Vladimir Putin: Today is the International Day of Disabled persons. There are nearly 10 million of them in Russia. They all require assistance and support, care and attention, notably on the part of the Government.
For a long time government policy has been confined to the granting of benefits. And even those benefits were puny and, as you know, have not always been delivered. And this policy did virtually nothing to help disabled people to reintegrate into normal, decent life in the broad sense of the word.
The main area is rehabilitation [of disabled people] into normal life. I think it is high time we paid attention to that particular issue.
Take the urban environment, for example. We know that problems for the disabled begin as soon as they cross the doorsteps of their flats. The urban environment is not adapted to help them cope. Public places and transport – nothing is adapted for use by disabled people.
One is ashamed to recall the scenes at the Civil Forum. Disabled people were unable to even get past the turnstiles. No provision had been made for them.
But in addition to the practical aspects there is a still more important aspect. It is the moral state of society and the way society treats disabled people. Unfortunately, disabled people often meet with a callous attitude. I would say even an inhumane and uncivilized attitude, including in the world of work. We must certainly pay attention to that and create corresponding conditions through all means available, including legislation.