ONE VOICE FOR DISABILITY Seminar - First Edition


Bucharest, the 29th of October 2012. Over 70 people participated in the first Seminar -“One voice for disability” held in Campina, Prahova County, on the 27th of October and was organized by the European Center for the Rights of Children with Disabilities (CEDCD) in partnership with Pyramid Educational Consultants Romania and Mara – A Drop of Hope Association.

This seminar is the first in a series of 6 regional seminaries that CEDCD will organize until February 2013 with the intention of reach the families who have children with disabilities.

The purpose of the seminar is to coagulate the voice of the society and that of the parents who have children with disabilities so that a new bill regarding the rights of children with disabilities can be promoted. The bill will respond effectively to their specific needs.

The vision CEDCD proposed during the seminar was supported by the participants and it opened a series of discussions regarding different points of the new bill.

CEDCD welcomes the availability of Down Syndrome– Valea Jiului, Angels Down, Stropi de Roua and Curcubeul Autismului, associations which expressed their intention to support us in promoting a new bill that will respond to the real needs of the children with disabilities.

Also CEDCD wants to thank all the parents and specialists form 4 Romanian Counties, who demonstrated that children’s rights represent a cause worth of a proactive approach.

The draft law, structured by CEDCD, is based on the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities and aims at adapting the environment to the specific needs of children with disabilities, while respecting the child’s best interest: defining the intellectual disability, regulation of early intervention, closing special schools, establishing an adapted curriculum, making schools, public spaces and information more accessible.

CEDCD considers that the 448/2006 Law on the protection and promotion of the rights for people with disabilities is outdated and does not correspond with the need for protection, education, health and evolution of children with disabilities and that leads to abuse and discrimination.

Besides the aspects regarding the draft law, the seminar showed parents an effective alternative in regards of therapy for non-verbal children – Pictures Exchange Communication System “PECS”.

Background information

Official statistics from the Ministry of Labor, Family and Social Protection, Directorate General for Protection of Persons with Disabilities reports that there are 691,482 people with disabilities that live in Romania from which 80,000 are children. Over 116,000 people are diagnosed with mental disabilities. These figures include different pathologies in the field of intellectual disabilities, hidden under the name of “mental illnesses” that being far from reality for two reasons:

1. Any statistic from competent institutions reflects only the number of people that took the necessary steps to register the child as to having a disability. Actually the Romanian casework, rural or urban, is not reflected in the official records, the more the level of information and education about this phenomenon is low and the administrative procedure is more complex makes the access to information more difficult.

2. There has never been any official measure to make a study on intellectual disabilities, either in general or for children.

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