On July 20, the Ministry of Population Development and Social Protection and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) launched a new project to promote the social participation of people living with disabilities in Mongolia.
A detailed survey will be conducted among people living with disabilities in Mongolia and a database with their information will be established as part of the project.
Mongolia has approximately 111,000 people registered as living with disabilities. Project initiators plan to determine the exact number of male and female individuals living with disabilities, their ages, their ideal line of work, and other important indexes. In addition to promoting social participation the Ministry of Population Development and Social Protection also expects the project to increase employment, until 2020. During this period, people living with disabilities will take part in the project and assist in accurately identifying the challenges they face. The project’s initiators noted that the project will be efficient in improving cooperation between state-owned companies and NGOs working for people with physical impairment, sensory impairment, cognitive impairment, and other difficulties, as well as enhance the capacity of these NGOs.
Many new facilities and developments have been completed in Ulaanbaatar over the past four years to provide better accommodations for people living with disabilities.
One of the project’s initiators noted that it’s wrong to think that the social participation of people living with disabilities will increase just by building wheelchair ramps, tactile paving for the visually impaired, and buses with special doors, seats, and stairs. They gave examples of the daily challenges faced by people living with disabilities.
“People with hearing and speech impairment constantly need assistance from people who know sign language. Yet, the number of ordinary people who know sign language, and even the number of sign language interpreters, has plunged. The Social Security Law for People with Disabilities, to come into effect in September, specifies teaching sign language and improving the basic sign language skills of the public.”
A representative highlighted the importance of giving the same treatment to people living with disabilities as is given to people who don’t have physical, cognitive, sensory, or other impairments in terms of employment and income. The Ministry of Population Development and Social Protection and JICA say they hope the Mongolian government will not sit back on these issues and become actively involved in the promotion of social participation of people living with disabilities.