Disabled demand proper conditions in public transport


A fair amount of money is spent on creating conditions for the disabled, with attention especially paid to this in cities which will be hosting Euro 2012.  Another matter whether people with special needs actually feel that the State is making an effort.

At present the transport infrastructure cannot meet even the most basic needs of people with limited possibilities. According to the Deputy Head of the Donetsk Regional Disabled Society, Svitlana Fomina, the authorities supposedly make great efforts, yet these are in practice often futile. For example, over 5 years public funding was used to buy train carriages suitable for the disabled. They proved so uncomfortable that the Disabled Society is presently asking the government to reject such a “gift” and to buy means of transport which meet international standards.

Ms Fomina points out that there are a lot of people in wheelchairs in the industrial Donetsk region. They are deprived not merely of the possibility of travelling around the country, but even of moving around the city. The roads are far from cut out for this, nor city transport. Even when new buildings are being constructed, they often try to avoid these issues. “There is no system, they do everything so that it looks nice, and not for people”.

As an area of heavy industry, the Donetsk region has the highest number of people with disabilities in the country, and the problems people with special needs face are especially acute. Particular attention to this has been paid recently in view of preparations for Euro 2012 since UEFA demands certain standards regarding access for people with disabilities. In this sense the Donbas Arena Stadium is a model construction. The same cannot be said about social structures and transport, heads of organizations for the disabled who met recently in Donetsk to discuss the issue say. Officials during such meetings largely talk about how good conditions are for the disabled in Europe and make promises to achieve the same in Ukraine.

Karina Ohanesian

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