Transport Minister Alexis Vafeades and Deputy Welfare Minister Marilena Evangelou on Monday engaged in discussions with representatives of the federation for disabled organisations (Kysoa) to address issues concerning the transportation and mobility of people with disabilities within and outside urban areas.

Speaking to the media after the meeting, Vafeades highlighted the careful consideration given to the daily challenges faced by individuals with disabilities on roads, in cities, and villages, stressing the importance of the dialogue in improving and adapting existing infrastructure.

“The discussions that were held today were very significant, as they will greatly help us improve our infrastructure and make out society more inclusive,” he said.

Vafeades urged for discussions to continue with ongoing exchanges of opinions and updates, ensuring effective collaboration between Kysoa and the ministries for better and more comprehensive measures.

The minister cited the enhancement of sidewalk accessibility as an example, stressing the need to eliminate obstacles hindering the movement of individuals with disabilities.

Addressing questions about implementation timelines, he reassured that actions have been initiated but need to proceed more swiftly.

Echoing Vafeades, Evangelou also praised the outcome of the discussions, but was cautious on the timeline for implementing measures for people with disabilities.

“There are issues we need to address in collaboration with the transport ministries and other relevant ministries,” she said.

Evangelou clarified that the government takes a holistic approach to addressing issues concerning people with disabilities, fostering cooperation to achieve optimal practices and actions aligned with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Evangelou also underlined the current administration’s will to prioritise related to the rights of people with disabilities, “demonstrated by the continuous and uninterrupted collaboration with Kysoa.”

“Dialogue is paramount to modernise, improve, and enact new legislation concerning people with disabilities,” she said.

Kysoa’s chairman Christakis Nicolaides expressed optimism about the positive atmosphere resulting from the meeting, foreseeing opportunities to resolve long-standing distortions in Cyprus.

He put particular emphasis on the importance of seamless integration for people with disabilities in all aspects of society, expecting the government to work collaboratively to find solutions to their concerns.