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The Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs of the Republic of Armenia is introducing a new model of needs assessment of persons with disabilities. This is what Minister of Labor and Social Affairs Zaruhi Batoyan said during a discussion on the bill on making amendments and supplements to the Law “On state pensions” that was held during the session of the Standing Committee on Health and Social Affairs of the National Assembly on 25 March.

According to her, the Ministry has developed a new model of needs assessment of persons with disabilities and will introduce it this year.

“This implies individual studies on needs assessment and provision of services based on those needs. Currently, whenever people are classified under a particular group of disability as a result of expert examination, the group is mainly limited to the provision of benefits, wheelchairs, hearing devices and prosthesis-orthopedic accessories and, course, certain privileges in the healthcare and education sectors. However, unfortunately, there is nothing mentioned about the creation of equal opportunities. People are entitled to free medical aid, but, for instance, there are no conditions for persons with disabilities to have access to reproduction services,” Batoyan said.

The minister also said that even though higher education is free for persons under the first and second groups, universities remain inaccessible for them. Zaruhi Batoyan stressed that an adapted environment is necessary for changes in a person’s life.

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