August 6, 2020

Complaints of the disabled increased by 1,400% in 12 years | Society



More and more people with disabilities denounce the obstacles they face in their day to day life. And relations with the Administration are the target of most complaints. 45% of them are related to the lack of knowledge of officials about the possibilities they must offer to this group, the inaccessibility of procedures in public services, such as requesting a prior appointment or the public websites themselves, and the lack of of adaptation of the documents that they must present to carry them out. In total, in 2017 the Office of Attention to the Disability, the organism that processes these complaints and watches to rectify them, processed 751 expedientes, 11% more than in 2016, according to the data that this organism has presented this Wednesday.

The files have multiplied by 14 from the 50 that were opened in 2005, the year of creation of this office, until 751 of 2017. Despite this, the Ministry of Health considers them "insufficient for the reality in which we live" , according to the head of the department, María Luisa Carcedo.

Most of the files, 73.8%, have been opened in the Community of Madrid. Although they expect the Office to reach all citizens, because "the volume of complaints grows at an unsatisfactory pace", according to Carcedo, who has emphasized the need to raise awareness among all citizens to "build an inclusive society, that thinks about the different to make life easier for them ". Therefore, it has launched an appeal to all citizens to denounce the inaccessibility of public services and other spaces. The office has an email so that anyone can express their complaints, oiac@msssi.es.

"I find many physical barriers daily, in real life and in the world on-line"Says José Ramón del Pino, president of the association of paraplegics and people with great physical disability (Aspaym). This injured spinal cord after suffering a traffic accident 21 years ago has come in a wheelchair to the presentation of the report in the Ministry of Health, and argues that the administrative procedures are not adapted. "The previous appointment with the National Police is an example," he says frustrated.

The Director General of Disability Support Policies, José Ángel Celada, has announced the commitment to better train civil servant staff and the services of the Administration with initiatives such as the one he has already carried out with the Civil Guard, aimed at ensuring that agents know the specific needs of the disabled.

Of the 751 records, 357 were consultations. One of the functions of the Office is to resolve the doubts that arrive by letter, email, WhatsApp and in person. Most of these consultations were also related to the Administration. "The requests are recurrent to clarify which are the tax exemptions to which these persons can be accommodated or the rest of the benefits that the possession of the disability certificate implies," said Celada. The access conditions to access the public function are also worrying.

The rest, 391, were complaints of inaccessibility in different areas: telecommunications, public space and transport. Once they are received, the office itself urges those responsible to correct the incident and, in addition, monitors the status of the complaint over time. The bulk are notices of bars, theaters and cinemas that are not fully accessible. Also on the street, where the emergence of the electric scooter in the cities has posed a threat to the discapitated. "They leave them parked anywhere on the sidewalks and have received complaints about it," said Celada, who added that the Office has also processed three complaints, which entail the imposition of an economic fine on the entity that has inflicted the right of people with disabilities to receive equal treatment.

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