Independent Living Institute www.independentliving.org

 

Government Action on Disability Policy

A Global Survey
Part III

 

Download 'Government Reports on the UN Standard Rules' as a PDF file (440 KB)
© Dimitris Michailakis 1997

Part III


Survey of NGO Replies


Introduction

This part of the report analyses the replies to the questionnaire sent to 600 NGO's within the disability field. 163 NGO's responded. No comparison between the views of NGO's and of governments is made in this part.

The distribution of NGO's, according to regions, is as follows:

Table A Regions
RegionsFrequencyValid Percent
South, East Asia and the Pacific1710,4
Industrialized countries4628,2
Latin America and the Caribbean2012,3
Middle East and North Africa106,1
Sub-Saharan Africa3420,9
Countries in transition3622,1
Total163100,0


The distribution of NGO's, according to the international organization to which they belong, is as follows:

Table B Organization type
Organization typeFrequencyValid Percent
DPI3320,2
ILSMH4628,2
RI159,2
WBU3320,2
WFD3119,0
WFPU21,2
Other31,8
Total163100,0



General Policy

Table 1 (Question No.1)
Number of NGO's having an officially recognized disability policy expressed in:
Disability policy expressed in:FrequencyValid Percent
Reporting having an officially recognized policy13085,5
Reporting not having an officially recognized policy2214,5
Law9361,2
Guidelines adopted by the Government8052,6
Guidelines adopted by a disability council6442,1
Policy adopted by political parties3321,7
Policy adopted by NGO's6643,4
Total 152, No answer 11

As Table 1 shows the majority of the NGO's are reporting that there is an officially recognized disability policy and that the disability policy is expressed in law and in guidelines adopted by the government.

Table 2 (Question No. 2)
The emphasis of disability policy
Emphasis in national policyNumber of NGO's indicating respective emphasis
 12345
Prevention2620282013
Rehabilitation494216102
Individual support3025251316
Accessibility measures521263713
Anti-discrimination law207101640
1 = very strong emphasis
5 = very weak emphasis

According to the NGO's the strongest emphasis is on rehabilitation while the weakest emphasis is on anti-discrimination law and accessibility measures.

Table 3 (Question No. 3)
Government action to convey the message of full participation
Conveying the message of full participationFrequencyValid Percent
NGO's reporting action6642,3
NGO's reporting no action9057,7
Total 156, No answer 7

As Table 3 shows, the majority of the organizations are reporting that the governments, since the adoption of the Rules, have not done anything to initiate or support information campaigns, conveying the message of full participation.


Legislation

Table 4 (Question No. 4)
Types of legislation to protect the rights of persons with disabilities
Types of legislationFrequencyValid Percent
Only special legislation3723,6
Only general legislation5132,5
A combination of these two types6943,9
Total 157, No answer 6

As Table 4 shows, the most common type of legislation is the use of a combination of special and general legislation. The next common type of legislation is general legislation applicable to all citizens, the least common type being special legislation, specifically referring to disabled persons rights.

Table 5 (Question No. 5)
Mechanisms to protect citizenship rights
Judicial/no-judicial mechanismsFrequencyValid Percent
Due process9772,4
Recourse procedure2820,9
The Ombudsman4835,8
Governmental body (administrative)7354,5
Expert bodies2619,4
Arbitration/conciliation body1410,4
Total 134, No answer 29

As Table 5 shows the majority of the NGO's are reporting that mechanisms have been adopted to protecting the rights of persons with disabilities. The most usual judicial mechanism adopted is legal remedy through the courts, the most usual non-judicial mechanism being a governmental body (administrative).

Table 6 (Question 6)
Civil and political rights of persons with disabilities
NGO's reporting that general legislation
does not apply with respect to:
FrequencyValid Percent
Education86,0
Employment2317,2
The right to marriage5037,3
The right to parenthood/family5440,3
Political rights4735,1
Access to court-of-law3425,4
Right to privacy4029,9
Property rights5138,1
Total 134, No answer 29

As Table 6 shows, a considerable number of NGO's are reporting that general legislation does not apply to persons with disabilities with respect to: the right to parenthood/family, the right to marriage and property rights. The general legislation applies in almost all countries with respect to the right of education.

