Disabled People in the Society

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In the project paper «Disabled People in the Society» the author wanted to find out some new and interesting information about this topic, to take a closer look at it and show it to others.
The project proves interesting to investigate, as there are a lot of facts and problems, connecting with Disability, which are widely discussed everywhere. The project paper also touches upon some entertaining topic, as comparison Russian and European Disabled people ;Discrimination and rights of these people and their standards of living; the link between disability and mass media.


Part 1. Disability
1.1. Types of disability
1.2. Rights and facilities for Disabled People
1.3. Jobs for Disabled People
Part 2.Disability in Different Countries
2.1. Disability in Europe
2.2. Disability in the USA
2.3. Disability in Russia
Part3. Discrimination: Disable People and the Media
3.1. Television
3.2. Newspapers
3.3. The advertising industry
Part 4.Disabled People-are Ordinary People
4.1. Adapted sports
4.2. Disabled Person`s organizations
Reference list

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Disabled People in the Society





                                       By: Orlovskaya Victoria

                           Student of form 11 «B» School 1582

                                                Teacher: Linkova E.N.












Part 1.  Disability

    1. Types of disability
    2. Rights and facilities for Disabled People
    3. Jobs for Disabled People

Part 2.Disability in Different Countries

2.1. Disability in Europe

2.2. Disability in the USA

2.3. Disability in Russia

Part3. Discrimination: Disable People and the Media

3.1. Television

3.2. Newspapers

3.3. The advertising industry

Part 4.Disabled People-are Ordinary People

4.1. Adapted sports

 4.2. Disabled Person`s organizations


Reference list






             In the project paper «Disabled People in the Society» the author wanted to find out some new and interesting information about this topic, to take a closer look at it and show it to others.

                 The project proves interesting to investigate, as there are a lot of facts and problems, connecting with Disability, which are widely discussed   everywhere. The project paper also touches upon some entertaining topic, as comparison Russian and European Disabled people ;Discrimination and rights of these people and their standards of living; the link between disability and mass media.     


Part 1 . Disability

     A Disability may be physical, cognitive, mental, sensory, emotional, developmental or some combination of these. A disability may be present from birth, or occur during a person's lifetime. When we hear the word disabled most of us think of those who have a visible disability. Disability is an umbrella term, covering impairments, activity limitations, and participation restrictions.

     Impairment is a problem in body function or structure; an activity limitation is a difficulty encountered by an individual in executing a task or action; while a participation restriction is a problem experienced by an individual in involvement in life situations. Thus disability is a complex phenomenon, reflecting an interaction between features of a person’s body and features of the society in which he or she lives.



This is a Disabled badge:

  Pic 1                               

                                            There are a lot of disabled people, who suffered because of the wars, governments offer this people high benefits. Here you can see, how this benefits have changed since the World War II :                               

Tab 1

1.2. Types of disability

     The term "disability" broadly describes an impairment in a person's ability to function, caused by changes in various subsystems of the body, or to mental health. The degree of disability may range from mild to moderate, severe, or profound. A person may also have multiple disabilities. Conditions causing disability are classified by the medical community as: 1) congenital, meaning caused by a mother's infection during pregnancy, or by injury during or soon after birth , 2) acquired, such as conditions caused by illness or injury, 3) inherited (genetically transmitted)

 Types of disability may also be categorized in the following way:

     1)Physical disability(Any impairment which limits the physical function of limbs, fine bones, or gross motor ability is a physical disability. Other physical disabilities include impairments which limit other facets of daily living, such as severe sleep apnea(it is a sleep disorder characterized by abnormal pauses in breathing or instances of abnormally low breathing during sleep)

     2)Sensory disability. (Sensory disability is impairment of one of the senses. The term is used primarily to refer to vision and hearing impairment, but other senses can be impaired.)                                                                    4

      3) Olfactory and gustatory impairment.(Impairment of the sense   of smell and taste are commonly associated with aging but can also occur in younger people due to a wide variety of causes) For example: Anosmia – inability to smell, Hyposmia – decreased ability to smell.

     4)Mental health and emotional disabilities

     5)Developmental disability.(disability that results in problems with growth and development)

Here you can see, how many percent of Disabled people have very serious and, practically, incurable illnesses:

Pic 2










There are a lot or children with Disabilities in the USA:

Tab 2

1.2.Rights and facilities for Disabled People

     Persons with disabilities suffer from discrimination based on society's prejudice and ignorance. In addition, they often do not enjoy the same opportunities as other people because of the lack of access to essential services.

