The huge numbers of children with disabilities overwhelmed a system ill-equipped to deal with them, and Belarusian children in rural areas have even less, if any, access to services for people with disabilities. With support from USAID’s Displaced Children and Orphans Fund, ChildFund works with local organizations to create conditions for equal participation of people with disabilities in all areas of life. Services include improved access to education, social support and rehabilitation, vocational training, employment opportunities, integration and respite care. By 2012, more than 4,000 children with disabilities and their family members had benefited.
ChildFund also supported advocacy efforts to promote the rights of people with disabilities, which led to changes in national and local legislation to expand services, accessibility, health care, education, vocational training, equal employment opportunities and support for independent living. In fact, Belarus has identified inclusive education as its national priority for 2012-2016.