Cyprus Mail

New mechanism needed to help disabled

By Annette Chrysostomou

THE organisation of paraplegics in Cyprus (OPAK) has called on the government to develop mechanisms to protect persons with severe disabilities.

In a statement, the organisation expressed anger and frustration after the recent abuse of a 17-year-old quadriplegic girl by a domestic worker.

“This incident must finally become the cause for the relevant government departments to provide the solutions that we have requested for years,” they said.

“We need personal care and support services that benefit people with severe physical disabilities, offered with respect for human rights and dignity.”

OPAK appealed to the state to develop the necessary mechanisms to avoid such incidents and ensure the protection of persons with severe disabilities, suggesting that “the policies of the state do not allow people with severe physical disabilities to enjoy the services required and they are usually forced to put up with low-level services and unacceptable behaviours.”

“The amount of money which is intended to cover such costs should be increased to the extent necessary,” OPAK stated.

They also expressed their hope that the dialogue they have initiated with the Labour ministry, the welfare services and others will soon achieve the required results in order to offer people with severe physical disabilities personal care the services they need.

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