Table 7 (Question No. 7)
Economic and social rights of persons with disabilities
NGO's reporting that the following benefits are not guaranteed by law:
does not apply with respect to:
FrequencyValid Percent
Health/medical care3725,5
Rehabilitation3725,5
Financial security6343,4
Employment7853,8
Independent living9263,4
Participation in decisions affecting themselves8760,0
Total 145, No answer 18

According to the NGO's, the rights less often guaranteed by law to persons with disabilities are the following: independent living, participation in decisions affecting themselves and the right to employment. The right which is most often guaranteed by law is the right to health and medical care.

Table 8 (Question No. 8)
New legislation concerning disability since the adoption of the Rules
Legislation on disabilityFrequencyValid Percent
NGO's reporting enactment of new legislation5436,5
NGO's reporting no enactment of new legislation9463,5
Total 148, No answer 15

As Table 8 shows, the majority of the NGO's are reporting that no new legislation concerning disability has been enacted since the adoption of the Rules.


Accessibility

Table 9 (Question No. 9)
Regulations to ensure accessibility in the built environment
NGO's reporting that:FrequencyValid Percent
Accessibility standards exist9967,3
Accessibility standards do not exist4832,7
Total 147, No answer 16

As Table 9 indicates, a considerable number of NGO's are reporting that no accessibility standards exist.

Table 10 (Question No. 10)
Accessibility of the built environment
NGO's reporting accessibility in:FrequencyValid Percent
Public places9090,9
Outdoor environment6868,7
Transportation4949,5
Housing5454,5
Accessibility standards do not exist4832,7
Total 147, No answer 16

As Table 10 indicates, the majority of the NGO's are reporting that accessibility standards concerning public places exist, accessibility standards concerning means of public transportation existing to a lesser extent.

Table 11 (Question No. 11)
Supervision of the accessibility in the built environment
Accessibility in the build environment is observed by:FrequencyValid Percent
National authority5644,1
Local Governments7256,7
The constructor2217,3
The organizers/providers of the activities1511,8
No responsible body exists2721,3
Total 127, No answer 36

As Table 11 shows, 21% of the NGO's are reporting that no responsible body exists for observing accessibility in the build environment. The supervision is mostly done by a national authority and the local governments.

Table 12 (Question No. 12)
Measures to facilitate accessibility of the built environment
Government measures promoted:FrequencyValid Percent
Levelling off pavements7155,9
Marking parking areas8163,8
Installing automatic doors, lifts and accessible toilets6652,0
Ensure accessibility in the public places7861,4
Improving accessibility in housing4737,0
Financial incentives/support for accessibility measures4031,5
Special lighting/contrast colours for visually impaired2217,3
Provision of specially adapted motor vehicles5946,5
Total 127, No answer 36

According to the NGO's, the following measures to facilitate accessibility in the build environment are the most frequently promoted: levelling off pavements, marking parking areas and ensuring accessibility in public places. The measure being least of all promoted is the special lighting/contrast colours for visually impaired.

Table 13 (Question No. 13)
Special transport system
Special transport is available for:FrequencyValid Percent
Medical treatment7985,9
Education8491,3
Work7177,2
Recreational purpose7581,5
No special transport system exists5637,6
Special transport exists9362,4
Total 148, No answer 15

Special transport is most often available for medical treatment and education. There are 56 NGO's out of 92 providing information on this issue, reporting that no special transport system exists.

Table 14 (Question No. 14)
Adaptation of the built environment
Obstacles reported by NGO's when building accessible environments:FrequencyValid Percent
Attitudinal factors10166,4
Economic/budgetary factors11978,3
Technical factors3221,1
Geographical and climatic factors1711,2
Lack of legislation and regulations7348,0
Lack of planning and design capacity5234,2
Lack of knowledge, research and information6442,1
Lack of user participation4932,2
Lack of co-operation from other organizations5334,9
Lack of enforcement mechanism8656,6
Total 152, No answer 11

As Table 14 shows, the three main obstacles, reported by NGO's, when building accessible environments are the following: economic/budgetary factors, attitudinal factors and lack of enforcement mechanism.

