President of the Republic of Lithuania President of the Republic of Lithuania

Diana Nausėdienė and Agata Kornhauser-Duda welcomed the participants and organizers of the international conference

2021-06-28

On Monday, 28 June, an international conference “Information Accessibility for People with Disabilities” was held at the Column Hall of the Presidential Palace.

The event was hosted by Diana Nausdienė and Agata Kornhauser-Duda, First Ladies of Lithuania and Poland. The Lithuanian Forum of Disability Organizations was a partner of the conference.

In her welcome address, Diana Nausėdienė thanked the First Lady of Poland for her sincere effort to invite top-level specialists to the event: “I am also grateful to the Polish and Lithuanian experts who have agreed to share good practices and solutions that have been working effectively already.”

According to Diana Nausėdienė, almost 40 per cent of people with disabilities are at risk of poverty and social exclusion in Lithuania, which is much higher than in the EU. This indicator, that demonstrates a clear lack of equal opportunities in Lithuania and the important issue of respect for human rights have to be made more topical.

A. Kornhauser-Duda shared the work that has been already done and still underway, presented experience of involving students with disabilities in the learning processes, and welcomed the increasing cooperation between the two countries at different levels to ensure the well-being of people with disabilities.

The conference was attended and presentations were made  by Dr. Jonas Ruškus, Professor of Vytautas Magnus University, Vice-Chairman of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities; Justina Jakštenė, Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Social Security and Labour; Paweł Wdówik, Secretary of State in the Ministry of Family and Social Policy, Government Plenipotentiary for Disabled People, member of the expert committee for Disabled People by the Ombudsman (Poland); Dovilė Juodkaitė, President of the Lithuanian Forum of Disability Organizations, and Krzysztof Michałkiewicz, President of the Board of the State Fund for Rehabilitation of Disabled People (Poland).  

Presentations were made about the availability of information and the importance of different forms of communication for the implementation of the Human Rights Disability Model; Lithuania’s good practice and policy roadmap were presented. The participants of the Conference learned about Poland’s experience in making and implementing decisions as well as the best national examples.

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities requires countries that have ratified it to ensure not only physical but also information accessibility for persons with disabilities. Although Lithuania ratified the Convention in 2010, physical and information accessibility for people with different disabilities are still to be reached.

The Conference attendees shared their personal experience and talked about the importance of information accessibility.

During the event, a discussion was held and the following questions were raised: What do we know about the obstacles to information accessibility? How to eliminate these obstacles by developing information accessible to all?  What solutions must be found and decisions made to ensure information accessibility for people with disabilities in a quality manner as well as provide conditions for independent living and decision making?

The conference was held in Lithuanian and Polish languages with simultaneous interpretation and interpretation into Lithuanian sign language.

The President‘s Communication Group

Last updated 2021.06.28 16:35

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