lunedì 12 ottobre 2009

Social policies

Our country has virtually no line of social politics. Disability for our institutions is a pathologically incurable state and so it’s easy to see that with a condition which is seen as having no potential, there’s no sense in supporting programs which aim to safeguard the rights and dignity of these “weak” people, in particular the disabled. This improper attitude has unfortunately become a hallmark of our beautiful country.
It’s very sad that this reality leads me to think that the ONU convention didn’t serve any purpose because if on one side it calls for rights for the disabled, on the other it evidences the contradictions which exist in reality.

This state comes from an awareness that in this field, wrong decisions are frequently made which testify yet again the cynicism and distraction of those institutions which should represent everyone, but which through their cultural short sightedness neglect the rights and offend the dignity of over 5 million people.

Think of the cuts in the social funds made over the past three years thanks to which we have passed from 953 million assigned to the disabled in 2007 to 517 million this year 2009. This figure furthermore has only been used by 50%. This is what many administrators have denounced and why many of them didn’t attend the State-Regions Conference. This will cause a further delay in putting into act those operations which are indispensable to improve the quality of life for the disabled (and not just for them). Think of the LEA, but above all of the tariff list, the instrument by which the national health service provides wheelchairs and artificial limbs which is totally out of date.

Think also of the block of the compulsory collocation of the disabled in the Public Administration, included in the Ministry of the Treasury’s anti-crisis decree which undermines the correct actuation of Law 68 of 1999, which is already not respected by corporations who prefer to pay ridiculously small fines if and when a check on the obligatory collocation is carried out.
The commissions which carry out these checks aren’t present all over Italy so the funds which come from these fines, funds which the law decrees should be used for professional training, for the purchase of appliances and prostheses, and for the breaking down of architectural barriers in homes, are always scarcer. And as if that wasn’t enough, there’s a total disinterest regarding the inclusion of disabled people by the unions, who tend to be .... distracted.

Despite all this I’m optimistic. I need to be for the future. During the past three years, I’ve travelled around Italy then around Europe and I’ve met extraordinary people who have always worked towards a society which is capable of safeguarding everyone’s needs.

Salvatore Cimmino

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