Monday, June 29, 2009

Venezuela Opens its First Center for Disabled People

June 19th 2009, by Tamara Pearson –

Mérida, June 19th 2009 ( - Yesterday the governor of Aragua state, Rafael Isea, inaugurated the country's first Coordination Center for People with Disabilities. The center will be both a place of attention for disabled people, as well as a space where the general population can generate policies and projects related to disability issues.

Isea said that through the center the state government will promote the development of community committees and will start a process of adaptation of public and private institutions to accommodate disabled people. The National Council for Disabled People (Conapdis), Mission Jose Gregorio Hernandez (a government program of free medical attention for disabled people and for information gathering around the number of people with disabilities in Venezuela and their needs), and the Program of Attention for People with Disabilities (Pasdis) will also operate out of the center.

The Araguan state government signed an agreement with Conapdis in March to build the center and now also wants to create centers in the 17 municipalities of the state, Isea said.

The president of Conapdis, Ludyt Ramirez, said the new center is "one more achievement for the Bolivarian Revolution in the struggle to achieve the inclusion of people with disabilities... who historically have been marginalized in terms of participation and protagonism."

Under Venezuela's Law for People with Disabilities, passed in 2006, employers must ensure that 5% of positions are given to people with disabilities, media must include sign language in a portion of their programming, and handicapped people along with diabetics and heart and liver patients should receive preferential treatment in the health system.

From Venezuela Analysis

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