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Cyprus – Disability

Cyprus is a small island country in the eastern Mediterranean with a population of just over 1 million. The country has made significant progress in terms of disability rights and inclusion, but there is still room for improvement. In this article, we will explore the common attitudes towards disability in Cyprus, discrimination and legislation issues, public transport and building access, as well as advocacy groups for people with disabilities.

Attitudes to disability in Cyprus

Attitudes towards people with disabilities in Cyprus have traditionally been mixed. In the past, people with disabilities were often viewed as a burden to society, with some families hiding their disabled family members from public view. However, there has been a shift towards a more positive and inclusive attitude in recent years. This can be attributed to a number of factors, including increased awareness and education, as well as legislative changes that have promoted the rights of people with disabilities.

There is a growing recognition that people with disabilities have the right to full participation in all aspects of society. This includes education, employment, and social and cultural activities. The government has made a commitment to creating a more inclusive society, and there are several initiatives in place to achieve this goal.

Discrimination and legislation issues

While there has been progress in improving the rights and inclusion of people with disabilities in Cyprus, discrimination and inequality still exist. One of the biggest challenges is the lack of accessibility in public spaces and buildings, including transportation, government buildings, and commercial establishments.

There have been some efforts to improve accessibility, such as the installation of wheelchair ramps and accessible toilets in certain public spaces. However, these efforts are often inconsistent and insufficient. Many older buildings and public transport systems are not designed to accommodate people with disabilities, making it difficult for them to move around independently.

In terms of legislation, there have been some important changes in recent years to improve the rights of people with disabilities. The Disability Law of 2012 provides legal protection against discrimination and guarantees access to education, employment, and public services for people with disabilities. However, there are still gaps in the law that need to be addressed, particularly with regard to accessibility and accommodation in public spaces.

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Public transport and building access

Public transport in Cyprus is generally not accessible to people with disabilities. Buses and taxis are not equipped with ramps or lifts, and there are few accessible parking spaces. This makes it difficult for people with disabilities to travel independently, particularly those who use wheelchairs or mobility aids.

In terms of building access, there are still many buildings in Cyprus that are not accessible to people with disabilities. This includes government buildings, commercial establishments, and public spaces such as parks and beaches. While there have been efforts to improve accessibility, there is still a long way to go before people with disabilities have equal access to all public spaces.

Advocacy groups for people with disabilities

There are several advocacy groups in Cyprus that work to promote the rights and inclusion of people with disabilities. These include:

  • The Cyprus Paraplegic Association: This organization provides support and advocacy for people with spinal cord injuries and other physical disabilities. They offer a range of services, including peer support, rehabilitation, and social activities.
  • The Cyprus Association of the Deaf: This organization advocates for the rights of deaf people and provides support services, including sign language interpretation and education.
  • The Cyprus Autism Association: This organization works to improve the lives of people with autism and their families through education, advocacy, and support services.

These organizations can provide valuable support and resources for people with disabilities and their families. They also play an important role in advocating for policy changes and raising awareness about disability issues in Cyprus.

While there have been some important strides in promoting the rights and inclusion of people with disabilities in Cyprus, there is still much work to be done.

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