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The state is going to introduce a personal assistant institute for about 2,500 people with disabilities, Tatevik Stepanyan, RA Deputy Minister of Labor and Social Affairs, told journalists today.

She said that the service of a personal assistant can be provided to people with profound functional limitations, motor, visual and mental problems, whose families are registered in the family vulnerability assessment system.

The personal assistant can be any adult citizen, including a family member of the person with a disability. The aide must be retrained accordingly. The work of the personal assistant will be paid on the basis of hourly rate of 1050 drams (about $2 - ed.). From the state budget 5 billion drams (more than 11.5 million dollars - ed.) will be allocated for this purpose.

The innovation will come into force on January 1, 2024. Until then, it will function as a pilot program in some communities.

The Deputy Minister said that there are 196,000 disabled people in Armenia, and 27,000 of them are included in the labor market.

From January 1, 2023, the authorities intend to introduce a requirement for employers to create more comfortable working conditions for people with disabilities.

"A working citizen with disabilities may apply to the employer if necessary. For example, a citizen with diabetes can, by agreement with the employer, take a 15-minute break every two hours instead of the required one-hour break per day. If the changes require financial costs, the Ministry implements a program to support employers. However, the employer must objectively justify why this or that change is impossible. If the employer is just unwilling to make a compromise, problems will be solved in court," Stepanyan said.

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