Guests of the program were United Nations Children’s Fund Consultant on Disabled Issues Maguli Shagashvili and NGO “Women Platform - New Opportunities” Coordinator Esma Gumberidze.
"The Representative of the Government often asks me: Are you successful? There are people who have achieved success in life despite their limited abilities. Where is the problem then?,” said Gumberidze.
“Such people, of course, exist in our society, but the person with disabilities has to overcome a lot more barriers to succeed. In such a case, these people have succeeded not by system support, but thanks to the family.
It is possible that, for example, the mother does not work and go to school or university with her child. Unfortunately, we do not have independent life services and parents are forced to accompany persons with disabilities everywhere where they need it.
Even today, I’m moving with help of my mother. Although I have higher education, I am a lawyer, I have foreign languages, I am not able to work as a disabled person but to participate in the usual competition,” said Gumberidze.
Civil Society Development Center is implementing the project “Strengthening Families in Mtskheta-Mtianeti Region.” The social worker for the project, Lali Akhrakhadze, spoke about several issues.
“There is almost no infrastructure in the region and many people can not get out of the house at all. There are no special teachers in schools. It is not possible to involve disabled children in preschool education. The level of awareness about the capacities of people with disabilities is low, it is felt at all stages as a preschool, as well as for school and higher education, and then employers.”
“Where does the stigma come from? Stereotypes? It again goes from the education system,” says UNICEF Consultant on Disabled Issues Maguli Shagashvili. “We are less likely to meet people who have similar problems. There are social and infrastructural barriers. When these barriers are lifted, people will be given more opportunity.”
According to specialists, the state should play the role of mediator in this process. With the participation of the state it is necessary to create a system that people with disabilities have the ability to demonstrate their skills and dignity.