Government Implementation of
the Standard Rules
As Seen By Member Organizations of
World Blind Union - WBU
Download 'WBU Reports on the UN Standard Rules' as a PDF file (195 KB)
© Dimitris Michailakis 1997
Czech Association of the Blind, Czech Republic
Compare with the following Country Report(s): the Czech Government, DPI, ILSMH, RI
The officially recognized disability policy is expressed in guidelines adopted by the government and in policy adopted by NGOs. The emphasis in this national policy - in descending scale - is on individual support, prevention, anti-discrimination law, rehabilitation, and accessibility measures.
Since the adoption of the Rules, the government has not done anything to initiate or support information campaigns, conveying the message of full participation.
The rights of persons with disabilities are protected by general legislation applicable to all citizens. According to the Government, the rights of persons with disabilities are protected by a combination of special legislation and general legislation. There is no institutional mechanism/arrangement to protect the rights of persons with disabilities. The only body available for that purpose is NGOs. According to the Government the judicial mechanism available to protect the rights of persons with disabilities is due process (legal remedy through the courts). Non-judicial mechanisms include a governmental body administrative.
The following benefits are guaranteed by law to persons with disabilities: health and medical care, financial security and participation in decisions affecting themselves. According to the Government, even the benefits of training, rehabilitation and counselling and of employment are guaranteed by law to disabled people.
The Law on education has been enacted, since the adoption of the Rules. According to the Government, since the adoption of the Rules, the legislation of the Czech Republic is being changed to a large extent. Every law and regulation which may concern disability includes special article(s), applicable to the persons concerned.
There are laws and regulations to ensure accessibility of the built environment requiring that public places and the outdoor environment are made accessible. According to the Government, there are even rules requiring that also air transportation is made accessible. Accessibility in the built environment is observed by a national authority. According to the Government, local governments are reviewing the operation of accessibility standards. The following measures have been promoted to facilitate accessibility in the built environment: levelling off pavements, ensuring access to public places, providing financial support for accessibility measures in housing and providing specially adapted motor vehicles. According to the Government, other measures also being provided are: installing of light signalling for the deaf and installing of sound signalling on pedestrian crossings for the blind in the big cities. Special transport includes financial support for transport in special city lines. Special transport is available only for the purpose of work. According to the Government, very few lines in public transport are accessible for physically disabled. Subsidies, however, are provided for individual transport for all purposes. The most difficult obstacles, when planning to build accessible environments, are economic/budgetary factors and lack of legislation and regulations. To some extent, there is a disability awareness component incorporated in the training of planners, architects and construction engineers.
Sign language for deaf people is recognized as the official language of deaf people. According to the Government, the right of deaf children to be educated by the means of sign language, is guaranteed by law. There are government measures to encourage media and 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 and other forms of public information to make their services accessible for disabled people. 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. 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 always consulted, when laws and regulations with a disability aspect are being prepared. 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 and political parties but to a great extent in NGOs. The role of disabled persons organizations is to advocate rights and improved services, contribute to public awareness and provide services. According to the Government, organizations also mobilize persons with disabilities, identify needs and priorities and participate in the planning, implementation and evaluation of services and measures.
Co-ordination of work
The national co-ordinating committee is reporting to the Prime Minister's office. The committee includes representatives only of the organizations of persons with disabilities. According to the Government, the committee also includes representatives from eight Ministries and from the private sector. The government expects the co-ordinating committee to participate in policy development and to perform other tasks (e.g. public awareness programmes). The establishment of the co-ordinating committee has had the following effects: improved legislation and improved promotion of public awareness. According to the Government, the co-ordinating committee has also had the following effects: improved co-ordination of measures/programmes and more effective use of resources.
The adoption of the Rules has only partially led to a rethinking of the approach to disability policy. The Government states that the adoption of the Standard Rules has not led to a rethinking of the approach to disability policy, the disability policy having started one year before the adoption of the Standard Rules, as a new attitude in this field.
Contents of the WBU Report | Compare with the following Country Report(s): the Czech Government, DPI, ILSMH, RI