Ablebook Event 23/10 – “Ablebook App for an Accessible City”

The success of our event on Sunday 23/10 was huge!!

In Limassol Marina, we have gathered organizations of disabled people, our friends and sponsors to inform the public about our problems and bring them closer to the aim of our mobile application “Ablebook”.

With many activities and a pleasant atmosphere, we together highlighted the difficulties we face daily!

So first off, we’d like to give our heartfelt thanks to all the organisations that were present:

  1. Pancypriot Association of Multiple Sclerosis
  2. Pancypriot Association for People with Autism
  3. Cyprus ADHD Association
  4. Yparxo – Training and rehabilitation centre
  5. ForPeopleTM
  6. Pancyproit Organization for the Rehabilitation of Disabled Persons of Limassol
  7. Association of Myopaths of Cyprus

Next, we would like to thank those who supported us by any means, financially or morally, but above all we want to thank the President of the Parliament Mrs Annita Dimitriou who placed the event under her auspices, Mrs Fotini Tsiridou Member of Parliament of Limassol who attended as a representative of the President of the Parliament and the two MPs of Limassol Mrs Marina Nikolaou and Mr Efthimios Diplaros for their presence at the event. In addition, we thank Marina Limassol for the perfect hospitality and for providing the space to hold our event. At the same time, “Radio Proto” and the “Dias” Group for the promotion of our event, before and after on the radio and on the television station “Sigma”.

The event and all the activities were musically accompanied by our friend Andreas Voskos-

Finally, the event was a collective effort of Ablebook, our sponsors and supporters.

Thank you in detail:

The Gold sponsors.

  1. EKO
  2. Bank of Cyprus
  3. Polyclinic YGIA Private Hospital

The silver sponsors

  1. McDonalds Cyprus
  2. Infocredit Group
  3. Future Health Biobank

The supporters

  1. Olympia Gardidges
  2. A/FOI Mylonas – Italos
  3. M. Liperi Private Computer Institute
  4. Studio Bagno
  5. Jamie Oliver Kitchen
  6. Tavernaki Marina’s Restaurant
  7. Wagamama
  8. Caffè Nero
  9. HOBO – Mediterraneo café & restaurant
  10. Oxygono
  11. Reisswolf

For more photos from the event you can find them on our Facebook page at the link below.

Ablebook App for an Accessible City

Ablebook on October 23, at 15:00 at the Limassol Marina, organizes an informational event on the problems faced by people with any form of disability, at the same time presenting the Ablebook App and how this application contributes to an accessible society for all. The event will be attended by representatives of various associations of people with disabilities, who will have the opportunity to inform the public about the problems of each group separately. At the event, activities simulating movement and access difficulties will be held, through which we will highlight how difficult it is for a person with a disability to move when there is no access.

The links and organizations that will participate in the event are below:

1. Pancypriot Association of Multiple Sclerosis

2. Pancypriot Association for People with Autism

3. Cyprus ADHD Association

4. Yparxo – Training and rehabilitation centre

5. ForPeopleTM

6. Pancyproit Organization for the Rehabilitation of Disabled Persons of Limassol

7. Association of Myopaths of Cyprus

The event is a collective effort by Ablebook and the sponsors Bank of Cyprus, EKO, Polyclinic Health Private Hospital and its supporters in order to establish the organization of such events as an institution, since it is the first time that there are various associations with disabilities in the same place informing separately for the problems and difficulties that people with different forms of disability face every day.

KYSOA: Calls for uniform education with equal participation of children with disabilities – Protest events

The Cypriot Confederation of Disabled Organizations (CYSOA) requests from the Republic of Cyprus to take effective measures to promote uniform education that includes the right to equal participation of children with disabilities at all levels of the school process and the school environment.

As stated in a statement, KYSOA will hold a press conference-protest on the issue on October 10, at 9:00 a.m., while protests will also take place at the District Education Offices.

KYSOA requests from the State, legislation that really implements uniform education with an in-depth reformation of the education system and abandoning the outdated segregation system of “special education”.

Also, institutionalization, preparation and flexible provision of reasonable accommodations, such as the availability of appropriate equipment and methods for communication and learning, differentiated examination essay, etc.

Furthermore, monitoring the implementation of reasonable adjustments, substantial and continuous training of teachers for the implementation of differentiated, accessible teaching and support for teachers for the implementation of unified education teaching (e.g. through the reduction of the number of children in the classroom, with parallel support and co-teaching, with school textbooks-media-methods-materials, that promote differentiation, with equipment that facilitates the implementation of differentiation, familiarization with assistive technology, etc.).

