Recently, the Hope Bridge NGO of Armenia has organized training courses for the parents of disabled children in the Vallex Garden hotel complex/
They were followed by meetings with Artsakh Ombudsman Artak Beglaryan, Ombudsman Office’s staff members dealing with the issues of disabled persons, representatives of the Evaluation and Testing Center, Caroline Cox Rehabilitation Center and other organizations.
The Hope Bridge has been operating since 1996. It operates in Yerevan and the regions, and now - also in Artsakh. The mission of the organization is to protect the rights of children and the youth with disabilities, their families and to integrate them into the public life. The organization also has a theatrical group, community centers for children development and family support, information services and jthers.
Chairwoman of the Hope Bridge NGO Susanna Tadevosyan noted the inportance of the meeting and expressed hope that the close cooperation would continue in the future for improving the lives of disabled children, protecting the equal rights to education, and integrating the children into the society.
The Artsakh Republic Human Rights Defender Artak Beglaryan expressed his readiness to help the parents of disabled children in any possible way. “In Armenia and Artsakh, the inclusive environment for disabled children is not so good. As a disabled person, faced and continues facing many vulnerable issues. But, I always try to overcome them, to struggle and to move forward. Parents of children with disabilities should realize that they are the link between their child and the environment. It often happens that not the child's perceptions and feelings are wrong, but the environment and parents. Regardless of anything, the child's possibilities should be identified”, said Mr. Beglaryan.
Susanna Tadevosyan mentioned in her speech that much has changed for their 22-year activity, in both the law and the mentality of people. “Years ago, no one could imagine that a disabled person could hold a senior position, be perceived as a full-fledged person. Great changes have been introduced in the education system, and it's nice to note that today's schools are also ready to educate disabled children. Surely, there is still much to do, but our achievements are obvious", said the NGO chairwoman.
Disabled children and young people are still vulnerable in the society. This is evidenced by the example of one of the parents, whose child, suffering autism, is refused in teaching, referring to alleged problems. According to experts, no one has the right to exclude the child from school, the educators must improve their skills to involve the child in the educational process and to solve the problem.
The Hope Bridge will continue to cooperate with similar structures in Artsakh to create a fully inclusive environment for disabled children in our country as well.