31 December 2013 09:22

A recent study conducted among youth with disabilities in Cyprus has shown that they are socially excluded due to barriers and obstacles that exist in society including lack of disabled access to public facilities.
The study was conducted in 2013 among 20 young people with disabilities and other youth volunteers of the European Social Forum of Cyprus "Forum Youth Club" within the framework of the "Youth in Action" programme.
It examined socialisation of youth with disabilities and the obstacles faced concerning social inclusion.
The research was conducted with active participation of youth with disabilities in order to get a more realistic result.
Findings showed that persons with disabilities, in general, want to be socially integrated and have active involvement in society. However, this is often not possible due to the lack of accessibility to public spaces and limited opportunities to socialise.  Accessibility still remains one the main barriers to socialisation of persons with disabilities.
Many social spaces are only accessible with the help of others, which means that a person with a disability cannot attend an event or go out on their own.
The study highlighted that social integration of persons with disabilities can only be achieved when people with disabilities no longer feel that they are a burden for a simple outing.
Another issue reported was the fact that many of them faced problems in the school environment something that stopped many of them from going on to high school, getting a job or to pursue further studies at university.
The study also showed that persons with disabilities whose family has accepted their condition and have good family relations are in a much better position than those who also face discrimination at home.
This is also true of those who got married, as they are generally more socially involved and active than those who never married and do not have a family.
 


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