Accessibility of Assistive Technologies as a Factor in the Successful Realization of the Labor Potential of Persons with Disabilities: Russia’s Experience
2. Materials and Methods
3.1. Accessibility of the Urban Environment and the Environment within Enterprises
“What was 10 years ago and what is now?! We are really moving forward, we are catching up with positive experience, such as European one.”(Head of the public organization of persons with disabilities—6)  (p. 37)
“In Moscow, the environment has indeed become a little more accessible: contrasting stairs, Braille inscriptions, etc.”(Head of the public organization of persons with disabilities—5)  (p. 38)
“However, even in the places where something seems to be done, people cannot always use the available equipment. I mean dangerous ramps; tactile tiles on the sidewalks sometimes leading to nowhere; non-functioning devices for the deaf and the blind. Apparently, this situation is the result of the lack of a clear system of State control.” (p. 2)
“In 2016 the Government of Russia adopted a decree on measures to adapt residential premises and common areas in apartment buildings to meet needs of people with disabilities. However, in practice this decree does not work. In general, only new residential housing meets the accessibility requirements, while the existing residential buildings are not adapted to the needs of persons with disabilities. In our opinion, first of all, it is necessary to install lift platforms and ramps in the existing housing. The process of providing adapted housing to people with disabilities is extremely bureaucratic (it is necessary to provide a lot of documents and certificates of income and property not only for the disabled but also for their relatives).” (p. 4)
“Using metal descents in underground passages can only be done by professional stuntmen. An elevator in the underground passage can only be pre-booked by phone.”
“Imagine we are going to the cinema in a modern shopping center: 4 healthy men push a disabled person in a wheelchair because there is a 45-degree ramp. Sometimes ramps seem to be placed only for report.”(Head of the rehabilitation institution for people with disabilities—2)  (p. 37)
“There is a special elevator installed in a passage in the subway. But it is locked up and nobody can use it. When an inspection comes it is turned on and the moment that the inspector leaves it is turned off and locked up again. Please install a standard elevator! Surely it costs a little bit more but it will be used constantly (not only by the disabled but also by moms with wheelchairs, by seniors, etc.). Meanwhile unused special elevator will rust, go out working conditions and eventually thrown out.”(Head of the public organization of persons with disabilities—4)  (p. 38)
“For wheelchair users, the environment has become more accessible only in part. The service of mobility assistants has been introduced in the subway. But getting on the subway with wheelchairs is still a problem. Use of wheelchair on subway escalator is simply not impossible—it is dangerous even with the assistants’ help. There are also restrictions on a person’s weight—subway personnel can refuse to lift a person in a wheelchair. There are elevators on some stations but not in the city center. How is it actually possible to exit the subway then? The buses became more accessible but not on all routes. The driver of low-floor bus does not always stop where it is needed; he does not always get out and open the door for the wheelchair to enter. There is no accessibility for the blind and visually impaired, although we proposed the program “Talking City”—when it is announced which number of the bus is coming up.”(Employee of a non-governmental organization that assists in the employment of persons with disabilities—1)  (p. 37)
“In theory, wheelchair should be provided by the State. Yet, applications to get it by the persons with disabilities are rejected time after time.”
