„Communities of Different, but Equal Citizens“: Marking the International Day of Persons with Disabilities

The theme for this year’s International Day of Persons with Disabilities focuses on empowering persons with disabilities and their role as agents of change for inclusive, equitable and sustainable development. Within its support to social sector development, the EU is funding the project “Communities of Different, but Equal Citizens“, which aims to achieve a higher level of civil society participation in the EU integration process, specifically on advancing social inclusion and non-discrimination of persons with disabilities.

The project is funded by the European Union in the amount of EUR 450 000 and its concept and results will contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals 2030 in the next 36 months.

Organization UDAS is implementing this project in partnership with „Helsinški parlament građana Banja Luka“ and association of citizens ”Nesto Više” Sarajevo.

The project aims at strengthening the capacity of the network of women with disabilities and the network of persons with disabilities UDAS. In addition, the aim is to socially sensitise civil society organizations, which are not primarily organizations of persons with disabilities, as well as representatives of local authorities. This will directly increase the promotion activities and public advocacy for the integration of persons with disabilities through different activities of CSOs, media, authorities and public, which will eventually result in inclusion of persons with disabilities in decision making processes.

Through the project activities, at least 150 members of networks would gain adequate knowledge which would be applied in their work. In addition, Peer Support Group would be established, aiming to transfer the knowledge on ways to support people with disabilities by persons who have been in the same or similar situation.

Long term project objectives include establishment of the Monitoring Team for monitoring of the implementation of strategies, laws and policies in the areas of employment, education, health care and piloting of five “Advisory positions” for persons with disabilities in five local communities.

During the project implementation, 60 schools and 20 public institutions would go through accessibility for person with disability mapping. Project activities would also provide opportunity for ten persons with disabilities to acquire their first working experience through internship in civil society organizations and public institutions which express interest to participate in this project. In addition, twenty young professionals will gain their first working experience through work in organizations of people with disabilities.