Medvedev pledges 20 billion roubles to improve disabled accessibility
Russia’s Prime Minister recently held a meeting with representatives from All-Russian public disability bodies where they discussed problems that impact on disabled peoples’ quality of life.
In the meeting, Medvedev said: “Disabled people are confronted by bureaucratic as well as physical barriers which the Government is trying to eliminate. Changes have been made to the rules that classify a person as disabled. In addition, we have extended the list of illnesses and irreversible changes to the body that determine adult disability and those affecting children prior to reaching adulthood, against which those applying for such status will be assessed”.
In a statement published on the official Head of Government website, Medvedev stated that the State’s ‘Accessible Environment’ programme would be implemented over the next few years with more than 20 billion roubles set aside for this project.
“A significant number of potential barriers (more than 50%) have already been adapted to cater for disabled people, although it’s always difficult to know how these should be counted, as well as what to include. However, the most important thing to recognise is that adaptation is well underway”, said Medvedev.
Medvedev expressed concern that more than 1.5 million people were applying for technical rehab equipment every year but that 31 billion roubles of State funding had been allocated in 2018 to help address this issue. However, demand far exceeds supply. “Electronic certificates are to be introduced from 2020 which will make the whole process easier. In addition, maternity capital can now be used to purchase rehab equipment for the disabled”, said the Prime Minister.
During the meeting, Medvedev said “Letting the disabled know when there’s an emergency is a really important issue because even able-bodied people don’t find it so easy to get the first response services to react. Therefore, I propose preparing an Order for the Ministries of Communications and Emergencies for them to consider introducing a new system for alerting disabled people to extreme events”, said Medvedev as reported by the Novosti information agency.