It also calls for the full implementation of Article 24 on uniform education of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which the Republic of Cyprus ratified in 2011 under the guidance of the General Comments of the UN Committees on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Disabilities and the Rights of the Child.


The parents of children with disabilities are calling out

Parents of children with disabilities are preparing to stage a protest to claim their children’s inalienable right to universal education

Outraged parents of children with disabilities and special educational needs or special learning difficulties are preparing to take to the streets to find their right. The problem is found in the plans presented by the Ministry of Education to parents for special education. At the beginning of August, at the conference presented by the Ministry of Education on the subject of special education, the Cyprus Federation of Organizations of the Disabled (KYSOA), the ADHD Association and the “Embrace of Hope” Organization walked out in protest. The president of the “Embrace of Hope” Organization, Youla Pitsiali, talks to “Simerini” about the problems their children face, about their differences with the Ministry of Education, and about the protest they intend to organize.

Special Education Evaluation Center

It is recalled that, on August 22, the Council of Ministers approved the creation of a Special Education Evaluation Center, with the Minister of Education, Prodromos Prodromos, stating at the time that, based on a report submitted by the Ministry of Education and proposals for improving the procedures and strengthening special education, the Cabinet has taken some decisions, taking into account the continuous increase in numbers in special education. “In the 2021-2022 school year, we had around 13,500 students in special education. To understand the increase compared to 2014-2015, from 8,200 children we have reached 13,500. In the Government’s effort to strengthen the procedures, to speed up some procedures where there is some delay, but also to improve the schools, it was decided to create a Center for the Evaluation of Special Education, which will use scientific expertise, will be staffed by appropriate scientific personnel and there the general decisions and directions will be taken, which the Ministry of Education will call for implementation”, as he explained.

He noted that the operation of the Special Education Evaluation Center will be implemented after the Ministry of Education has previously brought the relevant legislative regulation “to improve the operation that has existed until now through the system of the District Committees”. The Minister of Education stated that a second decision concerns the strengthening and specialization of diagnoses that begin in schools. “From 2022-2023, a diagnostic procedure will be carried out for pre-primary children and children in the 1st year of Primary School. We will make sure that these diagnostic procedures are strengthened with specialized tools”, he said and added that “it concerns the strengthening of the 9 special schools we have, with psychological support services and regular school medical monitoring and supervision”. Mr. Prodromou pointed out that the Council of Ministers authorized the Ministry of Education for the final assessment and the potential coverage of additional needs for school assistant escort services ahead of the 2022-2023 school year.

Parents claim the inalienable right of their children to uniform education

The President of the “Embrace of Hope” Association, speaking to “S”, said that “the parents of children with disabilities in Cyprus are preparing to claim the inalienable right of their children to uniform education with a protest against the violation of the rights of children with disabilities in education and their exclusion from the single vote. The protest will be attended by parents, organized bodies – ensembles, but also people who want to support children’s rights”, he said.

Mrs. Pitsiali emphasized that this protest must be held, because there is no other chance. There is no dialogue with the Ministry of Education either, he said, adding that they have been closed for years, while children’s rights continue to be violated. As he complained, “they leave them without an education and condemn them to a reduced education either by excluding them directly – that is, not allowing them to enter the classrooms with their classmates as provided for in the United Nations Convention on Persons with Disabilities – or indirectly – such as we saw it happen this year to a more intense degree than other years, which condemns them to the exclusion of not succeeding in their studies, taking away benefits and companions”.

Regarding the creation of evaluation centers, he stated that “the Minister of Education informed them that this committee will be created to decide under which framework the children will study and no one will question their decisions and we reject this evaluation if the reason for its existence is to separate children”. “It is the right of all children to be where other children are and to be educated,” he stressed. He continued that “this evaluation should be done by the children’s teachers who will suggest the benefits that can be done or by a specialized group that will see what benefits the school should provide to address the child”. Ms. Pitsiali emphasized that disability does not prevent them from education and that today no disability with the technology that has evolved and the means that exist can stand in the way of a child’s learning. As he said, the Association does not accept that when someone sees a child, they can judge whether it is educable or not.

Finally, he referred to the “Embrace of Hope”, explaining that it is a pan-Cypriot organization of parents and friends of children with cerebral and other paralysis, who need representation to claim their rights and get support. The goal of the organization, he added, is to implement a uniform legislation for uniform education without discrimination and exclusion.


