The ‘Open Space’ Forum was organized by the Ministry of Social Policy of Ukraine together with the Office of the Council of Europe on December 2nd, in Kyiv. The event was attended by representatives of the ‘Child with a Future’ Foundation Inna Sergienko, founder of the organization and the ‘Autism-Europe’ Consul, and Galina Lozova, the Foundation director.
Discussions were held about the inclusion of people with disabilities, employment, health care, education, culture, provision of social services, rehabilitation activities, etc. ‘Stories of success’ of people with disabilities were presented too.
“Representatives of state authorities and public organizations were gathered at one platform. I hope this indicates the readiness of state institutions for a constructive dialogue with members of the public. We, as representatives of an organization that advocates for the rights of children with autism, were very concerned. There was a lot of information about various nosologies of people with disabilities, but nothing about people with mental development disorders,” says Galina Lozova.
Inna Sergienko took part in the third panel of the discussion, which covered education, culture, and sports. Her presentation dealt with the topic of inclusive education for autistic children.
“Autistic people can work if you invest in their education. They will be a benefit for society and the state, but not a burden that requires the assistance payment in this case,” explains Inna Sergienko. “The problem is that a child with a mental development disorder needs specialists as a wheelchair for a child with a physical disability. We do not have enough specialists for inclusion working, there is no system for their training and there is no financial motivation for school working and the special education institutions are closing. It can lead to the fact that many children will be left without the necessary support.”
A new slogan of the ‘Autism-Europe’ for the next 2 years became: “I CAN STUDY. I CAN WORK”. It was named by Inna Sergienko. This position should be disseminated, supported, and implemented in Ukraine.