AbleTalks Episode 1: Maria Markou

Maria Markou, an international athlete and educator, is the first guest on the AbleTalks podcast, a platform amplifying the voices of people with disabilities by sharing stories of inspiration and resilience. Markou excels in the field of bench press and is one of the two international athletes representing Cyprus in the Paralympic Games. In the podcast, she shares her experience after the car accident that led her to a wheelchair and how she decided to re-enter the world of sports.

Maria confesses that from a young age, she channeled her energy into sports, starting with rhythmic gymnastics and continuing with track and field. After her accident, she decided to re-enter as a Paralympic athlete, realizing that sports require sacrifices, dedication, and determination. Choosing bench press posed a significant challenge, considering the sport’s male-dominated nature. The nickname “Pikkuá” was given to Maria due to her tenacity, symbolizing her defiance against stereotypes and life’s challenges.

The first episode of AbleTalks by Ablebook, featuring Maria Markou, is now available on our YouTube channel. This episode offers the audience the opportunity to learn more about her courageous story and transformative journey. This episode is sponsored by Renaissance Cryo Preservation & Health Care.

The increase in the child allowance amount is expected to be regulated by legislative provision. It is not known when the one-time payment will be made to the beneficiaries of the Guaranteed Minimum Income (GMI) and Persons with Disabilities (PWD)

Those with large families, recipients of the Guaranteed Minimum Income (GMI), and people with disabilities (PWD) will benefit from the support measures announced by the government, but with a delay.

It is reminded that on October 19, the President of the Republic, Nicos Christodoulides, announced, among other things: 1/ The inclusion of students from large families in the child allowance, 2/ An increase in the child allowance by 5%, 3/ The one-time payment of 120 euros to people with disabilities (PWD) receiving mobility allowance, and 4/ The one-time payment of 300 euros to recipients of the Guaranteed Minimum Income (GMI) receiving housing loan interest subsidy and 500 euros to GMI beneficiaries with a severe disability receiving housing loan interest subsidy.

ThemaOnline, following the aforementioned announcements, contacted the Deputy Ministry of Social Welfare to inquire about when and how many people will benefit from these measures.

Regarding the increase in the child allowance, a source from the Deputy Ministry stated on our website that this measure requires legislative regulation, and following that, the child allowance will be increased by 5% and provided to eligible recipients.

Regarding the inclusion of students from large families in the child allowance, according to the recent announcements by the Deputy Minister of Social Welfare, Marilena Evangelou, a new category of beneficiaries will be created, in which 50% of the child allowance will be paid to students from large families until they obtain their first degree. This will apply to students up to 23 years of age for girls and 24 years of age for boys, provided that they are enrolled in a higher education institution.

One-time payments to recipients of the Minimum Guaranteed Income (MGI) and people with disabilities (PWD)

Regarding the one-time payment for MGI recipients, the same source explained that this measure does not require legislative regulation, as it is a one-time payment, and the amount will be given once.

As for the timing of the one-time payment, it is expected to be provided to recipients before the end of 2023. It should be noted that there are 2,557 potential recipients for this benefit.

Regarding the one-time payment for people with disabilities (ΑμεΑ), the same source from the Ministry of Social Welfare mentioned that, in this case as well, the measure does not require legislative regulation.

The payment is expected to be made to eligible recipients before the end of 2023. The number of potential recipients for this benefit is 4,139.

Source: To thema online

doValue Cyprus, an ally of Ablebook for a more accessible Cyprus

doValue Cyprus joins forces with Ablebook, aiming for an inclusive and accessible Cyprus that offers equal treatment and opportunities for all. With a vision of an inclusive and accessible society, doValue Cyprus supports the multifaceted work of Ablebook, an innovative application dedicated to improving the quality of life for people with reduced mobility or disabilities in Cyprus.

The Ablebook is the first online platform on the island with the aim of providing accurate information regarding accessibility specifications for infrastructure and services in public and private spaces in Cyprus. The application is an initiative by Andreas Vassiliou and Symeon Stylianou, who decided to map the entire island in order to improve the quality of life for people, encouraging them to live freely and equally. At the same time, the Ablebook team, through its parallel actions, is doing significant work in raising public awareness about the issues faced by individuals with reduced mobility or disabilities in Cyprus.

In a meeting held on Thursday, October 19th, at the doValue Cyprus offices, representatives from the two companies signed a collaboration agreement, envisioning joint efforts to build a more modern and accessible Cyprus, free from discrimination and exclusion. Within the framework of this partnership, doValue Cyprus, along with the Altamira Real Estate team, which manages the real estate portfolio of the doValue Group, will serve as two of the main sponsors of the Ablebook platform, providing practical support and expertise for the further development of the application.

Rafaela Miltiadou, Marketing Manager at Altamira Real Estate, highlighted, “We are particularly thrilled to be part of the Ablebook team because we share a common vision and values with the individuals behind it. The Ablebook application will not only contribute concretely to improving the daily lives of people with any disability or mobility difficulties, but also enhance public awareness efforts. As doValue Cyprus, we aspire to support every initiative that adds to the building of a fair society that guarantees equality and accessibility.”

Andreas Vassiliou, Director and Founder of Ablebook, stated, “First and foremost, we would like to express our gratitude to doValue Cyprus for their esteemed collaboration and support, which provides us with the opportunity to further enhance our contribution to people with disabilities through the Ablebook application. Through this collaboration, we take an additional and significant step towards achieving our goal of promoting equal opportunities and accessibility in all areas.”