Chaired by Prime Minister Hovik Abrahamyan, the National Commission for People with Disabilities Affairs met in the Office of Government.
As part of the agenda, the meeting heard a report on the activities carried out in 2014 by the national, Yerevan and regional local commissions toward the inclusion of disabled persons in various social programs.
It was reported that government programs were aimed at providing employment to non-competitive groups, including the disabled, with 13 social enterprises created, over 600 people trained and 400 recruited.
Temporary jobs were provided 237 to disabled persons by promoting seasonal employment under the agricultural support program during the past year alone. In addition, 460 persons with disabilities were trained in secondary specialized and vocational institutions. 10 similar schools were adapted for disabled persons.
Access to education was given a special focus, along with the creation of an affordable urban environment for people with disabilities. 980 sloping platforms were built in Yerevan during the past year. Special amenities were made available in the parks, on street crossings and sidewalks.
A number of traffic audio signal emitters were installed in Yerevan. 10 public buses were equipped with wheelchair lifts. The aforementioned programs shall be continued in 2015.
During the exchange of opinions that followed, the speakers came up with several proposals to address the problems of disabled persons.
Susanna Tadevosyan, President of “Bridge of Hope” NGO, which deals with the protection of the rights of disabled children and youth, and Chairman of UNISON public organization on support of people with special needs Armen Alaverdyan reported back the findings of the monitoring of a legislative framework conducive to Armenia’s compliance with the commitments assumed upon ratification of the UN Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities, as well as the steps taken to ensure accessibility for persons with disabilities.
Summarizing the discussion, Prime Minister Abrahamyan noted that extensive work had been implemented in the period under review, which should be continued. “We must push ahead with the effort aimed at providing employment to citizens with disabilities. This applies to everyone: Marz Governors, the Mayor of Yerevan and the Ministers. Consistent work needs to be done in this field,” the Prime Minister said, adding that it is part of the program of integration of disabled people into society.
Hovik Abrahamyan asked the Minister of Urban Development, the Mayor of Yerevan and Marz Governors to keep focus on the design and construction of new buildings and structures in order to meet the needs of disabled persons in line with the applicable urban development standards, as well as to rule out any discrimination with regard to persons with disabilities.
In conclusion, Hovik Abrahamyan congratulated the female audience on the International Women’s Day, hailing Armenian women for their contribution to the country’s public and political life and wishing them robust health and happiness.