Representatives of the Organization IZ KRUGA VOJVODINA, Ivana Zelic and Miladinka Mijatovic, attended a meeting in the community about accessibility organized by the European Movement in Serbia – Valjevo in the Museum of Native Writers in Valjevo on March 11, 2022.
The European Movement in Serbia – Valjevo gathered interested representatives of the local community at the meeting where they presented results of the research on the accessibility of public space in Valjevo and discussed the possibilities for its improvement. Representatives of the citizen’s associations and public institutions attended the meeting: Multiple Sclerosis Association of the Kolubara District, Inter-municipal Organizations of Civilian Invalids of War, Associations of the Blind and Visually Impaired in Valjevo, Karitas Association Valjevo, the Republic Health Insurance Fund – Valjevo branch, Technical and Agricultural School and Primary school Nada Puric.
The meeting and research are part of the project Public advocacy action to improve the accessible environment in Valjevo – Towards universal design, that the European Movement in Serbia – Valjevo conducts in partnership with the Organization for providing support to women with disabilities IZ KRUGA VOJVODINA. A Report on the Implementation of the Rulebook on Technical Standards for Planning, Design and Construction of Facilities was prepared, based on the research Attitudes and Perceptions of Valjevo Citizens on Accessibility of Public Space and Public Services, which ensures unhindered movement and access to persons with disabilities, children and elderly, will soon be publicly available.
The project is part of the Explore – Empower Advocacy Support Program, funded by the UK Government and implemented by the Trag Foundation. The project is being implemented to contribute to the creation of an accessible and inclusive environment in Valjevo in which everyone will have the opportunity to realize their rights and needs in everyday life. Project activities aimed to change the local public policy that deals with the accessibility of the public space.
Ivana Zelic, presented the activities improving the accessibility of the institutions and services for women with disabilities realized by the Organization IZ KRUGA VOJVODINA. She emphasized that accessible services are a precondition for fulfilling the human rights of persons with disabilities.
– Considering the fact that the Organization IZ KRUGA VOJVODINA provides support to women with different types of disabilities, it is important for us not only that the service provided by an institution is architecturally accessible and thus accessible to people with physical disabilities, but it also should be informational and communication accessible, because of women who do not hear, do not see or who have difficulty speaking – said Ivana Zelic.
Associate on the project Action of publicly advocating for the improvement of the accessible environment in Vajevo – Towards Universal Design, Svetlana Jankovic Beljanski, presented the results of the public opinion about the accessibility of the public spaces and a report about the implementation of the rulebook about the standards of accessibility. She stressed that many public facilities got a negative mark, but there are positive examples of the accessibility of public buildings such as the City administration building, some pedestrian crossings, the Health center and the bus station. She stated that citizens of Valjevo want arranged parking spaces, more public parking spaces and garages, green areas for walking, curbs and sidewalks on which people will be able to move safely, and the accessibility of public buildings.
– Further work on improving accessibility for all people is significant, so we could all be equal and have the same rights. For this reason, the introduction of the universal design concept in Valjevo is material. We expect the City Administration to apply legal regulations and adopted plans accordingly and architectural barriers to be removed gradually – said Svetlana Jankovic Beljanski.
The moderator of the meeting was Vladimir Pantic, project coordinator.
After the presentation of the participants the films were shown City (is) for People, From Problems to Solutions and Accessibility of Violence Protection Services for Women with Disabilities.