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    • #3288
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      Exercise: Research on Laws or Policies Regarding Accessibility

      In this exercise, I chose to research the laws and policies regarding accessibility in my district/country to understand how they help reduce disability by providing access to physical structures, reducing stigma and discrimination, and providing access to health care services.

      Research Findings:

      1. Accessibility Laws and Policies:

      Law on the Disabled (No. 5378): This comprehensive law, enacted in 2005, ensures that people with disabilities have equal access to all public services and facilities. It mandates that all public buildings, sidewalks, roads, and transportation systems be made accessible to individuals with disabilities.
      National Accessibility Standards: These standards outline the requirements for making buildings and public spaces accessible, including the installation of ramps, elevators, braille signs, and other necessary adjustments.
      Employment Policies: The Turkish government has implemented policies to promote the employment of people with disabilities, including incentives for employers and quotas for hiring disabled individuals.
      Law No. 34 (2004): This law focuses on the rights of persons with disabilities, ensuring their access to education, employment, and health services. It emphasizes the importance of integrating persons with disabilities into society.
      Implementation Challenges: Due to the ongoing conflict, the implementation of this law is inconsistent and only applicable in areas under the control of the Syrian government. In regions affected by the conflict and not under government control, there is no effective legal framework, leading to significant barriers and obstacles in accessibility.
      National Plan for Disability: This plan outlines strategies to improve the lives of people with disabilities, including improving accessibility to public buildings and transportation, and promoting inclusive education and employment opportunities. However, its implementation is similarly hampered by the conflict.
      2. Social Structures:

      Turkey: There are ongoing efforts to reduce stigma and discrimination through public awareness campaigns and inclusive education programs. Organizations and advocacy groups work to raise awareness about the rights and capabilities of people with disabilities.
      Syria: Social stigma and discrimination against people with disabilities remain significant challenges. Efforts by NGOs and international organizations are crucial in promoting awareness and reducing stigma, especially in conflict-affected areas.
      3. Health Care Services:

      Turkey: The healthcare system provides rehabilitation services through various public and private facilities, including hospitals, outpatient centers, and home-based care. These services are covered under the General Health Insurance scheme.
      Syria: Rehabilitation services are largely provided by NGOs and international organizations, with limited availability in public healthcare facilities due to the ongoing conflict and resource constraints. The disparity in service availability between government-controlled areas and conflict zones further exacerbates the challenges faced by individuals with disabilities.
      One Thing to Change:

      Based on my findings, one significant change I would advocate for is the improvement and consistent implementation of accessibility infrastructure and services in conflict-affected areas, particularly in Syria. This would involve increasing international support and funding to build and maintain accessible facilities, ensuring that all individuals, regardless of their circumstances, have equal access to essential services and opportunities.

    • #3301
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      In Zambia which is my country,disabilities make up nearly 11% of the population. Facing discrimination and lack of opportunity, many Zambians with disabilities are systematically excluded from access to services and places, legal aid, healthcare and more. Often, these disparities are sharper in rural settings with a greater lack of infrastructure, investments and institutional support.
      2. PROVIDING EQUAl HEAITH CARE SERVICES.The Zambia Agency for Persons with Disabilities (ZAPD) draws its mandate from the Persons with Disabilities Act No. 6 of 2012. ZAPD’s mandate is to plan, promote, regulate and coordinate services for Persons with Disabilities.

      In a groundbreaking move, Zambia is taking strides to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by placing inclusivity at the heart of its national development agenda. Demonstrating an unwavering commitment to the principle of Leave No One Behind, the country’s blueprint for development, the Eighth National Development Plan (8NDP), embraces a multi-dimensional approach to development that goes beyond solely focusing on economic growth. Zambia, under the leadership of Resident Coordinator Beatrice Mutali, is committed to ensuring disability inclusion—not just as an ideal but as an everyday practice guiding the UN’s versatile support to the country.

      Disability inclusion enables persons with disabilities to engage actively, empowers them to advocate for their rights, informs policymakers about their unique challenges, promotes universal design principles, and fosters collaboration among different sectors. By embracing accessibility and inclusivity, we can work together towards achieving the vision of a sustainable world where no one is left behind.”

      Inclusion starts at the highest levels with the United Nations Sustainable Development Cooperation Framework.

    • #3356
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      In Uganda, the disability prevalence among women is at 15% and 10% among men, 15 percent of the disabilities were in urban areas and 12% in rural areas. Majority of persons with disabilities are subsistence farmers (73.7%) compared to persons without disabilities (61.6%) (according to UBOS, 2019). Rehabilitation services are provided within Kawempe division at Mulago hospital physiotherapy department and Katalemwa rehabilitation center in Kampala district, Uganda at a free and a subsidized cost to help to improve the function, independence, and quality of life of persons with physical disabilities. However, many people with physical disabilities do not utilize the services and the reasons are not clear.

      To promote INCLUSION in Uganda, the Government draws its mandate from the Persons with Disabilities Act, 2020, Act 3 of 2020, An Act to provide for the respect and promotion of the fundamental and other human rights and freedoms of persons with disabilities. its mandate is not limited to, promote Access to justice, information and training ,Non discrimination in the provision of services on a commercial basis, Non discrimination in the provision of transport services, Accessibility to buildings, Non discrimination in employment, Habilitation and rehabilitation for persons with disabilities.

      In uganda, Katalemwa Cheshire Home is a Children with disabilities focused NGO that provides holistic rehabilitation services. It was founded in Uganda in 1970 and officially opened in 1971, with the aim of providing a family home environment to people who were incurably sick or with physical disabilities. With over 50 years of existance, they support over 4000 children annually, over 250 projects excuted on PWDs, and produced over 4500 assistive devices annually. They offer, Advocacy, Inclusive Education Support, Livelihood & Economic Empowerment, Partnerships & Networks, Fabrication of assistive devices, Medical & Social Rehabilitation,

      In Uganda, Persons with Disabilities Act, 2020, A person with a disability shall enjoy the fundamental and other human rights and freedoms in the constitution. The government and people of Uganda shall uphold the rights and freedoms of people with disabilities. The blueprint is in its final stages regarding disability and rehabilitation, thus efforts being made for “INCLUSION FOR ALL”

    • #3392
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      As per WHO Rehabilitation Needs Estimator, in Nepal every 1 in 4 could benefit from rehabilitation. There are 8 million people who experienced health conditions that could benefit from rehabilitation. Nepal has key rehabilitation professions, but there is a shortage relative to the population’s needs. Academic course is available within Nepal for three professions: physiotherapy, audiology speech-language therapy, and clinical psychology. However, for all other rehabilitation professions, individuals must seek education abroad. Only 4% of rehabilitation personnel in Nepal are employed in government health services, with the majority (96%) working in the private sector. Nepal faces a shortage of longer-stay rehabilitation facilities and beds, leaving many individuals in need of intensive rehabilitation without access to such care. The rehabilitation departments, wards, and beds located at large tertiary hospitals are also insufficient to meet the demand.
      Government tertiary hospitals have begun incorporating rehabilitation services, with 100% of them offering physiotherapists (PT). However, none of these hospitals currently have an interdisciplinary team established for rehabilitation services. Rehabilitation services are notably scarce in both secondary and primary healthcare facilities in Nepal. However, physiotherapists are placed in secondary/ district level hospitals by government as per the available provision. In addition, there has been initiated task shifting intervention at primary level of care to medical officers and health care workers which yet needs to be strengthened.

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