In anticipation, people with paralysis are waiting for changes in the criteria for hotels regarding accessibility for people with disabilities

The Paraplegics Organization of Cyprus (OPAK) is in a waiting position regarding its request for hotels to comply with criteria that would make them accessible to people with mobility issues. During a meeting held months ago with the Deputy Minister of Tourism, Kostas Koumi, assurances were given that the issue would be resolved.

The gap in accessibility checks for hotels became more apparent during the summer months, where the organization received dozens of complaints from its members. This mainly pertained to the official list that includes hotel units providing services to people with disabilities (PWD). In fact, in many cases, members of the organization who had planned their vacations at hotels chosen from this list ended up spending their days distressed and isolated due to the inadequacy of the facilities.

In this context, the Ministry of Tourism is expected to announce the way it will handle the gaps identified through relevant inspections and to develop a new registry that will cover all accessible hotels, while hotels are expected to comply with the legislation.

As reported to the REPORTER, the president of the Organization, Dimitris Lamprianidis, stated that the Ministry assured them they would soon receive information about the procedures. “It is now a fact and a serious issue that several hotels, without holding special licenses, violate accessibility issues. The legislation regarding hotel accessibility was passed in 1986, while the legislation for buildings was passed in 1999. From 1999 until today, it is inconceivable that there is no registry for which hotels are truly accessible,” he said.

They are requesting more accessible three-star hotels.

Meanwhile, Mr. Lambrianidis mentioned that, in addition to the above, he discussed with the responsible Deputy Minister the prices of accessible hotels. The organization is requesting more accessible three-star hotels that will provide everyone with the opportunity for short vacations. “Most accessible hotels are five stars, and not everyone has the financial means to pay for their stay in such a hotel. There should be the possibility of staying in three-star hotels and offering affordable prices,” he said.

In conclusion, Mr. Lamprianidis noted that all issues related to the accessibility of hotels are very serious. “We expect to have a reliable list of accessible hotels at least before the summer season. It’s something we will push for. All people should have choices and know where we can have safe vacations with our families,” he said.


Ablebook visited Pascal English School to inform students about its work

Andreas Vasileiou CEO of Ablebook visit to Pascal English School in order to inform students about its work and open the dialogue to promote accessibility and equal opportunities in society.

Ablebook Ltd provides the first “Ablebook” online platform in Cyprus, providing information on accessible places and services for people with disabilities and vulnerable groups. The company operates with the aim of promoting accessibility and providing digital services that encourage participation, offering equal opportunities in society for people with disabilities.

During their visit to Pascal English School, Ablebook representatives had the opportunity to communicate directly with students, present their platform and answer questions. The meeting allowed for an open dialogue on the need to promote accessibility and the rights of people with disabilities.

Finally, Ablebook Ltd would like to extend its warmest thanks to the Pascal English School community for their interest and support during their visit.

The fine for illegal parking in spaces for people with disabilities is increasing to €500.

The discussion on the proposed law submitted by the EDEK Member of Parliament Andreas Apostolou begins in the Transportation Committee of the Parliament. The law suggests an increase in fines for those who illegally park in spaces designated for people with disabilities.

Specifically, according to the proposed law, if someone illegally parks in a disabled (accessible) parking space for the first time, the fine increases from €300 to €500. However, in case a person repeats the offense, a fine will not be issued, but the individual will be subject to prosecution under the provisions of the Motor Vehicles and Traffic Regulations, which stipulate that anyone violating them is guilty of an offense and is subject to imprisonment for up to one year and/or a fine of €1,708.

In the rationale of the proposed law, Mr. Apostolou states that “the modification is deemed necessary for the strict enforcement of the legal framework, in order to address problems related to the right of unhindered movement of persons with disabilities, which is a fundamental prerequisite for their participation in public life. There is an increase in the phenomenon of vehicle parking in spaces designated for disabled individuals by unauthorized persons.”

Apostolos: We need to also consider the issue of inspections by the police.

Andreas Apostolou stated: “I consider the current framework regarding checks and complaints about these violations to be inadequate. Organizations for people with disabilities, who have been invited to and will participate in today’s session, agree with me. The phenomenon of individuals illegally parking in these spaces is unfortunately observed very often, even in vital services such as hospitals. It is unacceptable for people with disabilities or parents with disabled children not to find parking spaces because of some irresponsible individuals who do not have the right to park.”