Table 15 (Question No. 15)
Disability awareness component
Disability awareness in the training:FrequencyValid Percent
Countries having a disability awareness component5035,0
Countries not having a disability awareness component9365,0
Total 143, No answer 20

The majority of the NGO's are reporting that a disability awareness component is not incorporated in the training of planners, architects and construction engineers.

Table 16 (Question No. 16)
Status of sign language
The status of sign language as reported by the NGO's:FrequencyValid Percent
Recognized as the official language5942,4
The first language in education2115,1
The main means of communication1913,7
No officially recognized status4028,8
Total 139, No answer 24

As Table 16 indicates, there are 40 NGO's out of 139 providing information on this issue, reporting that sign language has no officially recognized status, 59 NGO's though report that sign language is recognized as the official language of deaf people.

Table 17 (Question No. 17)
Accessibility measures in media
Accessibility measures in mediaFrequencyValid Percent
Reporting accessibility measures6440,3
Reporting no accessibility measures9559,7
Total 159, No answer 4

As Table 17 shows,, the majority of the NGO's are reporting that there are no accessibility measures for encouraging media to make their information services accessible for persons with disabilities.

Table 18 (Question No. 18)
Accessibility measures in public information services
Public information servicesFrequencyValid Percent
Reporting accessibility measures in information4127,3
Reporting no accessibility measures in information10972,7
Total 150, No answer 13

The majority of the NGO's are also reporting that there are no government measures to make other forms of public information services accessible for persons with disabilities.

Table 19 (Question No. 19)
Access to information and communication
Services to facilitate information and communicationFrequencyValid Percent
Literature in Braille/tape11173,0
News magazines on tape/Braille7247,4
Sign language interpretation for any purpose4529,6
Sign language interpretation for major events4328,3
Easy readers for persons with mental disabilities3221,1
None2717,8
Total 152, No answer 11

As Table 19 indicates, 18% of the NGO's report that no services at all are provided in order to facilitate information and communication between persons with disabilities and others. The services most frequently provided is literature in Braille/tape, services such as sign language interpretation and easy readers for persons with disabilities being less often provided.


Organizations of Persons with Disabilities

Table 20 (Question No. 20)
National umbrella organization
National umbrella organizationFrequencyValid Percent
There is an umbrella organization11472,2
There is no umbrella organization4427,8
Total 158, No answer 5

As Table 20 shows the majority of the NGO's are reporting that there is an umbrella organization for the organizations of persons with disabilities.

Table 21 (Question 21)
Participation in policy making
Participation in policy-makingFrequencyValid Percent
NGO's reporting paricipation6340,4
NGO's reporting no participation9359,6
Total 156, No answer 7

As Table 21 shows, 60% of the NGO's report that there are no legal provisions mandating the representatives of persons with disabilities to participate in policy-making or to work with governmental institutions.

Table 22 (Question 22)
Consultations with organizations of persons with disabilities
Organizations are consulted:FrequencyValid Percent
Never1811,6
Sometimes7145,8
Often4629,7
Always2012,9
Total 155, No answer 8

Table 22 shows that a majority of the organizations reports that consultations sometimes take place, 12% of the NGO's are reporting that, when preparing laws, regulations and/or guidelines with a disability aspect are being prepared, consultations with organizations of persons with disabilities never take place.

Table 23 (Question 23)
Level of consultations
Level of consultationsFrequencyValid Percent
National13094,2
Regional4734,1
Local5942,8
Total 138, No answer 25

Table 23 shows that consultations, when this is the case most frequently take place at the national level.

Table 24 (Question 24)
Support to organizations of disabled people
Kind of supportFrequencyValid Percent
Financial10573,4
Organizational/logistic3927,3
No support at all2416,8
Total 143, No answer 20

The majority of the NGO's are reporting that the government gives financial support to organizations of persons with disabilities. However, 24 NGO's out of 143 providing information on this issue which are reporting that no support at all is given to organizations of persons with disabilities.

