Accessibility of the environment, services and information is a prerequisite for establishing social contacts, independence and inclusion of persons with disabilities in everyday life. At the online panel, Secretary General of the Protector of Citizens’ Secretariat, Ms. Olja Jovičić added that the existence of different types of barriers in the environment, however, prevented a large number of public space beneficiaries from exercising those rights.
Four years ago, the Protector of Citizens, in cooperation with the Team for Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction of the Government of the Republic of Serbia and the Standing Conference of Towns and Municipalities, established the local self-government units award for contributing to the development of all forms of accessibility in their territory with a view to raising awareness on the importance of accessibility. Ms. Jovičić reminded that for the fourth time in a row, the Protector of Citizens announced a public call this year for awards to cities, municipalities and city municipalities that in 2018 had contributed the most to the development of all forms of accessibility in their territory, and that the decision on awarded initiatives was underway.
The Accessibility Award was set up as an expression of a need to achieve a more inclusive society in Serbia, to point out the breakthroughs of individuals or institutions in creating good practice examples, which contribute to improving the quality of life of all persons and to promote such examples of good practice in order to achieve their broad application. We strive for a society where each and every person will be enabled to live independently and participate in every walk of life on an equal footing as all the others and accessibility is a prerequisite for everybody’s full participation in the society, Ms. Jovičić has pointed out.
In addition to Secretary General Ms. Olja Jovičić, the panelists were the representatives of the US Agency for International Development, Team for Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction of the Government of the Republic of Serbia, the Serbian Philanthropic Forum, Eurobank, as well as the representatives of city municipalities and institutions from Serbia.