Our children. Even when they grow up, they still need support and assistance. More than 15 years ago, when our children got an opportunity to be educated in Centres for Correction and Development Training and Rehabilitation, we, parents of NGO “BelAPDIiMI”, started lobbying the development of services for adult people with disabilities in Belarus. We were among the first in the country who established public mini-workshops. We invited foreign specialists from Germany, Sweden, England and the Netherlands where a system of support to adults with severe and multiple disabilities had been working for 20-30-40 years. Well-deserved conditions for their employment and living were created in these countries a long time ago. We published books and worked out methodological recommendations. We knew that we, parents, were responsible for creating conditions for our children’s further education after leaving schools and centres.
In 2007, thanks to an active position and lobbying done by the members of the Council of NGO “BelAPDIiMI”, day stay departments for people with disabilities were opened in Territorial Centres of Social Services to Population. There was even an instruction of the President to guarantee transfer of children from Centres for Correction and Development Training and Rehabilitation to day stay departments. Methodological recommendations on transfer of children were worked out at the state level and were signed by the ministers of education and social protection. Approximately 140 day stay departments work now in Belarus; more than 4 000 people with disabilities attend these departments.
However, people with severe and multiple disabilities who finished Centres for Correction and Development Training and Rehabilitation can’t attend these departments. So members of the Council and employees of NGO “BelAPDIiMI” started lobbying interests of people with disabilities with the aim to create conditions necessary for them in day stay departments. At first, we secured cancelation of a list of contraindications for receiving certain services in departments; a number of required staff was increased too. We were also working with officials from Minsk as 80% of graduates of Centres for Correction and Development Training and Rehabilitation didn’t start attending day stay departments. Then an idea of establishment of a day stay department in one of the boarding institutions of Minsk, where mainly youngsters with disabilities live, appeared. Such a variant is quite suitable for our children and parents. BUT, this variant isn’t suitable for those who can’t walk on their own – the day stay department is located on the 1st floor.
This year a second day stay department for people with severe and multiple disabilities is to be opened in the Territorial Centre of Social Services to Population in Moskovskiy district of Minsk. NGO “BelAPDIiMI” gives the department some equipment for free which will simplify work of specialists and will ensure a comfort stay in this department for people with disabilities: a movable lift, a special bed, soft modules, combined furniture, development play games etc. The day stay department will be opened soon. Follow the news!
You can read more about work of the day stay department for young people with psycho-physical disabilities in Minsk psycho-neurological boarding institution No 4 in the article “Legends and myths of barrier-reef” published in the newspaper “Soviet Belorussia”.