U.S. Ambassador in Russia Mikhail McFaul talking with Mikhail Terentyev, the champion of the paralympic games and a deputy of Russia's State Duma. Source: Press Photo / m-mcfaul.livejournal.com
Golden and the U.S. Business Leadership Network have shown impressive leadership
on this issue through programs that help people with disabilities find
meaningful employment. USAID has also done a fantastic job in partnership with
the Russian NGO Perspektiva to bring Russian society and business together to
identify creative solutions to this pressing problem.
Since 1997, Perspektiva has assisted people with disabilities in more than 26
Russian cities, and it reaches an additional 10 cities through the use of
web-based technologies. Perspektiva helps disabled people to acquire new skills
so they can live independently and become fully participating members of
USAID has provided funding to help Perspektiva advocate for the rights of
disabled people, provide services for disabled youths, organize youth community
service activities, and raise awareness in the community about disability
issues. Perspektiva also advocated strongly for Russia’s adoption of the U.N.
Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which was signed into
law earlier this month.
Through the Americans for Disabilities Act, passed two decades ago, the U.S.
Congress mandated reasonable accommodation for the disabled. Equally as
important, the U.S.
government has worked together with the U.S. business community to change
attitudes towards a once stigmatized community.
In the Russian Federation
today, nearly one in ten citizens lives with a disability. They are our family
members and friends, neighbors and colleagues, and business and civic leaders.
In Russia and in the United States,
people with disabilities have the same employment rights as others, and
businesses and societies as a whole benefit when disabled people have the same
opportunity to contribute as employees.
It is inspiring to see government, business and civil society working together to create a more inclusive workplace and a more tolerant society.
First published in Michael Mcfaul's LiveJournal blog. Read the original.
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