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
Polish Association of the Blind, Poland
Compare with the following Country Report(s): the Polish Government, DPI, ILSMH, WFD
The officially recognized disability policy is expressed in law, in guidelines adopted by a national disability council and in policy adopted by NGOs. The emphasis in this policy is on rehabilitation, individual support, anti-discrimination law, prevention and accessibility measures.
Since the adoption of the Rules, the government has not done anything to convey the message of full participation. The government states having supported the following actions, conveying the message of full participation: the Standard Rules were translated into Polish and disseminated; the principles of co-operation between the Government and NGOs were approved by the Government and disseminated, propagation in mass-media took place, mainly in the press (by co-financing from the State Rehabilitation Fund) and articles were published on the issues related to full participation of disabled people.
The rights of persons with disabilities are protected by a combination of special legislation and general legislation. The judicial mechanism adopted to protect the rights of persons with disabilities is due procedure (legal remedy through courts), the non-judicial mechanism available for that purpose being 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 property rights. The following benefits are guaranteed by law to persons with disabilities: health and medical care, training, rehabilitation and counselling, financial security, employment, independent living and participation in decisions affecting themselves.
No new legislation concerning disability has been enacted, since the adoption of the Rules.
There are rules to ensure accessibility of the built environment. Accessibility in the built environment is observed by the constructor. According to the Government, accessibility in the built environment is observed by a national authority and by local governments. The following measures have been promoted to facilitate accessibility in the built environment: marking parking areas, installing lifts and accessible toilets, providing financial incentives/support for accessibility measures in housing and providing specially adapted motor vehicles. According to the Government, even levelling off pavements, installing special lighting and using contrast colours for visually impaired have been promoted. There is special transport for persons with disabilities. The most difficult obstacles, when planning to build accessible environments, are economic/budgetary factors, lack of legislation and regulations, lack of planning and design-capacity, lack of knowledge, research and information, lack of user participation, lack of co-operation form 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 for deaf people is recognized as the official language of deaf people and also recognized as the main means of communication between deaf persons and others. There are government measures to encourage media to make their services accessible to persons with disabilities, but there are no government measures to encourage other forms of public information to make their services accessible to persons with disabilities. According to the Government, there are also measures to encourage other forms of public information to make 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 some100 organizations are represented. There are no legal provisions mandating the representatives of persons with disabilities to participate in policy-making or to work with governmental institutions. Organizations of persons with disabilities are often 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. The Government states giving also organizational/logistic support to organizations of disabled people. 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, contribute to public awareness, provide services and promote/organize income generating activities. According to the Government, organizations also participate in the planning, implementation and evaluation of services and measures.
Co-ordination of work
There is no national co-ordinating committee or any similar body.
The adoption of the rules has led to a rethinking of the approach to disability policy.
Contents of the WBU Report | Compare with the following Country Report(s): the Polish Government, DPI, ILSMH, WFD