- I am firmly convinced that tourism is one of the most effective means of not only integrating people with disabilities into society, but also their rehabilitation. Disability is associated not only with physical, but also with mental suffering. A person is isolated, afraid of society, afraid of movement, often afraid to leave the apartment, to change something in his life. And he does not believe that the world beyond the threshold of the apartment is ready to accept him. And society, in turn, does not accept people with disabilities, does not understand their problems and fears, and prefers not to notice the difficulties these people face in their daily lives. Tourism helps us all understand these problems and start actively, jointly, to solve them. The state should include tourism in the rehabilitation program for people with disabilities, make their travel as necessary as medicines or technical means.
We have not yet said much about the positive effect of any travel or at least an excursion for a person who has been locked up in four walls for a long time, immersed in his problems, his pain. But the disabled themselves, who have tried to travel, really want to continue, they save money for it. When they start to ride, fear disappears - to cross the threshold of the house, fly on an airplane, enter the sea, start communicating with other people. After all, even people with severe injuries are capable of parachuting or scuba diving to the seabed! Can you imagine how their attitude towards themselves, towards the world, changes if they achieve this? The fear that makes a disabled person a “different” person in society gradually and forever leaves his life.
You've probably noticed how many disabled people are on the streets, for example, in European cities. They walk, relax, habitually go to restaurants, museums, cinemas, there are special paths for wheelchair users, people with disabilities can easily get into any transport, they can easily navigate the urban environment. It seems to us - there are many of them. In fact - no more than ours. It's just that they are there - part of the society.
And, imagine, disabled Russians also travel, no matter how fantastic it may seem. We carry, for example, wheelchair users to Israel, to the Jordan, where the shore is equipped for disabled people, all of them have access to the joy of communion with the shrine. And in Spain, Greece, at the same Dead Sea in Israel, there are special exits to the sea on the beaches. Tourism for people with disabilities is also useful in that it gives them the opportunity to see some new options for organizing their lives, combating illness, with hopelessness. And if in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Kazan there is still some kind of help in this direction, then a stone's throw from big cities, many do not even imagine that children with cerebral palsy, with childhood autism, for example, can be successfully treated using the methods of dolphin therapy or hippotherapy , that is, with the help of horses.
- What do you think the tourism community can do to help people with disabilities?
Svetlana Gabova and Vera Trupyakova from Saratov explore the cities of Russia and Europe, dance and enjoy life. Moreover, both girls have been in wheelchairs for many years.
When Svetlana was injured, she was only 21 years old. The girl injured her spine, as she herself admits, out of her own stupidity - she tried to commit suicide. She could no longer walk. Then it seemed to her that this was a sentence. For 13 years, she practically did not leave the house, she did not know how to move in a wheelchair, she had no desire to live, communicate with people, she did not have to appear on the street.
“Only at the age of 34 I realized that I had to somehow continue to live: go to the store, raise children, I have two daughters. Gradually I began to master the stroller, move around the city. In Saratov, public transport is poorly adapted for disabled people. It happened that I stood for an hour and a half at a bus stop and waited for a bus, in which I could be rolled. "
In 2012, she first went to Moscow by train. Now Svetlana is 49 years old, she travels a lot by train and knows life hacks for people with disabilities who want to see the country.
At railway stations, people with limited mobility are helped by special people: they carry luggage, push a stroller, lift people into the carriage. Disabled people come in different weight categories, sometimes four assistants are required to lift a person in a chair into the vestibule and take him to his place.
Svetlana Gabova on a trip to Anapa. Photo from Svetlana's archive
“You are lifted in a wheelchair into the vestibule, there you are transplanted into a special narrow chair, one wheel is unscrewed from it. And so, on one wheel, a person is being driven down the aisle, otherwise they will not get through. "
But help for disabled people is not always available. In the summer of 2019, Svetlana traveled from Sochi by train with her 70-year-old mother and little grandson. The train station employee helped the girl with the luggage and the wheelchair. When Svetlana and her family were on the platform, their assistant put things down and returned to the station building. The train stopped for only two minutes.
