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Sirlis Sõmer Ministry of Social Affairs Disability Policy Challenges.

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Presentation on theme: "Sirlis Sõmer Ministry of Social Affairs Disability Policy Challenges."— Presentation transcript:

1 Sirlis Sõmer Ministry of Social Affairs Disability Policy Challenges

2 KEY FACTS about 200 000 people aged 15-64 have long standing health problems or disabilities about 97 000 (inc children, adults, elderly) people are recipients of disability benefits about 55 480 people are recipients of pension for incapacity for work only 13% of recipients of pensions for incapacity for work are in employment compared to 61% of non- disabled population of working age probably 5% of disabled people use wheelchairs. Blind or Deaf people have no problem with steps.

3 General provisions The Estonian Constitution provides that the disabled people shall be under the special protection of the state and local authorities. The State and local governments are thus required to implement additional measures to ensure that people with disabilities can enjoy the same rights as all the others Estonia’s National Disability Policy, approved by the government in 1995, is based on the United Nations Standard Rules on the Equalisation of Opportunities for people with Disabilities.

4 Social and employment provisions Social Protection of the Unemployed Act Labour Market Services Act Social Welfare Act Occupational Health and Safety Act Social Tax Act State Pension Insurance Act Social Benefits for Disabled Persons Act Holidays Act, etc While legislation and many structures are already in place to provide a coherent and efficient service for disabled people, a range of measures to support independent coping, integration and employment of disabled people is still fairly limited, many of the systems and processes are weak and lacking co-ordination.

5 Problematic trends Social security pensions and Benefits – funded by taxes – pay people to stay at home yet with the right support and attitude many people depending on welfare could work Social Services rehabilitation is mainly medical, social and vocational rehabilitation needs still to be developed rehabilitation plans are prepared but not always implemented (can be because financial pressures faced by disabled people, their pessimism about the chances of successful rehabilitation and a generally low level of support from the public authorities during implementation)

6 Problematic trends there are difficulties in getting technical aids social support services are not always available locally. Small rural municipalities are also unlikely to be able to provide as wide a range of services as large cities Employment the employment rates for disabled people and the overall employment rate is much greater in Estonia than in the great majority of the old EU countries

7 Problematic trends Access to Buildings Wheelchair users would find it difficult if not impossible to get into a high proportion of the buildings Education In education generally disabled people are typically attending lower level courses than people who are not disabled Disabled people’s participation in vocational education and training seems low compared with people who are not disabled

8 Policy Challenges Social Welfare Conception to better cooperation between the various institutions that provide support and help to people with disabilities. to put a greater emphasis on social and vocational rehabilitation and provide better use of technical aids to guide and support local communities to provide social welfare support services (independent support worker service etc)

9 Policy Challenges Employment Conception develop wider introduction of the case management approach in employment, but also social welfare system strengthen public employment services in terms both of numbers and quality and access to mainstream labour market services for people with disabilities Special employment services for disable people> Case managers for disabled people Workplace adaptation service Work place adjustments and disability management issues

10 Good practice in disability employment Phare Twinning Project: enhanced employment opportunities for people with disabilities activities for making information about existing rehabilitation, labour market and training provision more widely available, especially to disabled people review of current labour market and rehabilitation measures for disabled people together with recommendations for future action a training programme for 80 staff aimed at improving institutional co-operation and networking public awareness raising activities design of a work place adaptation scheme, providing the training for specialist

11 Participation in politicy planning Co-operation body of the ministries and organizations of people with disabilities to ensure that people with disabilities and their representative organisations are consulted and have a role to play in determining policies for people with disabilities and will seek their views Disability organisations have played an important role in increasing awareness about disability issues

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