Program to promote accessibility and universal design standards

Europe, Universal Design, April 19 2013

KHARKIV, UKRAINE: Press Conference was held on the Official Launch of the regional component of the Joint Programme “Promoting Mainstream Policies and Services for People with Disabilities”. United Nations Development Program, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), World Health Organization, International Labour Organization and Kharkiv Oblast State Administration reached the agreement on cooperation and joint implementation of the Program in Kharkiv oblast.

The goal of the cooperation on the regional level is implementation of the sub-national components of the Joint Program, which aims to promote the application of accessibility and universal design standards for products, environments and processes as enablers of inclusion and participation of people with disabilities.

In Kharkiv Oblast, a comprehensive assessment of existing capacities and barriers in environment, processes, products and services for persons with disabilities will be carried out in two pilot regions – town of Chuhuyev and Valkivskyy rayon. Based on the findings and recommendations of the assessment, in the consultative manner with civil society organizations and sub-national authorities, local strategies or action plans to address the accessibility issues will be developed. Community initiatives in key areas such as employment, health care, and social services will be elaborated and implemented in 2014. In particular, the support will also be provided to increase opportunities for early intervention services to families with children with disabilities.

Apart from the sub-national level, Program is also being implemented at the National level where it facilitates the implementation of the Articles 4, 9, 23, 25, 26 and 27 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. It is envisaged that support will be provided in the area of development of accessibility and universal design regulations and training programs for government agencies and educational institutions. The first national conference to promote the universal design principles and share practical experience and demonstrate project results will be organized in partnership with central and local authorities. Information and public awareness raising campaigns to overcome prejudices towards persons with disabilities and to promote accessibility and universal design in the early stages of design and development of products, programs, and services will be conducted.

“I am confident that thanks to the fact that Joint Program has gathered around itself so many partners, it will be successful and will allow to expand existing opportunities for people and children with disabilities in Kharkiv oblast. I would really like to see a lot of success stories as a result of the project, the stories we can share at both national and international levels” – noted Ms Yukie Mokuo, Resident Coordinator a.i. of the United Nations.

The two year Program was officially launched on 3 December 2012 by signing the Memorandum of Understanding on the national level with the Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine and the National Assembly of People with Disabilities of Ukraine. The Program budget is USD 365 600 which is provided by UN Partnership to Promote the Rights of Persons with Disabilities as well as UNDP and UNICEF.

 Source: UN

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