From a Person’s Disability Point of View

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Members of IZ KRUGA VOJVODINA, Svjetlana Timotic and Veronika Mitro, talked at the Tribune – From a Person’s with Disability Point of View moderated by Gala Kastratovic, a Master’s student at Sociology. Novi Sad Sociology Club (Novosadski socioloski klub) and the Department of Sociology, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Novi Sad organized the tribune in the seminar library on March 14, 2024. Around twenty participants attended the tribune.

Gala Kastratovic opened the tribune and stated that she initiated it because she gained functional knowledge about the disabled people community during her ninety-hour apprenticeship in IZ KRUGA VOJVODINA, which she will be able to use in her future work and wanted to share those with her colleagues.

Veronika Mitro first presented the services and activities of IZ KRUGA VOJVODINA and distributed promotional materials and publications to the forum participants. Next, she problematized through numbers and definitions from the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and domestic laws the question of who persons with disabilities are and how many are there because those answers influence policies and allocation of financial funds. Finally, she named some of the most common violations of the rights of persons with disabilities in our country, starting with accessible education and employment, political participation, sexual and reproductive rights, and gender-based violence. She emphasized the deficiency of gathering and processing statistical data about persons with disabilities and the services provided to them, which has been the main comment of the UN Committee for The Rights of Persons with Disabilities on each periodical report for years.

Svjetlana Timotic started by talking about the compassionate, medical, and social model of approaching disability that arises from assumptions, values, concepts, and practices, especially from relevant decision-makers and experts existing more or less today. Approach to disability is marked in language too, and a vast number of politically inadequate terms still in usage are a sign that we are still far from fulfilling the obligations we agreed to by signing the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. She concluded with a string of recommendations for interacting with persons with various types of disabilities.

The tribune participants pointed out in the discussion that they got valuable information about the disabled people community. They gave examples from their local communities, asked questions about the accessibility of public places and higher education, and suggested individual actions to improve the position of persons with disabilities.

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