Polish Association of Disabled People – PSON - EYPD 2003

Polish Association of Disabled People – PSON -  European Year of Disabled People 2003 in <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Poland.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />

According to our correspondence, Polish Association of Disabled People has commenced its activities with the participation in a contest. This contest aimed at designing the EYDP 2003 logo. After that, we started an information campaign among local and state authorities, and non-governmental organisations involving all available resources. Feedback was varied. However, in most cases it was indifferent, especially among authorities appointed to deal with such events.

These all activities were ended with an international conference – organised by PSON. It was held on 7-9 December 2002 in Krakow and was titled „Equalisation Opportunities Options”. During this conference the European Year of Disabled People was commenced in Poland.

At present we have the fifth moth of these celebrations. Apart from episodic events – meetings, happenings - we do not observe any great events for the benefit of the disabled, although we have suggested that the above mentioned authorities should prepare such – working out regional and national investment and other programs that would aim at opportunity equalisation and integration with the society in all life aspects. I am very sorry to say that Polish authorities perceive the disabled only occasionally. Furthermore, non-governmental organisations find it hard to develop their activities, because they do not possess an access to funding or projects because of unclear reasons.

The disabled society in Poland is rather frustrated than satisfied in the frame of the European Year of Disabled People because of the following reasons:

Ø      almost entire lack of access for the disabled to the labour market (1 person is employed out of 12-15) with the tendency to deepen this rate;

Ø      suppression of disability status among people with disabilities in order to make savings through lower disability allowances (in many evident cases);

Ø      in the frame of Polish financial economy reform, the pensions and retired pays will not be valorised, and reduced rates in taxation policy for disabled people who spend money on rehabilitation services are being eliminated at present.

Though, they have had huge impact on opportunities equalisation, we can enumerate a lot of other negative phenomena, but it is not the case in this information.

PSON activities in EYDP 2003:

*      PSON had made the information campaign in advance, using all available resources and it influenced authorities and non-governmental organisations regarding the celebrations of EYDP 2003.

*      All authorities that are responsible for the disability policy, were informed about the EYDP 2003 by PSON and they received framework proposals.

*      Polish National Council of EYDP 3003 has been established in December 2002 and is led by the Prime Minister Leszek Miller, however, you can not observe its activity.

*      PSON has not obtained any financial resources for the celebrations of the EYDP 2003. All the above described activities were financed from own resources. According to our information, other organisations have not received such resources, too.

We continue our activities to the best of our abilities and financial resources we possess. They are modest so no one can expect splendid activities.