments observe accessibility in the built environment. The following measures have been promoted to facilitate accessibility of the built environment: marking parking areas, installing automatic doors, lifts and accessible toilets and ensuring access to public places. According to the Government even other measures have been promoted to facilitate accessibility in the built environment e.g. providing financial support for the costs of adapting private buildings, providing specially adapted motor vehicles, installing of light signalling for the deaf and installing sound signalling on pedestrian crossings for the blind in big cities. There are no special transport arrangements for persons with disabilities. According to the Government, there is special transport available for all purposes. However, very few public lines are accessible for the physically disabled. Subsidies are provided for individual transport for all purposes. The most difficult obstacles, when planning to build accessible environments, are attitudinal factors, economic/budgetary factors and lack of legislation and regulations. The Government does not regard attitudinal factors as a main obstacle when building accessible environments. There is no disability awareness component incorporated in the training of planners, architects and construction engineers. According to the Government, there is such a component.

Sign language for deaf people is recognized as the main means of communication between deaf persons and others. 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 services accessible to persons with disabilities, but there are no measures to encourage other forms of public information to make their services accessible to persons with disabilities. According to the Government there are no measures to encourage media to maker their services accessible. 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 and sign language interpretation being available for major events.


Organizations of persons with disabilities

There is a national umbrella organization in which the organizations of the blind, the physically handicapped, the mentally handicapped and people with civilisation illnesses(!) are represented. 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 are always consulted in these cases. Consultations occur at the national level. The government financially supports existing or new organizations of persons with disabilities. Persons with disabilities participate to a very limited extent in government, legislatures, judicial authorities, political parties but to a great extent in NGOs. 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. In addition, the organizations promote leisure-time activities, such as sports and culture. According to the Government, the organizations do not promote/organise income generating activities.


Co-ordination of work

The national co-ordinating committee is reporting to the Prime Minister's office. The committee includes representatives of many 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 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, improved legislation, a better dialogue in the disability field and improved promotion of public awareness.

The adoption of the Rules has not yet led to a rethinking of the approach to disability policy.


Contents of the ILSMH Report | Compare with the following Country Report(s): the Czech Government, DPI, RI, WBU