According to the UNICEF in Uzbekistan the number of children registered as
disabled increased from 70,000 in 1996 to 125,000 in 2005. They are cut off from
their families and community from an early age, often segregated in large
facilities and special schools. In Uzbekistan almost 20000 disabled children are
currently in institutions for disabled.
Many of them do have one or both parents and could be with them, if more support
were provided to the families and inclusive education facilities provided on a
wider scale. "Across the region, children unanimously say they want to be with
their families and want to get good quality education like their peers" said
Reza Hossaini, Representative of UNICEF Uzbekistan Office.
The report finds that poverty and disability go hand in hand, each fuelling the
other. Families with children with disabilities tend to be poorer than other
families. Disability continues to be poorly diagnosed and often goes untreated,
thereby leading to lasting disadvantage. Lacking proper support from the State
and with limited access to quality basic social services for treatment and care
of their children, parents see institutionalization as the only viable
alternative. The reality is that many parents feel that they have no choice but
to give up their children. What these families need is strong social and
The UNICEF report acknowledges that the region has made some progress on
protecting the rights of children with disabilities. There are signs that
attitudes towards disability are changing - most countries now have legislation
to address the reality of these children and more children are being integrated
into society. Indeed, Uzbekistan is the first CIS country that adopted a law on
social protection of people with disabilities, as well as a state program on the
rehabilitation of people with disabilities. Work is also underway in the country
in terms of inclusive education and promotion of the right of children to live
in a family environment.
There remains a lot more work to be done. The event called for action from all
concerned parties in Uzbekistan, to make a positive difference in the lives of
children with disabilities and their families and make their voices heard. Only
by working together will our abilities have no limits, UNICEF said in its
Meanwhile, since 2005 Parus conducts the computer-based
training program for rehabilitation the people with eyesight disabilities. This
private charitable program is approved by the Institute for the blind of
Uzbekistan that provides the program with the students.
The program is based on the use of the most popular screen reader JAWS for
Windows, which works with PC to provide access to today?s software applications
and the Internet. With its internal software speech synthesizer and the
computer?s sound card, information from the screen is read aloud, providing
technology to access a wide variety of information, education and job related
applications. JAWS also outputs to refreshable Braille displays, and Braille
Unfortunately at present time it is it is impossible for us to provide the
program with Braille displays and printers. Subject to other sponsors
assistance, this program would serve much more people including children with
Dmitriy A. Pitirimov The programm coordinator.
Support this program.