Inclusion or Exclusion in Ukraine?

(Opinion essay)

I am not a speaker for disability matters. Human matters are what concern me. In this essay, I will talk about the level of inclusion in our country. Today it is very low and is only just beginning to develop, while in developed countries this problem is solved to the maximum. As I. Perlman affirms, “Every person with a disability is an individual.” We should remember it.

If it is a person with a disability living in Ukraine, then his or her living conditions can really be sympathetic. The good thing is that the problem is not out of place, and now the issue of inclusive education is more actively promoted. The Ministry of Education and Science deals with this issue, and the following information is available on their website, “Ukrainian educators and international experts say that Ukraine has taken a major step forward in the development of inclusive learning. But despite numerous changes in legislation and regulations, the incidence of inclusive education in Ukraine is still relatively low.”

On May 23, 2017, the Law “On Amendments to the Law of Ukraine” On Education “on the Features of Access of Persons with Special Educational Needs to Educational Services” was adopted, according to which “Ukrainian children with special educational needs have the full right to receive education in all educational institutions, including free state and communal. Also for these children the possibility of introducing distance and individual forms of education, receiving psychological-pedagogical and correctional-developmental assistance, creation of inclusive and special groups (classes) in general educational institutions and “adapting” secondary schools and classes, etc., are provided for these children.

That is, the issue under discussion is a law in force, but too passive. There are many points that need to be done to improve the standard of living of people with disabilities, but their implementation is chaotic. The initiative is shown by entrepreneurs and people rather than the authorities. More and more schools are being set up to cater specifically to the different needs of people with disabilities, but again, such facilities are paid on a fee-for-use basis, and often the amount is out of place for such families. And public schools are almost not ready to accept such students.

We also have little developed inclusive literature. Workers in Kyiv’s libraries do not even know the concept, and this indicates how relevant the issue is. The problem is that there is little talk about this problem. It would be worthwhile for the Ukrainian media to focus more attention on this, as they shape the consciousness of the people. The Ukrainian authorities must first and foremost make sure that laws come into force and not just exist on paper.

Because of these conditions, people with disabilities are very limited in many plans. They have no ability to communicate and develop themselves properly. That is why our society is not accustomed to being near them. The reaction is often inadequate, such as humiliation and non-recognition, and this is also a problem of underdeveloped level of inclusion.

In my opinion, all interested in this problem people should unite in a number of social media groups and launch a large-scale mass media campaign to force the authorities to turn their faces to the urgent problems of the disabled people. I am not a speaker for disability matters. Human matters are what concern me.

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