Table 25 (Question 25)
Participation in political and public life
Areas of political and public lifeNumber of countries reporting participation
 LimitedSomeGreat
Government1071412
Legislature1011514
Judiciary10696
Political parties892315
NGO's292885
1 and 2 = limited extent
3 = some extent
4 and 5 = great extent

Table 25 shows that the majority of NGO's are reporting that persons with disabilities to a very limited extent participate in government, legislature, judicial authorities and political parties but to a great extent in NGO's.

Table 26 (Question 26)
The role of organizations
Areas organizations are involvedFrequencyValid Percent
Advocating rights and improved services14791,9
Mobilize persons with disabilities13584,4
Identify needs and priorities13181,9
Participate in the planning, implementation etc.9660,0
Contribute to public awareness14791,9
Provide services11974,4
Promote/organize income generating activities10263,8
Total 160, No answer 3

Table 26 shows that organizations foremost are involved in advocating rights and improved services, contributing to public awareness and mobilizing persons with disabilities. Organizations report being least involved in the participating, in the planning, implementation and evaluation of services and measures concerning the lives of persons with disabilities. Nontheless, the rates are high in all areas concerning organization involvement implying that the NGO's apprehend that their role involves a wide range of tasks.


Co-ordination of Work

Table 27 (Question 27)
Co-ordinating committee
Co-ordinating committeeFrequencyValid Percent
There is a co-ordinating committee10868,4
There is no co-ordinating committee5031,6
Total 158, No answer 5

Table 27 shows that the majority of the organizations report the existence of a co-ordinating committee. 50 organizations out of 158 providing information on this issue reporting there being no co-ordinating committee.

Table 28 (Question 28)
Where the co-ordinating committee is reporting to
The co-ordinating committee is reporting to:FrequencyValid Percent
A particular Ministry7772,6
The Prime Minister's office1514,2
Other1413,2
There is no co-ordinating committee5031,6
Total 154, No answer 9

The authority, according to the NGO's, to which the co-ordinating committee usually is reporting is the Ministry of Social Affairs or another Ministry.

Table 29 (Question 29)
Representation in the co-ordinating committee
Representatives of:FrequencyValid Percent
Ministries9492,2
Organizations of persons with disabilities8785,3
Other NGO's4645,1
The private sector2524,5
There is no co-ordinating committee5031,6
Total 152, No answer 11

According to the NGO's, the co-ordinating committee usually includes representatives from Ministries and from organizations of persons with disabilities. Representatives from other NGO's and from the private sector are not so often included in the co-ordinating committee.

Table 30 (Question 30)
Participation in policy-development
Involvement of the co-ordinating committeeFrequencyValid Percent
Participation in policy development9087,4
No participation in policy-development1312,6
There is no co-ordinating committee5031,6
Total 153, No answer 10

Table 30 shows that 90 NGO's out of 103 providing information on this issue report that the co-ordinating committee is expected to participate in policy development.

Table 31 (Question 31)
Participation in performance of other tasks
Involvement of the co-ordinating committeeFrequencyValid Percent
Reporting performance of other tasks5257,1
Reporting no performance of other tasks3942,9
There is no co-ordinating committee5031,6
Total 141, No answer 22

Only 52 NGO's out of 91 providing information on this issue report that the committee is expected to perform other tasks.

Table 32 (Question 32)
Effects of the establishment of the co-ordinating committee
EffectsFrequencyValid Percent
Improved co-ordination of measures/programmes5456,3
Improved legislation4344,8
Improved integration of responsibility3738,5
Better dialogue in the disability field5759,4
More accurate planning3031,3
More effective use of resources2728,1
Improved promotion of public awareness4243,8
Too early for an assessment3031,3
There is no co-ordinating committee5031,6
Total 146, No answer 17

According to the NGO's, 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 legislation. However, 30 NGO's out of 96 providing information on this issue report that it is too early for an assessment regarding the effects of the co-ordinating committee.

Table 33 (Question 33)
Effects of the adoption of the Standard Rules
The effects of the Standard RulesFrequencyValid Percent
NGO's reporting a rethinking5647,5
NGO's reporting no rethinking5647,5
Too early for an assessment1125,1
Total 118, No answer