Ukraine consistently working to create barrier-free environment for all citizens - PM

Ukraine consistently working to create barrier-free environment for all citizens - PM

Over the past few years, Ukraine has made significant progress in shaping policies related to barrier-free and inclusive environment.

This was stated by Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal during a meeting on barrier-free environment, attended by First Lady Olena Zelenska, Ukrinform reports, referring to the government press service.

"Ukraine continues to pursue a consistent course of creating a barrier-free environment for all citizens. This is in line with our European course and our values," Shmyhal stressed, adding that this topic had been in focus of the Government and all ministries.

During the meeting, the results of a survey were presented, run by the Research Center for Social and Behavioral Economics with the support of the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and Expert Council on Barrier-Free Communications. According to the poll, 83% of Ukrainians believe that barrier-free accessibility is a new value for society. Some 34% of respondents are convinced that in order to overcome barriers in various areas, attention should be focused on changing people's behavior, 32% - on creating an adapted environment, and 22% - on ensuring access to education and jobs.

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"Barrier-free access is a new value for our society. Eighty-three percent of respondents think so. This is a very large share, a great consciousness. It's about time. If so many people see barrier-free access as a value, we are on the right track as a society," said First Lady Olena Zelenska.

According to Denys Shmyhal, a lot has already been done to create a barrier-free environment in the country. Construction standards have been updated and are already being applied in reconstruction projects, an action plan to reform medical and social expertise has been approved, and the International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health is being introduced.

In addition, Ukraine is introducing modern standards of accessibility in digital services, compensating businesses for creating workplaces for people with disabilities, also providing training and retraining services. Veteran businesses have more opportunities for development. Work is underway on a comprehensive rehabilitation system for various population strata. The prime minister also noted progress in the reform of military medical examination boards.

Approaches to the construction of shelters are also changing to make them accessible to all.

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"Barrier-free accessibility means accessibility of all services and opportunities for every person in every part of our country," said Shmyhal.

He stressed the importance of continuing to work actively in policy-making, implementing new projects and communicating them in an easy-to-understand manner. According to the Prime Minister, it is necessary to work with the regions and local authorities and spread awareness of barrier-free accessibility in a plain language.

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