3.2. Accessibility of Workplaces
“There are still many barriers: the physical inaccessibility of many work facilities and the lack of information about the creation of special conditions at the workplace itself.”(An employee of a non-governmental organization that assists with the employment of persons with disabilities—1)
“We bought a special table or chair with armrests convenient for people with locomotor disorders, as well as a special system (bracelets) for the hearing-impaired—so that in case of evacuation they were properly notified. Since we have hearing impaired people in the store, we decided to conduct sign language lessons for employees who want to communicate with their colleagues in sign language.”(Employer—4)  (pp. 60–61)
“They showed me an app where a person can say something, and an icon on the screen translates it into sign language or vice versa. You can also use it together with the online translator. It’s a free app today.”(Employer—1)  (p. 60)
“Thanks to modern technologies, many professions have become available for the blind. For example, this is of much help for an informational service desk operator. Moreover, the visually impaired began to work as good as their colleagues. Thus, the only thing that is necessary is the existence of a service that would analyze the software being developed and provide recommendations for more expedient integration with non-visual screen access programs. Basically, now a blind specialist needs only a non-visual screen access program to work. Today these programs have reached such a level that a person can work without a special braille display and other technical means.”(Head of the public organization of persons with disabilities—5)
“Now there are two main programs of this kind. One of them costs about 40,000 rubles [this is about $620; an average monthly salary in Russia in the year 2018 was about $440], and the other one is free. Using this free program, most of the functions can be performed on a computer designed for the consumer market, that is, without spending money on additional digital equipment.”(Head of the public organization of persons with disabilities—5)
“We had an idea of creating catalogs of adaptive techniques that would explain to the blind which equipment and how they can use. We analyzed all the equipment, chose those accessible for the blind, calculated the cost of creating descriptions and catalog layout, its publication in an enlarged font and in Braille, creating catalog in audio format as well as its online version. The idea was supported by the Moscow Department of Labor and Social Protection. Yet, the tender was won by the organization with no experience in this sphere—the marketing department of a construction company. This organization suddenly lowered the price and, thus, won the tender. They simply took the information from the Internet (that is, they did not plan any assessments or development) and included only printing costs and some other minor things in their price.”(Head of the organization engaged in the development and implementation of assistive technologies—4)
“The Moscow Department of Labor and Social Protection is practically in despair. They say that financial resources allow them to buy good wheelchairs for people with disabilities but because of the specifics of the law on state and municipal procurement, only those suppliers who offer cheaper Chinese wheelchairs of lower quality benefit.”(Head of the organization engaged in the development and implementation of assistive technologies—4)
“Today these enterprises are similar to the usual commercial enterprises. Yet, the work of the blind is obviously not competitive, labor productivity is obviously lower, and, according to the law, they work an hour less. Still almost all tax privileges were canceled, the state order for their products ceased. In 1991, 55,000 blind people worked at the enterprises of the All-Russian Association of the Blind, now there are 4,300. We conducted surveys among visually impaired people: about 5,000 people would like to work at such enterprises as well. Even facing the crisis, the economy is able to provide our enterprises with proper benefits and government orders. Lack of job opportunity leads to moral degradation of the visually impaired.”(Head of the public organization of persons with disabilities—5)  (p. 65)
“The products they produce are outdated. It is necessary to be modernized because the All-Russian Association of the Blind has many products that a robot can make today (electrical outlets, etc.) but this is more quickly, cheaper, and with better quality.”(Head of the public organization of persons with disabilities—1)  (p. 64)
“We need a decent salary—at least about 12,000–15,000 rubles a month (or about $180–230). Today, such a salary is not at all enterprises. Many enterprises do not work full time. As a result, the blind get 3000–5000 rubles a month (or about $50–$70).”(Head of the public organization of persons with disabilities—5)  (p. 64)
“The number of enterprises under the All-Russian Society of the Deaf is markedly decreased. This happens because a deaf but in all other respects healthy man will not work for 7000 rubles (about $100). The blind go there because they simply have nowhere else to go. But young blind people show themselves very well when working on a computer with sound programs. They are engaged in market analysis and consulting. We hope that the blind will also be able to come and say: “Sorry, I’m not going to work for seven thousand rubles!”(Head of the public organization of persons with disabilities—7)  (pp. 64–65)
Conflicts of Interest
- World Health Organization. Assistive Technology. Available online: https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/assistive-technology (accessed on 1 June 2019).
- World Health Organization. Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Available online: https://www.un.org/development/desa/disabilities/convention-on-the-rights-of-persons-with-disabilities.html (accessed on 1 June 2019).
