Russian plans to improve conditions for disabled people
Pensions, children’s camps and comprehensive rehabilitation for people with disabilities: what the Ministry of Labour plans to change
How to make receiving pensions easier for people with disabilities and what the state’s ‘Accessible Environment’ programme will seek to change, were both topics for discussion at the Ministry of Labour’s Social Council.
On 27 February, the Social Council of the Russian Federation’s Ministry of Labour and Social Security was convened and attended by the minister for the department, Anton Kotyakov. Those at the meeting discussed both the preparations for a legal project relating to ‘the implementation of changes to individual pieces of Russian Federation legislation governing the allocation and payment of pensions. The aim being to make it easier for citizens to fully realise their rights regarding the pension provision’ and updating the state’s ‘Accessible Environment’ programme by 2025.
Allocation of pensions
Kotyakov described how the ministry receives many complaints about the organisation of work with disabled people. This applies, amongst other things, to interaction with the Medical and Social Examination bureau and examination procedures.
“Unfortunately, a disabled person who is seeking the services that we provide is forced to turn to three to four, or even five different state institutions. Given their physical difficulties this is, to put it mildly, not right” stated the Minister for Labour and Social Security.
Kotyakov went on to describe the Ministry of Labour’s preparations for a legal project, which will enable people with disabilities to be allocated a pension by visiting the Medical and Social Examination bureau, which will then independently send the documents to the Pension Fund. This means the individual who has claimed a pension on the grounds of having a disability, does not have to personally visit every state authority. A pilot of the project will be introduced by 1 July 2021, according to Kotyakov.
This year saw the results from a decade-long project aimed at providing an accessible environment in locations most visited by people with disabilities. This was described by the Acting director of the Russian Ministry of Labour’s Department for Affairs related to Disability, Dmitry Ligomina. He stated that by 2019, 27,000 venues had been equipped with means to improve their accessibility. These included social care buildings, centres for culture, health clinics, playgrounds and schools.
Ligomina also stated “most importantly, over this period we have succeeded in creating a system for monitoring the accessibility of social infrastructure”.
Ligomina drew attention to the lack of accessibility at the majority of institutions providing professional education and areas for child recreation. The updated programme therefore proposed to equip up to 76% of further education organisations with an accessible environment. This includes 350 secondary professional education institutions and 21 resource-based method-learning centres. The new direction that the ‘Accessible Environment’ programme is taking will also ensure the creation of conditions for inclusive changes in more that 1,000 children’s summer camps.
In the updated programme, which is due to be implemented by 2025, the Ministry of Labour chose to address the policies that were least successful or most unpopular. The Department for Disabled People is planning to give financial support to the regions that are currently creating systems for comprehensive rehabilitation. The improvements should also be relevant to the Medical and Social Examination systems.
“We are seeing definite interest from the media in the new classification and criteria that the Medical and Social Examination bureau has introduced. Therefore, we are seeking to implement a mechanism that will regularly fulfil these criteria – medicines and treatments are being developed. Alongside the Ministry of Health, we want to be continually reviewing the classification” said Ligomina.