Russia to help disabled youth into careers

Russia to introduce career counselling for young people with disabilities


Implementation is envisaged as part of the state programme ‘Accessible Environment’ lasting until 2020. In addition, from 2016 employees of a range of organisations and institutions will be obliged to assist those with disabilities in obtaining services. The provision of such assistance should be included in the administrative regulations on rendering services by 1 July 2016.

According to the Minister of Labour and Social Protection Maxim Topilin, educational institutions will work closely with employment service bodies. “This will help those with disabilities to choose the optimum profession whilst they are studying. Depending on the health of the individual, job referral may be through both the open labour market and specialised businesses”, said Topilin on the International Day of Persons with Disabilities.

The chairman of the All-Russian Society of Disabled Persons, Mikhail Terentiev, noted that access to education and career counselling for those with disabilities is no less important than rehabilitation. “In order for people with disabilities to be competitive in the open labour market, they must be educated”, he emphasised.

On the same day, Moscow’s mayor, Sergey Sobyanin, announced that the city had successfully created a barrier-free environment for people with disabilities. “We have managed to increase the accessibility of the urban environment by fifty percent. The proportion of facilities adapted for those with limited mobility has increased to 80%. The same can be said for the city’s overground public transport”, said Sobyanin. He also noted that in 2016 accessibility requirements will be extended to buses owned by private carriers operating on city routes.

The innovations will concern both civil society institutions and public authorities. From 1 January 2016 they will be required to provide their employees with support staff, to issue communications in both text and spoken formats and to equip their facilities with braille signs. By 1 July 2016 the provision of such assistance will be included in the administrative regulations on rendering services.

The fact that people with disabilities are in need of a barrier-free environment and access to education was underlined on 3 December by President Putin in his annual message to the Federal Assembly. “It is vital to support people with low incomes, the most vulnerable categories of citizens, and to finally develop fair principles of social assistance, ensuring it reaches those who really need it”, announced the head of state.

According to the Russian Pension Fund, as of 1 September 2015 there are 12.45 million disabled people in Russia. In late 2014 the federal law ‘On amendments to legislative acts concerning the social protection of disabled persons in connection with the ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Disabled’ was adopted. The law, which comes into force on 1 January 2016, outlaws discrimination on the grounds of disability.

The International Day of Persons with Disabilities is observed annually on 3 December, as proclaimed on 14 October 1992 in UN General Assembly Resolution 47/3. Its goal is to raise awareness and mobilise support for the inclusion of people with disabilities in both social structures and development processes.

Author: Irina Laktyushina

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