Government Implementation of
the Standard Rules
As Seen By Member Organizations of
World Federation of the Deaf - WFD
Download 'WFD Reports on the UN Standard Rules' as a PDF file (240 KB)
© Dimitris Michailakis 1997
Polish Association of the Deaf, Poland
Compare with the following Country Report(s): the Polish Government, DPI, ILSMH, WBU
The officially recognized disability policy is expressed in law, in guidelines adopted by the government, in guidelines adopted by the national disability council and in policy adopted by NGOs. Disability policy equally emphasizes prevention, rehabilitation, individual support, accessibility measures and anti-discrimination law.
Since the adoption of the Rules, the government has not done anything to initiate or to support information campaigns, conveying the message of full participation. The Government states that it has 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 the NGOs were approved by the Government and disseminated, propagation in mass-media, mainly in the press and the publication of articles on the issues related to full participation of disabled persons.
The rights of persons with disabilities are protected by special legislation. According to the Government, the rights of persons with disabilities are protected both by general and special legislation. The judicial mechanisms adopted to protect the rights of persons with disabilities include due process (legal remedy through courts) and recourse procedure by a special agency, dealing with anti-discrimination issues. Non-judicial mechanisms include an Ombudsman and a governmental body (administrative). According to the Government judicial mechanisms do not include recourse procedure by a special agency, dealing with anti-discrimination issues.
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 requiring that land, sea and air transportation, and housing are made accessible. According to the Government, there are no standards requiring that means of public transport are made accessible but standards requiring that public places and the outdoor environment are made accessible. Accessibility in the built environment is observed by a national authority, by local governments and by the constructor. The following measures have been promoted by the government in order to facilitate accessibility in the built environment: levelling off pavements, marking parking areas, installing automatic doors, lifts and accessible toilets, ensuring access to public places, improving accessibility in housing, providing financial incentives/support for accessibility measures in housing, installing special lighting for visually impaired and providing specially adapted motor vehicles. There are special transport arrangements available for medical treatment, education, work and for recreational purpose. The most difficult obstacle when planning to build accessible environments, is economic/budgetary factors. According to the Government, even attitudinal factors are a main obstacle, when planning to build accessible environments. There is a disability awareness component incorporated in the training of planners, architects and construction engineers.
Sign language for deaf people has no officially recognized status, nor is it used as the first language in education of deaf people, but is recognized as the main means of communication between deaf persons and others. According to the Government, sign language for deaf people is also recognized as the official language for deaf people and is used as the first language in education of deaf people. There are government measures to encourage media to make their services accessible to persons with disabilities, but no measures to encourage other forms of public information to make their services accessible to persons with disabilities. 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 any purpose. According to the Government, sign language interpretation is available only for major events.
Organizations of persons with disabilities
There is a national umbrella organization in which all organizations of persons with disabilities are represented. There are legal provisions mandating the representatives of persons with disabilities to participate in policy-making and to work with governmental institutions. According to the Government, there are no such legal provisions. Organizations of persons with disabilities are sometimes consulted, when laws and regulations with a disability aspect are being prepared. Consultations occur at both the national, regional and local levels. Persons with disabilities participate to a very limited extent in government, legislatures, judicial authorities and political parties. The role of disabled persons organisations is to advocate rights and improved services, mobilize persons with disabilities, identify needs and priorities, participate in the planning, implementation and evaluation of services and measures concerning the lives of persons with disabilities, contribute to public awareness, provide services and to promote/organize income generating activities.
Co-ordination of work
The national co-ordinating committee is reporting to the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs. The government expects the committee to participate in policy development. The establishment of the co-ordinating committee has had the following effects: improved co-ordination of measures/programmes, improved legislation, 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. According to the Government, no co-ordinating committee has been established yet.
Contents of the WFD Report | Compare with the following Country Report(s): the Polish Government, DPI, ILSMH, WBU