Senate Speaker Maulen Ashimbayev chaired the presentation of the bill to improve the quality of life of people with special needs. The bill initiated by senators was developed by a group of parliamentarians.
“The Head of State gives great attention to social protection of people with disabilities. Accordingly, the national legislation in this area is being improved,” Maulen Ashimbayev stressed in his opening remarks.
The Senate Speaker emphasized that such legislative support for citizens with disabilities is important because with each year, unfortunately, the number of people with special needs in our country is increasing considerably. In this connection, deputies propose concrete measures to strengthen disease prevention and improve the accessibility and quality of medical services and education.
“Currently, there are about seven hundred thousand people with disabilities in the country. Annually, over 50 thousand citizens get disability for the first time. This is a significant figure. We are especially concerned about disability among children. All these point to the need for the development of the preventive component of the national health care system. Further escalation of measures to improve the accessibility and quality of medical services and education for people with special needs is also important,” Maulen Ashimbayev said.
It is worth noting that last year a special working group of 55 people was created under the Senate for the development of the bill. People with disabilities themselves, deputies of the Parliament, members of government agencies, NGOs, and international organizations were actively involved in its work. The group has drafted more than 500 proposals to improve the quality of life of people with disabilities, as well as particular proposals for the bill.
“This bill seeks to provide systemic support for persons with disabilities. The bill provides for specific provisions concerning their social protection. It is about improving the national legislation in the fields of health care, provision of special social services, education and improving the quality of life of people with disabilities,” Maulen Ashimbayev noted.
According to the head of the working group, Senator Akmaral Alnazarova, the bill is aimed at solving specific problems that people with disabilities face every day.
For example, previously, when a disabled child received free health resort treatment, the accompanying person had to pay for his/her travel voucher. If the accompanying person had no money for the trip, therefore the child was left without health resort treatment. And the senators propose to reimburse 70% of the cost of the accompanying person’s trip. This will ensure the accessibility of rehabilitation measures and provide additional coverage to more than 13 thousand people each year.
The working group’s other specific proposals are as follows: Persons with disabilities of group 3 will be able to obtain notarial services at private-sector notaries at no charge, and participants in court hearings who have hearing and vision disabilities should be provided with the services of an interpreter proficient in sign language and Braille alphabet for free, as well as the use of sign language and audio-description technical aids. To speed up the process of creating a barrier-free environment, the initiators of the bill propose a provision on the priority procurement of city routes for buses adapted for people with disabilities, and taxi depots should have one invataxi (taxi for disabled people) for every tenth car.
In the course of the presentation, the participants also discussed the employment of people with disabilities, providing them with housing, quality education, the ban on advertising aimed at the use of products harmful to children’s organisms, which can lead to disability.
The event was also attended by Deputy Prime Minister Yeraly Tugzhanov, senior officials of relevant ministries, government agencies, NGOs, as well as persons with disabilities.
To conclude the meeting, Chairman of the House Maulen Ashimbayev thanked the members of the working group, who contributed to the development of the bill and emphasized the importance of works on further improvement of legislation and improving the quality of life of people with disabilities and giving them maximum opportunities to fulfill their potential.