“We must note, however, that besides increasing fines, we also need to consider the checks conducted by the police. It seems that the checks are inadequate. We will try in Parliament to do what we can, to change the framework for penalties. At the same time, other measures need to be examined and implemented so that checks are increased and become more effective. That’s why we invited the police to participate in the discussion for a broader conversation. I contacted the Minister of Transportation, who supports the proposal I submitted. I believe there will be a good discussion to examine what we can do about this serious issue.”

The President of the Organization of Paraplegics in Cyprus, Dimitris Lambrianidis, stated regarding the issue: “The proposed law is in the right direction. However, as an organization, we consider it necessary to increase supervision by both the police and traffic wardens because the main problem is inadequate monitoring. People feel that they will not be punished, so they easily park illegally in disabled parking spaces.”


Ablebook was awarded the Innovation Award in the “Social Innovation” category by the Employers and Industrialists Organization (OEB).

In the context of this year’s Innovation Awards of the Employers and Industrialists Organization (OEB), held at the Strovolos Municipal Theater in Nicosia, Ablebook won the award in the “Social Innovation” category for its outstanding contribution to the field of social contribution.

The event was held under the auspices of the President of the Republic, Mr. Nikos Christodoulides, and highlighted and awarded the most innovative businesses in Cyprus for the year 2023 in four categories: Manufacturing Sector, Primary Sector, Service Sector, and Social Innovation.

Ablebook was recognized as the top performer in the Social Innovation category, responding to the social need for creating an innovative application focused on the accessibility of people with disabilities. It provides the necessary information, enabling them to overcome obstacles in their daily lives. This award represents the culmination of the hard work carried out by the Ablebook team and its partners with a vision for an inclusive society.

During the award ceremony, the founders of Ablebook stated the following:

Symeon Stylianou – CBO: “In an era where our society faces continuous challenges, we created an effective tool to facilitate the lives of people with disabilities, giving them the means for optimal organization of their daily lives. With Ablebook, our long-term goal is the real integration of people with disabilities into society and its urban environment. This award reflects our commitment to evolve this tool and serves as motivation to continue our work.”

Andreas Vasileiou – CEO: “I would like to express our sincere thanks to the Employers and Industrialists Organization (OEB) and the President of the Republic for the honor of receiving the Social Innovation Award, as well as to all those who supported us in this journey called Ablebook. I promise you that we still have a long way to go. Special thanks to our families and all our collaborators. We dedicate this award to all individuals with disabilities, closing with the phrase ‘Disability does not make you less human but stronger in life.'”

The President received the annual reports of the Commissioner for Administration – Increase in complaints from citizens about benefits

The Government attaches great importance to the reports of the Commissioner for Administration, said the President of the Republic. Mrs. Lottides emphasized that the reports record an increase in citizens’ complaints regarding allowance issues.

President of the Republic, Mr. Nikos Christodoulidis, received today, at the Presidential Palace, the annual reports for 2021 and 2022 from the Commissioner for Administration and the Protection of Human Rights, Mrs. Maria Stylianou Lottides.

Delivering her reports, Mrs. Lottides said, among other things, that “on the cover of the annual report for 2022, we have our evaluation from the United Nations with an A status, something that was facilitated by the change in the Commissioner’s appointment process.”

She added that she also submits separate reports from the Equality and Anti-Discrimination Body and the National Mechanism for the Prevention of Torture, which fall under the Commissioner’s responsibilities.

Mrs. Lottides pointed out that the reports highlight an increase in citizens’ complaints about allowances, adding that personnel issues are somewhat overshadowed compared to disability issues, while regarding discrimination, there are not many cases except for issues related to disabilities.

On his part, the President of the Republic said that the Government attaches great importance to both the Commissioner’s reports and the responsibilities of her office as they concern one of the most important issues, human rights.

He added, “It is very natural for the majority of complaints to relate to allowances, generally social policies that are of particular importance to us. And that is why I often say that a responsible fiscal policy is one that will allow us to respond to the demands of society, the complaints of which I fully understand.”

And it is for this reason that I often say that a responsible fiscal policy is the one that will allow us to respond to the demands of society, to the complaints that are made, most of which I completely understand”.

He added that the Government sees non-governmental organizations as collaborators, considering that in many cases, the requests they submit are entirely justified.

The President of the Republic pointed out, as an example, that “recently, for example, I had a meeting with organized groups of disabled people, and one of the issues we discussed, and I even decided to proceed immediately with a public consultation starting on January 15, so that we can immediately promote legislation in the Parliament, concerns the allowance policy, as well as the fact that there is no unified legislation for the disabled.

You understand that this is a distortion, and for this reason, the issues you deal with are of particular importance to us, and in this context, we will study the reports with the due significance.”