The new local action plan for people with disabilities in Lushnje identifies ways to improve their lives

May 25, 2015

Participants during the presentation of the Plan, Lushnje

A “Local Action Plan for Inclusion, Protection and Promotion of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities” was presented in Lushnja. The Plan will guide the Municipality and other local structures in charge, to address the needs of 2523 persons with disabilities residing in Lushnje.

The document is a result of consultations and cooperation with a large array of professionals from health, social protection, education, employment, territorial planning sectors as well as groups of interests.

The action plan identifies five major areas of interventions: education, social and health services, employment and environment. Proposed interventions include evidence-based assessment of needs of persons with disabilities for services, planning and distribution of financial resources, capacity building of local municipal staff to address the needs of people with disabilities. The Plan also underlines ways to include people with disabilities in decision making processes that affect their lives.
«Experience shows that in order to effectively address the needs of disabled people, local governments need to integrate disability components into policies, programmes, regulations and their corresponding budgets. The Municipality should ensure that available opportunities, particularly from government financed programmes, are equitably distributed and include all people with disabilities. We are working together with our main partner - the Ministry of Social Welfare and Youth - and other ministries to ensure that social inclusion policies are well coordinated, involving all levels of government and actors including people experiencing poverty and exclusion” - said the UN Resident Representative in Albania addressing the event.

The situation analysis conducted in the five priority areas shows that:
•    Only 4 out of 32 applicants suffering from disabilities have benefited from social housing programmes.
•    Out of 6581 unemployed jobseekers registered with the Employment Office only 38 are persons with disabilities.
•    The infrastructure is not accessible for persons with disabilities. Up to 10 % of accessibility standards are applied in the engineering project designs submitted for construction permit to the Municipality. Out of 63 public buildings assessed for accessibility status, only 2, the hospital and the Court, are physically accessible.

As part of this plan, UNDP will support the building of a day-care Center for people with disabilities which will house 25 persons.

The Local Action Plan for Persons with Disabilities of Lushnja Municipality is developed by UNDP in the framework of “United Nations Support to Social Inclusion in Albania” Programme funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation in Albania and implemented in partnership with the Government and United Nations Agencies in Albania.

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