     Advocates for the rights of people with developmental disabilities focus their efforts on gaining acceptance in the workforce and in everyday activities and events from which they might have been excluded in the past. Unlike many of the leaders in the physical disability rights community, self-advocacy has been slow in developing for people with developmental disabilities. Public awareness of the civil rights movement for this population remains limited, and the stereotyping of people with developmental disabilities as non-contributing citizens who are dependent on others remains common.





     The right to have an independent life, using paid assistant care instead of being institutionalized, if the individual wishes, is a major goal of the disability rights movement, and is the main goal of the similar independent living and self-advocacy movements, which are most strongly associated with people with intellectual disabilities and mental health disorders. These movements have supported people with disabilities to live as more active participants in society.

      Access to education and employment have also been a major focus of the disability rights movement. Adaptive technologies, enabling people to work jobs they could not have previously, help create access to jobs and economic independence. Access in the classroom has helped improve education opportunities and independence for people with disabilities.

      Freedom from abuse, neglect, and violations of patients' rights are also important goals of the disability rights movement. Abuse and neglect includes inappropriate seclusion and restraint, inappropriate use of force by staff and/or providers, threats, harassment and/or retaliation by staff or providers, failure to provide adequate nutrition, clothing, and/or medical and mental health care, and/or failure to provide a clean and safe living environment, as well as other issues which pose a serious threat to the physical and psychological well-being of a person with a disability. Violations of patients' rights include failure to obtain informed consent for treatment, failure to maintain the confidentiality of treatment records, and inappropriate restriction of the right to communicate and associate with others, as well as other restrictions of rights.










                                Disabled people make a lot of posters with slogans to protect their rights:                                                                                                                                            


Pic 3

1.3.Jobs for Disabled People

     In the modern era there should be no jobs for disabled people that those with a disability should not be able to do as well as a no disabled person. Although disabled people may be hindered physically by a certain disability, much research and many studies have shown that they are just as capable as performing well at their work as everyone else. In practise in any work environment there should be no barriers or glass ceilings for a disabled person.

This is the statistics of the economic activity and employment of disabled people since 1998, till 2011 years (red line- employment, blue line- economic activity):

Pic 4

  It was a social interview about disabled people desire to work:                                                                                                


Pic 5

To sum up, it is rather important to remember, that people aren`t guilty that they have disabilities, that`s why we should respect their rights.

Part 2.Disability in Different Countries

People with disabilities must be able to lead full lives and make decisions freely for themselves. Policies for people with disabilities are often limited to financial or material support, however the emphasis should be on fuller "integration" within the community.

2.1. Disability in Europe

     In November 2000 the European Union (EU) issued a Directive (Council Directive 2000/78/EC) which established a general framework for equal treatment in employment and occupation and outlawed discrimination based on religion, belief, disability, age and sexual orientation (the ‘framework equal treatment directive’, FETD). Anti-discrimination policy is a relatively new type of regulatory policy. The main aim of this chapter is to examine how this new approach relates to existing policies in the Member States. Existing anti-discrimination measures are reviewed, and we also examine how anti-discrimination policy fits with other policies to combat the obstacles that disabled people may face in entering and retaining employment. (Anti-discrimination policy may extend in scope beyond employment, but we focus on employment here as the FETD is confined to employment.)                                                                             




International Day of persons with disabilities 2012:

     Council of Europe Secretary General Thorbjørn Jagland called on governments today to use Council of Europe standards to protect and empower the millions affected by disability as he marks the International Day of Persons with Disabilities on 3 December 2012.

“This year’s theme of removing barriers to create an inclusive and accessible society is a reminder of how much needs to be done to ensure that people with disabilities can live an independent and active life. This is not just about physical barriers such as environmental design or access to transport; it is also about removing prejudice, stigma, rejection and exclusion.

“This work is essential to improve lives not only for the estimated 15% of the world’s population which has some form of disability, but also for their families and friends, and for the wider community. Let us move now to make this, the world’s largest minority, a full part of society.”

      Also, European people have good pensions, for example, the United Kingdom equivalents are: 

  • Disability Living Allowance (DLA) which is a benefit for people under 65 years of age who have walking difficulties or need personal care due to physical, mental or sensory disability
  • Attendance Allowance (AA) which is a benefit for people aged 65 or over who need help with personal care due to physical or mental disability
  • Employment and Support Allowance (ESA) which is a benefit paid to someone of working age who is unable to work because of disability or illness

2.2. Disability in the USA

An estimated 19.4% of non institutionalized civilians in the United States, totaling 48.9 million people, have a disability. Almost half of these people (an estimated 24.1 million people can be considered to have a disability.