Social reform is coming to ensure the rights of the disabled

Three law proposals submitted to Parliament attempt to amend the Minimum Guaranteed Income and Social Benefits Law in general so that it protects the rights of the disabled. At the same time, the Ministry of Social Welfare is in the process of establishing a legislative framework in order to guarantee 100% the rights of people with disabilities regardless of the type of disability. At the same time, what is clarified by the Deputy Ministry of Social Welfare, the legislation in question, which is undergoing reform, will not come to exclude existing legislation concerning the rights of the disabled. The reason for filing the law proposals was the documents where the competent state agencies had cut off the EEE allowance from people with disabilities.

To ensure the autonomy of the individual

The purpose of the law proposal submitted by the President of the Environmental Movement Charalambos Theopeptou, is the amendment, so that, in cases where the applicant for the minimum guaranteed income is a person with a disability, income, real estate and financial data are not taken into account of the members of his family unit. This amendment ensures the autonomy and independence of the disabled person. In addition, with the proposed arrangements, the applicant and/or beneficiary of the minimum guaranteed income can not accept the job offered to him, if it requires him to move, if accepting the job is economically unprofitable, due to the fact that the place of the job offered to him is outside his province of permanent residence, as well as in the event that the work requires a shift system and the applicant and/or beneficiary is the legal guardian of a minor child.

Finally, the proposed law aims at not cutting off the minimum guaranteed income in the case of voluntary resignation from the beneficiary’s job, until the competent minister checks the data and reasons for his resignation, and in the case that the minister decides that there were reasonable grounds for his resignation, in compliance with the provisions of this law, to continue the payment of the minimum guaranteed income.

The second sentence

The purpose of the second law proposal, which was submitted by the President Christos Christou and the MPs Linos Papagiannis and Sotiris Ioannou on behalf of the National People’s Front (E.LA.M.), is to amend the Minimum Guaranteed Income and Social Benefits in general Law, so that for the purposes of granting social benefits by the state, based on this law, a person’s disability is not distinguished as moderate, severe or total. In particular, the proposed amendment is considered necessary, in order to eliminate the distortion found in the existing regulation, on the basis of which a “person with a disability” is considered a person who has a severe or total disability or a moderate mental disability, which is certified by the law “Disability Assessment System”. In this regard, it is pointed out that the current discrimination is considered unacceptable, given that on the one hand, every person who is disabled is prevented from fully and effectively participating in society on an equal basis with other persons, and on the other hand, that the state has an obligation to protect the rights of each person without any discrimination and to ensure their exercise in such a way that no person is at risk or is on the margins of society.

Apostolos Law proposal

On the occasion of the cutoff of the minimum guaranteed allowance experienced by the basketball player, Sotiris Christoforou, the EDEK MP, Andreas Apostolou, has already submitted the relevant proposal for the legislation to be changed, considering that it is unfair for people who face this type of disability due to that they are married.

“At the moment there is a great deal of injustice in EEE legislation regarding people with disabilities. When a person with a certified disability from the Department of Social Integration receiving a disability allowance through the EEE marries, the allowance is cut off if the wife or husband is working. I have filed a related bill since June to correct this distortion and expect it to be debated soon. I hope for a positive response from the Deputy Minister of Social Welfare and colleagues. I am sure that a solution can be found through dialogue and consensus. We should finally harmonize our legislation with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which Cyprus has also ratified.”

The position of the Deputy Minister of Welfare

The goal of the Deputy Ministry of Social Welfare is for the issues of people with disabilities to be handled by separate legislation. It is, as we have been informed, about a major social reform and for which social dialogue is underway in order to create a unified legislation for people with disabilities and which will not come to exclude existing legislation. According to information we have received, the legislation will attempt to correct distortions found today regarding people with disabilities. Among them, the issue of benefits, work and accessibility.

The Officer of the Benefits Management Service of the Ministry of Labor, Christos Diomidos, in his earlier statements on the Alpha News show, explained that the criteria are included in the relevant Law, which is not outdated but from 2014. In particular, for people with disabilities, the Certification Centers operate for the problem dealing with, which has replaced the medical board process. “People with disabilities have exceptions: The maximum amount of deposits is €25,000 while the first €512 is excluded from her or her spouse’s income. The differences exist and are pronounced, but if the salary is over €512, they are deducted.”