Integrating people with disability
Many of the 8.4 million people – or one in every eight citizens – who live with disabilities in Turkey are marginalised as a result of social attitudes, official policies and physical barriers. Removing these obstacles is key to empowering people with disabilities, and giving them the opportunity to exercise their responsibilities as citizens at home, in their community and workplace. The EU has aided this process by funding civil society organisations involved in promoting the equal and effective enjoyment of human rights of persons with disabilities.
The aims of the project and its core activities
The aim of this project was to strengthen the work of civil society organisations active in the area of disability and to improve the operations of the state agency with overall responsibility for policy in this field: the General Directorate of Services for Disabled Persons and the Elderly of the Ministry of Labour, Social Services and Family.
These goals were achieved by increasing the professional skills and knowledge of the staff in civil society organisations through training programmes and workshops. Moreover, funding was provided to projects involved in combating discrimination towards people with disabilities.
At the administrative level, key health sector officials, including disability specialists, were provided with best practice training, which involved study visits to EU countries. As an outcome of these consultations, proposals were made on reforming the country’s disability legislation as well as on how the General Directorate operates.
The project also aimed to develop a professional working relationship between the General Directorate and relevant civil society organisations, which served to strengthen the latter’s lobbying and advocacy activities on behalf of the people they represent.