Tab 3

      In general, women are more likely to have activity limitations than men. Of the 129.3 million non institutionalized females in the U.S., 15.4% are limited in activity compared to 14.6% of the 122.2 million males. Women are less likely to be unable to perform their major activity than men (4.3% compared to 4.9%) but are more likely to be limited in the amount or kind of major activity they can perform (6.1% to 5.3%) or to be limited in activities other than their major activity (5.0% to 4.4%).

     Under the age of 25, men are more likely than women to report being limited in amount or kind of their major activity; however, at ages 25 and older, women are more likely to report a limitation.  Technical Note: Since keeping house and working are the major activities for ages 18-69, people whose major activity is keeping house and are not limited in this activity are classified as being limited in a non-major activity if they report a work limitation.

Tab 4



  2.3.Disability in Russia

     There are over 10 million disabled people in Russia, nearly 700,000 who are children and young adults (18 years of age or younger). In Russia, disabled people have traditionally been isolated from the mainstream community.

     Since the 1990s, with the emergence of disability and parents' non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and the passage of disability legislation, significant changes have occurred to improve the quality of life of persons with disabilities. Today, employment programs for disabled people and a handful of integrated educational programs have been launched in several Russian cities. Kremlin officials on many occasions have publicly acknowledged the problem of inaccessibility and the lack of federal support for the disability community.

     Despite these positive changes, disabled people in Russia still face daily discrimination, as well as physical barriers to education, employment, recreational activities, family life and participation in community life. Although disability legislation has been passed on the federal and local levels, implementation mechanisms, such as procedures for fining inaccessible public places, have not been codified, rendering legislation largely symbolic and ineffectual. Furthermore, in August, despite protests all over the country, the Russian government signed into law a bill that will replace benefits such as subsidized transportation and medicine with cash payments, dismantling remnants of the Soviet welfare state and affecting the lives of millions of disabled Russian citizens. Parents of a disabled child will receive approximately $15 and limited medical care and free medicine. These funds will supplement the miserly monthly pension of $40-70 / month that parents - in many cases single mothers - across Russia receive.

    When you come to Russia you will be surprised that there are no disabled people in the streets. It is not because we have no disabled people in Russia. This is because we have no facilities at all for their normal living in a society. Many disabled people in Russia, especially those who have spinal problems, spend all their days and actually spend all their lives within the four walls of their homes. Doorways and elevators are very small for wheelchairs, the staircases are almost never equipped with wheelchair ramps or any lifting devices and this is a really great problem.                                                       12

Metro systems, bus systems, tram systems (that is the whole public transport system) are not designed for disabled people. Besides, there wheelchairs are so old and not modern, that they hardly can be used outside their apartments. Very often when the old wheelchair is broken the disable person loses the only opportunity to move in the house.

     The pensions that are payed to disabled people are very poor. They are sufficient only for food and for community charges. To buy a new wheelchair, to buy lifting devices a person has to ask for a help of the people around – to sponsor this vital important needs. Sometimes it is possible to get some help from the government, but most disabled people fail when they face too many bureaucratic procedures for a simple getting of a new wheelchair or some other help. They risk their health to pass through this cruel system.

     To get little or nothing from the state disabled people have to prove day by day, week by week, month by month and year by year their disabilities. It is really nonsense when an amputee must go through dozens of procedures to confirm the disability. It is a hard job to obtain dozens of documents from dozens of doctors, then from variety of departments of social services, also residential services and many others. Visiting all these instances requires standing for hours in long lines and all these departments are also never equipped for disabled people. For example, the whole process of applying for a document that certifies disability takes a few months. In St.Petersburg, the second largest city in Russia, very small amount of apartment buildings do have ramps. But very often there is no use in them for people in wheelchairs, as in most cases these ramps are designed for baby-carriages and strollers. Many people still live in the apartment buildings that were built in a Soviet time. Thousands of five-storeyed apartment buildings all over the country do not have man lifts at all. The relatives are not ready to take down a heavy wheelchair together with a disabled person from the upper floors.

     That`s why people sometimes say, that life is a struggle for Russian disabled people.






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