Government Action on Disability Policy
A Global Survey
Part II - Government Replies as Country Profiles
Download 'Government Reports on the UN Standard Rules' as a PDF file (440 KB)
© Dimitris Michailakis 1997
Transmitted by Permanent Mission to the United Nations, New York (8 April 1996)
Compare with the following Country Report(s): DPI, ILSMH
There is no officially recognized policy. The emphasis of this policy - in descending scale - is on prevention, rehabilitation, accessibility measures, anti-discrimination law, individual support.
The Government has initiated and supported information campaigns at the national level through mass media, posters, etc., in order to convey the message of full participation.
The rights of persons with disabilities are protected by a combination of special and general legislation. There is no judicial mechanism to protect the rights of persons with disabilities. According to the Government the only mechanism available for that purpose is the local police. Administrative and other non-judicial bodies include a special arbitration/conciliation body.
The 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, right to privacy, property rights. The following benefits are guaranteed by law to persons with disabilities: health and medical care, training, rehabilitation and counselling, employment, independent living, and participation in decisions affecting them.
The law of 5 January 1994, "Ley de Integracion Social de las Personas con Discapacidad (Ley 19.284)" has been enacted since the adoption of the Rules.
There are laws and regulations ensuring accessibility in the build environment requiring that public places, the outdoor environment, land, sea, air transportation, and housing are made accessible. Accessibility in the build environment is observed by a national authority and local Governments. The following measures have been promoted by the Government in order to facilitate accessibility: levelling off pavements, marking parking areas, installing lifts and accessible toilets, ensuring access to public places, improving accessibility in housing, providing financial incentives for accessibility measures when building or renovating housing tax excemptions when importing specially adapted motor vehicles. Special transport systems for persons with disabilities include reduced prices in public transport and offered for whatever purpose. When planning to build accessible environments the most difficult obstacles are: attitudinal factors, economic/budgetary factors, technical factors, geographical and climatic factors, lack of knowledge, research and information, lack of user participation, lack of co-operation from other organizations/institutions, and lack of enforcement mechanisms. No disability awareness component is incorporated in the training of planners, architects and construction engineers.
Sign language for deaf people has no officially recognized status. It is neither used as the first language in education of deaf people nor recognized as the main means of communication between deaf persons and others. There are Government measures for encouraging media and other forms of public information to make their services accessible such as computer systems used by visually impaired persons. The following services are provided in order to facilitate information and communication between persons with disabilities and other persons: literature in Braille/tape, and sign language interpretation being available for any purpose.
Organizations of persons with disabilities
There is no national umbrella organization. Legal provisions mandating the representatives of persons with disabilities to participate in policy-making and to work with Governmental institutions. Organizations are always consulted when laws and regulations with a disability aspect are being prepared. Consultations take place both at the national and regional levels. No support is given by the Government to existing or new organizations. Persons with disabilities participate to a very limited extent in Government, legislature, judiciary and political parties but to a very great extent in NGOs. The organizations in Chile have the role to: advocate rights and improved services, mobilize persons with disabilities, contribute to public awareness, provide services and promote/organize income generating activities.
Co-ordination of work
There is a national co-ordinating committee reporting to the Ministry of "Planning and Co-operation". The co-ordinating committee includes representatives from many Ministries, from the organizations of persons with disabilities, from other NGOs, and from the private sector. The Government expects the co-ordinating committee to participate in policy development, and to administer the economic resources intended for handicap policy. The establishment of the co-ordinating committee has had the following effects: improved co-ordination of measures/programmes in the disability field, improved integration of responsibility, a better dialogue in the disability field, more accurate planning, more effective use of resources, and improved promotion of public awareness.
The adoption of the Standard Rules has not led to a rethinking due to earlier non-existing disability policy.
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