- Pishnyak, A.; Goryainova, A.; Tochilina, E. Izuchenie Faktorov Razvitiya Ry`nka Assistivny`x Texnologij i Ustrojstv v Rossii: Analiz e`Kspertny`x Interv`yu [Study of the Factors of Development of the Market of Assistive Technologies and Devices in Russia: An analysis of Expert Interviews]. In XVIII Aprel`Skaya Mezhdunarodnaya Nauchnaya Konferenciya po Problemam Razvitiya e`Konomiki i Obshhestva [XVIII April International Scientific Conference on the Problems of the Development of the Economy and Society]; National Research University Higher School of Economics: Moscow, Russia, 2017; Available online: http://pensionreform.ru/121489 (accessed on 28 March 2019). (In Russian)
- USSR Law. On the Basic Principles of Social Protection of Disabled Persons in the USSR. No 1826-1. 11 December 1990. Available online: http://www.consultant.ru/cons/cgi/online.cgi?req=doc&base=ESU&n=3492#041258785332308345 (accessed on 1 June 2019). (In Russian).
- Nagornova, A.Y.; Makarova, T.A. Istoricheskij Analiz Problemy Invalidnosti v Dorevolyucionnoj Rossii [Historical Analysis of Disability Problem in Pre-Revolutionary Russia and the USSR]. Available online: https://cyberleninka.ru/article/v/istoricheskiy-analiz-problemy-invalidnosti-v-dorevolyutsionnoy-rossii-i-sssr (accessed on 1 June 2019). (In Russian).
- Federal Law. On Social Protection of Disabled Persons in the Russian Federation. 24 November 1995. N 181-Ф3. Available online: http://www.consultant.ru/document/cons_doc_LAW_8559/ (accessed on 1 June 2019). (In Russian).
- Order of the Government of the Russian Federation. On the Federal List of Rehabilitation Measures, Technical Means of Rehabilitation and Services Provided to a Disabled Person. 30 December 2005; N 2347-p. Available online: http://docs.cntd.ru/document/901962331 (accessed on 1 June 2019). (In Russian)
- Resolution of the Government of the Russian Federation. On the Procedure for Providing Disabled People with Technical Means of Rehabilitation and Providing Certain Categories of Citizens from among Veterans with Prosthetic and Orthopedic Products. 7 April 2008; N 240. Available online: https://base.garant.ru/12159775/ (accessed on 1 June 2019). (In Russian)
- Klochkova, E.N.; Darda, E.S. Rynok Assistivnyh Tekhnologij i Ustrojstv: Statisticheskaya Ocenka Sostoyaniya [Market Assistive Technology and Devices: Statistical State Assessment]. In Rossiya: Tendencii i Perspektivy Razvitiya [Russia: Trends and Development Prospects]; Institute of Scientific Information for Social Sciences of the Russian Academy of Sciences: Moscow, Russia, 2017; pp. 668–672. (In Russian) [Google Scholar]
- Nierling, L.; Maia, M.J. Assistive Technologies for People with Disabilities: Part. III: Perspectives on Assistive Technologies; European Parliamentary Research Service, Scientific Foresight Unit: Brussels, Belgium, 2018; p. 104. Available online: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/RegData/etudes/IDAN/2018/603218/EPRS_IDA(2018)603218(ANN3)_EN.pdf (accessed on 31 March 2019).
- Resolution Adopted by the General Assembly. Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. 25 September 2015. Available online: https://www.un.org/en/development/desa/population/publications/2030_Agenda_en.pdf (accessed on 1 June 2019).
- Federal Law. On Amendments to Certain Legislative Acts of the Russian Federation on Social Protection of Disabled Persons in Connection with the Ratification of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. 1 December 2014. No. 419-Ф3. Available online: http://www.consultant.ru/document/cons_doc_LAW_171577/ (accessed on 1 June 2019). (In Russian).
- Decree of the Government of the Russian Federation. On Approval of the State Program. of the Russian Federation “Accessible Environment” for 2011–2020. 1 December 2015; No. 1297. Available online: http://static.government.ru/media/files/6kKpQJTEgR1Bmijjyqi6GWqpAoc6OmnC.pdf (accessed on 1 June 2019). (In Russian)
- Natsun, L.N. Podderzhivaemoe Trudoustrojstvo Invalidov: Obzor Mirovogo Opy`ta [Supported Employment of Persons with Disabilities: A Review of Worldwide Experience]. In Bulletin of Ural Federal University. A Series of Economics and Management; Ural Federal University: Yekaterinburg, Russia, 2017; Volume 16, No 4; pp. 663–680. Available online: http://www.volnc.ru/files/www/research/grant161800078/publications-2017/nacun.pdf (accessed on 31 March 2019). (In Russian)
- World Health Organization. World Report on Disability. Geneva, Switzerland, 2011. Available online: https://www.who.int/disabilities/world_report/2011/report.pdf (accessed on 1 June 2019).
