Accessible community

Everyone deserves to make life as convenient and as peaceful as possible; however society doesn’t always make life so simple for the wheelchair users.
Many steps are being taken to inform the society about the necessity of having accessible community and respecting the rights of people with disability. On this issue Armenia ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. One of the main principal approaches of the convention is the right of people with disabilities to live in the community. The Article 19 of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities States Parties to the Convention recognize the equal right of all persons with disabilities to live in the community, with choices equal to others, and shall take effective and appropriate measures to facilitate full enjoyment by persons with disabilities of this right and their full inclusion and participation in the community, including by ensuring that.
One step to have accessible community has been taken by Skarp Health Center NGO in Armenia and Coalition for Independent Living (CIL) in Georgia. Together they have started a project called Accessible community funded by Black Sea Trust for Regional Cooperation. The project goal is to ensure a completely accessible and wheelchair-friendly environment for people with disabilities in one of Tbilisi’s and one of the Yerevan’s districts through implementation of Law on Social Protection of People with Disabilities thus promoting inclusion of PWD in social, political, cultural and economic life of Armenia and Georgia. The project undertakes to cooperate with local authorities and business owners in order to ensure accessibility for wheelchair-riders living in the project-targeted areas. Due to the sad reality that problems rarely get solved while being approached from a global perspective, it was regarded as more effective to focus the project efforts on one local municipality only. In Yerevan Avan district and in Tbilisi Didiube-Chughureti district were selected as a pilot municipality to work with in frames of this project. Introductory and planning meeting between the Municipality representatives and the implementing organizations, Skarp and CIL, was arranged on September 27 in Tbilisi and later in Yerevan. Both parties of the meeting expressed readiness to cooperate and pledged to make a number of public buildings in both districts accessible and usable for local wheelchair-riders as required by the international standards.