Free guided tour for people with mobility disabilities in the historic center of Nicosia

The Tourism Development and Promotion Company (ETAP) of the Nicosia Region, in collaboration with the Deputy Ministry of Tourism and the Nicosia Municipality, are organizing a free guided tour for people with mobility disabilities in the historic center of Nicosia.

The tour will take place on Saturday 3/12 at 10 am, with a meeting point in front of the steps of the old Nicosia City Hall in Eleftherias Square and will last approximately one and a half hours.

The free guided tour will take place in Greek, while those interested are invited to register by calling 22889741 no later than Wednesday 30/11.

This guided tour is implemented as a pilot in Nicosia, while the goal is to establish it in both Greek and English, on a more regular basis.

There will be a limited number of seats.

Charity bazaar from Mck handmade soaps store

For the 5th year, the Mck handmade soaps store will organize a charity bazaar on Sunday, November 27 at 3:30 p.m. in the store. The purpose of the event is to offer financial support to A Dream a Wish thus adding another little stone that will make some children smile. The event will be presented by Vassiliki Hatziadamou, where there will also be an artistic program that will be undertaken by the dance schools Dancing Art, Horokrama and Kangoo Jumps. You will also be sampled by the Karaiskaki Foundation.

We are waiting for you all together to support this move

My life in a wheelchair…

When we hear the word “children” we imagine children running carelessly here and there, their laughter joining the wind. But there are also children, who smile but… have two legs. These children who at a tender age are called to realize that they will not run like other children their age. I was one of them.

So I, like many people with disabilities, had to deal with the difficulties that accompany cerebral palsy. Having been born with a disability, I was forced to “grow up” early. The realization that my legs will never obey me was and is the greatest difficulty for me to this day. Because it is not easy for any person with a mobility disability to grow up in an inaccessible environment, without the necessary infrastructure.

My wheelchair used to be more of a hindrance to me than a helpful tool. The children, my classmates, hated it because it was something strange, foreign and unfamiliar to them. But that’s how I treated it too… as something foreign, “cold” and unapproachable. Until over the years, I realized that I was in an unequal battle with my wheelchair. In an unequal battle with my disability.

Until I was faced with life’s most important dilemma. Would I let my disability limit me or not?

I chose the second one.

I never seemed to let her define me. I was social, cheerful and smiling. Being in a wheelchair, however, has nothing to do with the “look” for us, it’s our “being”!

In recent years I have started to perceive my wheelchair as a tool to achieve my dreams and not as an obstacle to them. I now see my wheelchair as a means to forge real bonds of love, friendship and respect both in my social and professional environment. Now I’m not just Niki in her wheelchair, but Niki who has friends, who studies, who plays sports, who has fun with her wheelchair.

I am Niki who claims her rights and expresses herself freely without embellishment. Niki who talks about her victories as well as her defeats, which we all face every day.

Ultimately, our disability must become our companion and not our enemy! When we understand it, when we know it and accept it, then we can define it and carry it as we want, without it defining us!

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.

Source: www.dialogos.com.cy

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.

Source: www.simerini.sigmalive.com

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.”