The latest Respect Differences – Equality for All brochure is a comprehensive, expanded and revised edition compiled with much thought and attention by the CHRIS Network project team.
The brief introduction to the issue underlines the major actual obstacles in solving the matter, which generally determined the mission and the goal of the project. In addition to domestic and international laws regulating prevention of discrimination in Serbia, the sensitivity of the daily terminology used is presented in details with a comparative list of phrases to be avoided/used.
The next important section of the brochure is the list of fundamental principles, goals/objectives and measures of the Serbian Strategy for Advancement of the Position of Persons with Disabilities adopted in 2006, which is followed by information on the European Disability Strategy 2010 – 2020, wherein eight key areas are identified so people with disabilities can take part in all aspects of daily life across the EU.
The second part of the brochure presents the conditions for planning and designing public space and buildings for persons with special needs in details, as well as some good and bad examples photographed in the four cities that give a clear picture of what should/not be done.
The final part is about the monitoring research activities of the application of the Law on the Prevention of Discrimination of Persons with Disabilities. Various state institutions in regard to their buildings’ accessibility to person with disabilities in Niš, Valjevo, Negotin, Novi Pazar and Novi Sad, such as: local self-governments; courts of law, public attorney’s offices, and tax administration; primary, secondary schools and faculties; healthcare, social welfare and cultural institutions, and public utility companies were surveyed. Noteworthy, there is a major discrepancy in the number of the institutions that were sent a request to supply information of public significance according to the relevant Law and the number of the institutions that did not care to provide the information thus disobeying the law – 306: 118, respectively, being a discreditable ratio that mirrors the accountability rate of the state institutions.
The analysis of the research conducted in 2011 gives exact data on its findings, i.e. it identifies the institutions with/without architectonic barriers, necessary signalisation, personal assistants and the number of employed persons with disabilities. It also reminds of the relevant laws violated by these institutions and warns on the probable consequences upon the society, such as the competency of educational institutions to comply with the law and implement inclusion of pupils/students with special needs.