Georgia: Lack of access to services for children with disabilities and denial of social inclusion
"Lack of access to services for children with disabilities - the denial of social inclusion in Georgia" is a new policy brief prepared within the framework of the Open Society Georgia Foundation’s inhouse project Monitoring Implementation of the EU-Georgia Association Agreement by Coalition of Civil Society Organizations.
Since 1991 Georgia has not updated the system of disability registration. Official administrative bodies consider children disabled only if they exhibit listed symptoms of a given diagnosis and not their actual needs for social and educational inclusion – a practice of a medical model of disability that is in contradiction with the standards of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
Children with disabilities in Georgia are obtaining disability services depending on the goodwill of their parents. All too often, parents, who do not acknowledge their children’s disability, refuse to register them at social and educational services. State authorities usually do not consider such practices as discriminatory.
The existing state-funded social service program hinders the participation of disabled children in educational activities. If children with disability attend the regular school system as well as the day-care services, the state decreases its financial contributions for day-care centers.
There is an urgent need to scrutinize and revise the national and municipal programs of child rehabilitation and social inclusion.
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