- Federal State Statistics Service. Trud i Zanyatost` Invalidov [Work and Employment of People with Disabilities]. Available online: http://www.gks.ru/wps/wcm/connect/rosstat_main/rosstat/ru/statistics/population/disabilities/# (accessed on 26 March 2019). (In Russian)
- Ministry of Labor of the Russian Federation. Ministr Maksim Topilin: Pered Nami Stoit Zadacha Uvelichit` Chislennost` Zanyaty`x Invalidov do 50% [Minister Maxim Topilin: We Are Faced with the Task of Increasing the Number of Employed Disabled People to 50%]. Available online: https://rosmintrud.ru/employment/resettlement/1 (accessed on 29 March 2019). (In Russian)
- Alexandrova, O.A.; Nenakhova, Y.S. Trudoustrojstvo Invalidov na Stolichnom Ry`nke Truda: Problemy` i Puti Resheniya [Employment of Persons with Disabilities in the Capital’s Labor Market: Problems and Solutions]; ANO Council for Management and Development: Moscow, Russia, 2018; p. 280. Available online: http://www.isesp-ras.ru/images/monograph/2018_trudoustroystvo_invalidov_na_stolichnom_rynke_truda.pdf (accessed on 31 March 2019). (In Russian)
- According to Medialogia. The Data is for April 2018. Ratings. Available online: http://www.mlg.ru/ratings/media/federal/5997/ (accessed on 10 June 2018).
- Ministry of Labor of the Russian Federation. Otchyot o Xode Realizacii i Ob Ocenke e`Ffektivnosti Gosudarstvennoj Programmy` Rossijskoj Federacii “Dostupnaya sreda” Na 2011–2020 Gody` Za 2017 God [Report on the Implementation and Evaluation of the State Program of the Russian Federation “Accessible Environment” for 2011–2020 for 2017]. Available online: https://rosmintrud.ru/docs/mintrud/handicapped/269 (accessed on 28 March 2019). (In Russian)
- Zotova, E. Zakonodatel'stvo v Processe Nastrojki [Legislation in the Process of Setting Up]. Russky Invalid; Moscow City Organization of the All-Russian Society of Disabled People: Moscow, Russia, April 2017; No 298; Available online: http://www.rus-inv.ru/archive/2017/RI_04_17.pdf (accessed on 28 March 2019). (In Russian)
- Terentyev, M. Vmeste Menyaem Obshchestvo k Luchshemu [Together We Are Changing Society for the Better]. Russky Invalid; Moscow City Organization of the All-Russian Society of Disabled People: Moscow, Russia, March, April 2018; No 309-310; Available online: http://www.rus-inv.ru/archive/2018/RI_03-04_18.pdf (accessed on 28 March 2019). (In Russian)
- V Moskve Otkazalis' Zapuskat' Pod″Emnik Okolo Pod″Ezda Dlya Devushki-Invalida [Moscow Refused to Launch a Lift Near the Entrance for a Disabled Girl]. Newsru.com; Newsru.com: Moscow, Russia, 20 April 2018. Available online: https://msk.newsru.com/article/20apr2018/invalift.html (accessed on 28 March 2019). (In Russian).
