Although understood state that in recent years the country has made progress in respecting the right of individuals disabled with concrete actions that facilitate a better coexistence, there is still much to be done to break down barriers in aspects of mobility, access to educationto employment, tourism, Health and others.
According to data from census carried out in 2010, 12.41% of Dominicans lived with some type of disabilityfor a total of 1,160,847 people, with women having the highest proportion in relation to men.
There are many people who want to work, but they are not given the opportunity or the conditions are not created for it, even if they are prepared or want to study or simply move as an inherent right of every human being.
Missing policies that guarantee the rights of people disabled as contemplated by Law 5-13, but also the awareness of the private sector, civil society, citizens that a physical or intellectual condition should not be exclusive.
Celso Marranzinipresident of the Dominican Rehabilitation Association, understands that in recent years a greater awareness has been generated that did not exist before, but that it is not enough in the face of the needs of so many people with disabilities.
“You go to public offices or private offices and you find ramps, some of them not with the proper inclination, but it is being taken, the National District Mayor’s Office has done a great job… there is an awareness, progress has really been made, but there is still a long way to go” , he maintains.
When he became executive vice president of the Dominican Corporation of State Electric Companies (CDEEE), one of its policies was to appoint qualified personnel with various disabilities in the company and enthusiastically recalls the mistress of ceremonies, who, as she said, did her job in an excellent manner, as did others in areas such as reception and other work areas.
“We had a lot of people in customer service that kind of work sitting down, you have to help a lot of people what happens in many places they want to hire staff disabledbut they do not have the facilities, they must have ramps, an accessible bathroom, spaces to move the wheelchair and other facilities”.
However, he assures that progress is being made and gave the example of Call Centers that generate a lot of employment, but people have the limitation that they have to speak English.
Cristina Francisco, member of the board of directors of the Dominican Association of Rehabilitation, considers that from the State and society it is necessary to work more for people with disabilities to break down barriers that for years have limited the lives of some people with limitations and put For example transportation.
“Law 5-13, which establishes the conditions for people disabled they can be independent, that they can be integrated into the labor market, so that 2% of jobs are applied in the private sector and 5% in the State”.
Understands that the National Council for Disability (Conadiss, the body is the governing body of the State that watches over and must follow up on these regulations and applications of policies public that integrate people disabled.
Considers that for both study and employment, conditions must be created that allow people disabled have access and cited transportation, because from the state the buses, for the most part, do not have platforms for the movement of a person in a wheelchair, which makes it difficult to move from one place to another.
In the case of the Santo Domingo Metro, it is an inclusive system because people disabled vision or mobility may have access. In addition to the fact that there are no barriers to use it, the staff is duly trained to assist this sector from the moment it enters the system.
Some of the buses of private transport companies such as Caribe Tours and the corridors have ramps and exclusive spaces for people disabled.
For Adis Ozuna, president of the Dominican Access company and an expert on the subject of inclusion for people disabledthe main barriers are usually cultural, social that decision makers do not consider the specific needs of that sector of the population.
“Let’s go to what really happens, that the real needs of people are not considered disabledthen we see that we are advancing in many aspects, but because of that same ignorance and because of that way of continuing to do things the same as we know it, then people disabled they continue to be excluded,” estimates Ozuna.
He understands that it is enough for us to build a ramp so that people in wheelchairs can have access to a certain place, it is necessary that this ramp have the appropriate level of inclination as established by the regulations so that it can be used without difficulty.
But not only are people excluded in the aspect of mobility, but also in other aspects, such as the fact that there are still documents that are not available in Braille or in digital format, he indicates that, nevertheless, he assures that in the last decade the country has We have made a lot of progress because before what happened was that it was not even considered, but we still have many things to do, the intention is at least to take them into account.
“I believe that at this time, like never before, people are being taken into account. disabledbut perhaps that is not enough, you need to have knowledge of universal accessibility and that has always been my struggle, to talk about inclusion we have to talk about accessibility and that goes beyond good intentions, there is technical knowledge, technological solutions and a Without a number of things that are not what I believe or what you want, the world has come a long way”.