Government Action on Disability Policy
A Global Survey
Part II - Government Replies as Country Profiles
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© Dimitris Michailakis 1997
Transmitted by Permanent Mission to the United Nations, New York (21 May 1996)
The rights of persons with disabilities are protected by 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.
The general legislation applies to persons with different disabilities only with respect to the right of parenthood/family. The following benefits are guaranteed by law to persons with disabilities: health and medical care, training, rehabilitation and counselling.
No new legislation concerning disability has been enacted since the adoption of the Rules.
There are rules to ensure accessibility of the build environment requiring that public places, the outdoor environment, and housing are made accessible. Accessibility in the build environment is observed by a national authority and the organizers/providers of the services. The following measures have been promoted to facilitate accessibility: marking parking areas, installing automatic doors, lifts and accessible toilets, provision of specially adapted motor vehicles. Special transport arrangements are very limited and they are available only for education. When planning to build accessible environments the most difficult obstacles are lack of legislation and regulations, lack of planning and design-capacity. There is no disability awareness component incorporated in the training of planners, architects and construction engineers.
Sign language for deaf people has no officially recognized status, is not used as the first language in education of deaf people, and is not recognized as the main means of communication between deaf persons and others. To some extent there are Government measures to encourage media to make their services accessible but there are no measures for encouraging other forms of public information to make their services accessible.
No services are provided in order to facilitate information and communication between persons with disabilities and others.
Organizations of persons with disabilities
There is no national umbrella organization. There are no legal provisions mandating the representatives of persons with disabilities to participate in policy-making and to work with Governmental institutions. Organizations are sometimes consulted when laws and regulations with a disability aspect are being prepared. Consultations take place at the local level. The Government financially supports existing or new organizations. Persons with disabilities participate to a very limited extent in Government but to some extent in NGOs. They do not at all participate in legislature, judicial authorities and political parties. The organizations have the role to advocate rights and improved services.
Co-ordination of work
There is no national co-ordinating committee or similar body.
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