- Starova, I. Kak Zhivyotsya Invalidam v Rossii? [How Do People with Disabilities Live in Russia?]. In Echo of Moscow; Radio station Echo of Moscow: Moscow, Russia, 13 October 2017; Available online: https://echo.msk.ru/blog/eirenes/2073170-echo/) (accessed on 28 March 2019). (In Russian)
- Alexandrova, O.A.; Nenakhova, Y.S. Metodologiya Statisticheskogo Analiza, Ocenki i Prognozirovaniya Polozheniya Invalidov na Stolichnom Ry`nke Truda [Methodology of Statistical Analysis, Assessment and Prediction of the Situation of Persons with Disabilities in the Capital Labor Market]; ANO Council for Management and Development: Moscow, Russia, 2018; p. 168. Available online: http://www.isesp-ras.ru/images/monograph/2018_metodologiya_stat_analiza_polozh_invalidov_na_rynke_truda.pdf (accessed on 31 March 2019). (In Russian)
- Kavokin, S. Professional`Naya Reabilitaciya Invalidov v Rossii [Kavokin S. Professional Rehabilitation of Disabled People in Russia]. Index. No 28. 2008. Available online: http://index.org.ru/journal/28/kavokin.html (accessed on 28 March 2019). (In Russian).
- Banes, D. An Ecosystem Approach to Implementation of Assistive Technology. In Rehabilitation Technologies: Science and Practice; Federal Scientific Centre of Rehabilitation of the Disabled named after G.A. Albrecht: St. Petersburg, Russia, 2018; pp. 39–41. Available online: http://rehabperm.ru/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Sbornik.pdf (accessed on 26 July 2019).
Federal Law of 2 July 2013 No. 168-Ф3 “On Amendments to Articles 4 and 22 of the Federal Law “On the Social Protection of Disabled Persons in the Russian Federation”.
In Russia, there are three groups of disability, depending on the severity of the disease and the degree of their influence on disability. The first group of disability includes the disabled with the most severe diseases, the third with the least severe diseases. This division into disability groups was introduced at the beginning of the Soviet power. In 1921, a “rational” classification of disability into six groups was introduced, and subsequently in 1923, this was replaced by a new classification, including the three disability groups.
|Support and tactile canes, crutches, supports, and handrails||29,294||434,628||435,189||404,261||310,575|
|Wheelchairs with manual drive or with electric drive, small-sized||89,930||149,086||140,696||143,638||140,466|
|Chairs with sanitary facilities||38,704||70,184||60,741||64,786||49,553|
|Anti-decubitus mattresses and pillows||49,794||82,737||87,965||89,697||69,700|
|Accessories for dressing, undressing, and grabbing objects||626||1457||1780||2408||2305|
|Special devices for reading “talking books” and for optical correction of low vision||29,488||33,547||27,462||33,259||23,957|
|Dog guides with a set of equipment||60||62||61||49||64|
|Medical thermometers and tonometers with speech output||27,986||30,290||22,257||24,195||19,563|
|Light and vibration sound signaling devices||22,528||21,076||14,933||21,617||26,116|
|Teletext television sets||17,734||12,266||7703||11,243||19,307|
|Text output telephone devices||20,473||13,896||9224||11,457||17,836|
|Voice creation devices||560||844||973||1009||1216|
|Colostomy bags and urine bags||12,498,011||21,045,290||25,504,771||38,814,872||48,458,619|
|Absorbent underwear and diapers||138,776,777||321,620,648||378,073,893||356,686,488||345,834,207|
|Sign language translation services||336,288||311,585||254,804||458,266||489,227|
© 2019 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).
Aleksandrova, O.; Nenakhova, Y. Accessibility of Assistive Technologies as a Factor in the Successful Realization of the Labor Potential of Persons with Disabilities: Russia’s Experience. Societies 2019, 9, 70. https://doi.org/10.3390/soc9040070
Aleksandrova O, Nenakhova Y. Accessibility of Assistive Technologies as a Factor in the Successful Realization of the Labor Potential of Persons with Disabilities: Russia’s Experience. Societies. 2019; 9(4):70. https://doi.org/10.3390/soc9040070Chicago/Turabian Style
Aleksandrova, Olga, and Yulia Nenakhova. 2019. "Accessibility of Assistive Technologies as a Factor in the Successful Realization of the Labor Potential of Persons with Disabilities: Russia’s Experience" Societies 9, no. 4: 70. https://doi.org/10.3390/soc9040070