Disabilities, various forms of discrimination, ways to avoid discrimination, and ways to create various possibilities for all were discussed during the training session “Disabilities do not limit! Say ‘no’ to discrimination!” held on February 24 at the Department of General and Social Pedagogy of the Ukrainian Catholic University.
he training session at UCU’s Department of Social Pedagogy was initiated by the Coalition for Combating Discrimination in Ukraine and the all-Ukraine civic organization Generation of Successful Action.
“In Ukraine discrimination against people with disabilities is forbidden by law. But these people are often victims of human rights violations. In the majority of cases their rights are not upheld. In conditions like this, the role of young experts in combating and preventing discrimination against people with disabilities is particularly important,” the organizers explained.
Yulia Sachuk, Vice-President of Generation of Successful Action, examined with the students various situations in life and cases of discrimination. They viewed a video about the results of research on the population’s thoughts about discrimination and learned of educational materials that briefly explain the project’s main focus. An especially lively discussion involved the terminology proposed by the project’s authors.
In the words of people with disabilities, they do not have “special needs.” They have the same needs as everybody else but the possibility to realize these needs is different. The speakers concluded that persons are limited not only by disabilities but by conditions and the attitude of those around them.
The organizers noted that they want to make the problem of discrimination “visible” to the world, to encourage people to think about this and to make efforts to solve it. So, for example, it’s necessary to move “tectonic plates” at the level of architects’ plans and landscaping, which will increase the cost of a project on average only by 3% but will make it significantly easier for people in wheelchairs. This is why it is so important to understand that disabilities involve each person, and eliminating discrimination also depends on each person.
The project “Disabilities do not limit! Say ‘no’ to discrimination!” is being carried out by the all-Ukraine civic organization of people with disabilities Generation of Successful Action as part of an informational/educational campaign of the Coalition for Combating Discrimination in Ukraine, “Discrimination limits. Fight it!” with the support of the International Renaissance Foundation and the Commissioner on Human Rights of Ukraine’s Parliament.