CITY AND DISABILTY – Program for creation of local disability action plans
The Republic center for support of persons with intellectual disability – PORAKA, in partnership with Handicap International – South East Europe, supported by the Small Grants Program of the USA Embassy in Macedonia, from 15th of September 2009, has stated with implementation of the program for creation of local disability action plans in 3 municipalities in the Republic of Macedonia: Ohrid, Vinica and Kumanovo.
Local disability action plan is a strategic document, which consists of identified needs, solutions, goals and priorities, agreed between the local authorities and organizations of persons with disabilities. The goal of local disability action is improvement of quality of life for persons with disability. It includes issues that are of utmost importance for persons with disability and proposes actions in accordance with the resources of the local community.
In the first and the second phase of the project, meetings were held with the Mayors of the municipalities Kumanovo, Vinica and Ohrid. Also, working groups that will work directly on the creation of the local action plans were formed. In order to formalize the cooperation in this process, Memorandums for cooperation were signed with the three local self-governments and involved institutions and organizations of people with disabilities.
The third phase of the project included training of the working groups, through three seminars in each municipality separately.
The trainings provided opportunities for the members of the three working groups to gain knowledge regarding the rights of the persons with disabilities, including:
- The local action plan as an instrument for equalization of the opportunities for persons with disabilities,
- Basic concepts (definitions, medical and social model, human rights and social services)
- International and domestic legal instruments, legal framework, strategies, conditions and systems of care and protection for persons with disabilities,
AGENDA 22 – instrument for creation of local action plans and experiences from other countries,
- Social services and regulatory mechanisms,
- Decentralization and form of cooperation of local self-government with the civil sector,
- Identification of needs and resources in the local community
- Project management cycle and relations with the media.
Within the following phase of the program, three workshops will be organized in each of the three municipalities, where the members of the working groups will work on creation of the local action plans. Public debates are planned in each municipality in order to present, amend and finalize the draft action plans.
The positive effects of the realization of this program had provoked interest in other municipalities. On 2nd March 2010, PORAKA and municipality Radovish signed Memorandum for cooperation regarding the development of such strategic document in Radovish.