Experts note that there are still many problems with how children with disabilities are treated in the society. While the total number of disabled people in the country is in decline, the number of children with disabilities is on the rise both in absolute terms and as a percentage of the total number of children. Experts believe the system for preventing childhood disabilities must be improved and, just as importantly, effective rehabilitation measures need to be developed.
Analysis of medical examination results and rehabilitation recommendations made on their basis suggest that the goals of medical, social and professional rehabilitation of disabled people remain just as relevant today as they have always been. A special role is played by social rehabilitation, which can include, among other things, special preschool, high school and professional education. As far as integrated rehabilitation of children with disabilities is concerned, the findings of the Analytical Center’s study show that it is only just being created in Russia.
“A lot of work needs to be done to develop new approaches to rehabilitation of people with disabilities in general and children in particular. We believe there is a need for new legal, organizational, methodological, and human resources, financial and IT approaches to how rehabilitation services are provided,” says Natalia Nikolaeva, the Head of the Department for Social Policy of the Analytical Center. “Improvement is needed in how rehabilitation services are provided; their outcomes and effectiveness are assessed, including the way various departments cooperate to achieve these goals.”
On July 15, a meeting of the Presidential Commission for the Affairs of People with Disabilities discussed what needs to be done to develop a system of integrated rehabilitation for children with disabilities. Experts of the Department for Social Policy of the Analytical Center prepared some analytical materials for the meeting. The key conclusions and proposals included therein were presented at the meeting by the Advisor to the President of the Russian Federation, the chair of the Presidential Commission for the Affairs of People with Disabilities Alexandra Levitskaya.