news2 aprile 2020

Coronavirus emergency: monitoring the needs of people with disabilities

At the Department, the "Abili a Proteggere" working group interviews representatives of major trade associations.

Against the background of the Covid-19 emergency, the trade associations representing the various disabilities are strongly highlighting the increased vulnerability of those people. How can deaf people get the correct and timely information if communication is mainly through oral channels? How can blind or visually impaired people move across the city if there are no ordinary landmarks with new rules or new routes to follow? With the closure of day centers for the disabled people, are ordinary care measures guaranteed? These are only some of the questions that associations are asked to answer.

The Office for Disability Policies of the Presidency of the Council of Ministers, besides issuing dedicated FAQs, raised the awareness of the public administrations involved in the emergency on the importance of accessibility of information to people with different disabilities. In particular, since February 25, the Department has provided for the presence of an interpreter ILS (Sign Language) from the Italian National Agency for the Deaf during the daily press conferences where the Head of the Department Borrelli communicates the data regarding the current situation in the Country.  Some Regions also paid particular attention to the application of some measures, providing for exceptions such as the possibility for people with intellectual disabilities to take short walks near their homes, obviously with accompaniment.

In this context, the "Abili a proteggere" working group, based at the Civil Protection Department and responsible for the relationship between civil protection and disability started monitoring the needs of disabled people and also the services implemented on the territory to spread accessible information and support all disabled citizens. A series of interviews are planned, addressed to the main associations representing the various disabilities in order to find out how they are experiencing the Covid-19 emergency, what are the actions undertaken to promote the protection of the most vulnerable citizens and what are the areas in which additional effort is needed to support these people.

The interviews, which are included in the "Nothing special" section on the website and also on the social channels of Abili a Proteggere are in progress. The first one addressed to the President of the UICI (Italian Union of Blind and Partially Sighted People) Mario Barbuto was published on March 20th while the second interview with the President of the Ens (Italian National Agency for the Deaf) Giuseppe Petrucci is online today, April 2nd.


Photo source: Italian Union of the Blind and Visually Impaired