“Why he did that, I don't know, but we were afraid to be late, so we rushed to the car at full speed. Fortunately, we did. "
Another time, when Svetlana was leaving Saratov, a long-distance train arrived in a huge composition - 36 wagons. The station platform is not designed for that length. I had to roll along the embankment and the grass, but when Svetlana drove up to her carriage, it turned out that the step leading to the vestibule was at a great height, more than one and a half meters. If there was an apron, guides and assistants could lift Svetlana, but there was no platform.
After May 12, families with children were allowed by the authorities to visit parks or squares located near the house. Information has already appeared in the media that other, so far quarantined, parks in the capital will open in mid or late June.
To make leisure time accessible for people with disabilities, the authorities have allocated billions of dollars for the development and implementation of special programs. Where and what has been done.
Wakeboards are available for rent for lovers of water sports. Sports equipment was adapted for the recreation of people with limited mobility.
The Emerald City was built for children with disabilities. This is an inclusive playground, the largest in the capital. The town is located on the 1st Luchevoy Prosek.
Wheelchair users will enjoy adaptive attractions - a pool filled with balls and carousels equipped with ramps.
The stage of the Green Theater and the main administrative building were equipped with platform lifts, and other structures were equipped with ramps and handrails. Park paths were laid out with tactile tiles.
Braille mnemonic diagrams will help people with visual impairments to learn navigation and read about the sights of the park. Tactile devices are installed on each structure.
The buildings of the museum-reserve have been adapted for recreation of wheelchair users. Cafes, restaurants, museum buildings, a recreation area, bridges were equipped with ramps or lifts.
We have made parking on the territory, wheelchair rental is available. Services are provided free of charge.
Valery Spiridonov talks about how people with disabilities live and work in European countries, and shares his impressions of the rehabilitation programs existing there that help people with disabilities remain full members of society and work for its benefit.
Living life in a frantic modern rhythm, people are so much absorbed in personal problems and making money that they simply forget to value their health. We take it for granted. However, no one is immune from disability. Of course, many people are already born with certain disabilities in mental, psychological or physical development, but millions every year come to disability due to harmful work, injuries, accidents.
Unfortunately, in many countries of the world people with disabilities are treated as a burden, because they represent a privileged social group of the population that has access to free provision and a number of other benefits. In Russia and the CIS countries, the issues of social protection of disabled people have begun to be taken seriously only recently. Although they consistently received disability pension benefits, people with disabilities remained isolated from society and faced with their problem.
In Europe, there have been laws and rehabilitation programs for quite some time now aimed at eliminating discrimination against people with disabilities and helping them to integrate painlessly into society. Every person needs employment, communication with people and equality in rights for emotional and physical health, therefore the European social protection systems for people with disabilities perform well in practice and deserve special attention.
In Russia, Ukraine and some other countries, disability is defined by three groups, each of which is assigned depending on the level of disability of a person. In Europe, such assessments and distributions are carried out according to other criteria that allow assessing the percentage of disability incapacity for work.
Each such group needs a special approach, but it is important to understand that they all have the right to a full and happy life without restrictions. Sometimes, to ensure such a result, it is enough for people with disabilities to provide a little support and assistance, which is what European specialists do.
It is definitely impossible to answer this question. There will always be people who will poke their fingers and turn away at the sight of disabled people, but modern society is gradually becoming more conscious and loyal.
Today, people with disabilities can freely visit cinemas, cafes and restaurants in Europe, as these places are equipped with special ramps, automatic doors, elevators and other useful technical solutions to help people with disabilities feel comfortable. This is a legal requirement for businesses.
They help them adapt to society, perceive what is happening correctly and teach them how to communicate. Rehabilitation groups are very popular, in which people with disabilities get to know each other and recover together.