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Public Hearing on Improving the Situation of Personal Assistants of Persons with Disabilities

21 September 2022 – IDM, in support of the problems encountered by persons with disabilities (PWD) and the need to advance these issues in Parliament, held a public hearing with members of the Parliament of Albania, representatives of central institutions and independent ones as well as representatives of civil society organizations and the community of parents.

MP Ms. Ilda Dhori stated that the committee’s work has been very constructive, especially around issues of PWD. She added that currently rehabilitation services for PWDs are lacking and there is no forecasted cost of these services by the ministry. Having accurate and updated information in this regard would affect the diversification of the allocation of funds even to the organizations that can offer part of the needed services.

Furthermore, MP Mr. Petrit Vasili emphasized the need to take a qualitative step in guaranteeing financial support for PWDs. For this, it is not enough just to have well-written laws, but to see their effects in improving the lives of persons with disabilities and their caregivers.

The representative of the Ministry of Health and Social Protection presented the progress of the bio-social assessment reform and the support currently provided and assistance in various forms.

This hearing served to present the recommendations of interest groups regarding the improvement of the situation of personal assistants and for tracking the reform in the bio-psycho-social assessment
of persons with disabilities such as:

  • • Intervention in the legal framework for the elimination of discrimination between categories of personal assistants/caregivers;
  • Appraisal reform also presents a great opportunity to correct the unfair treatment of some personal assistants versus others. • Changing the approach to financial treatment for personal assistants and the way of determining the payment for providing this service is an essential aspect that needs to be addressed to improve the situation of personal assistants;
  • The parallel implementation of the assessment reform with the service reform, guaranteeing in reality the combination of the payment scheme with that of services for persons with disabilities;
  • • Increasing transparency and participation of persons with disabilities and organizations in the reform process;
  • • It is imperative that the progress of the reform is continuously and effectively consulted with the disabled community and organizations;
  • Continuous training should be developed for personal assistants/caregivers to effectively assist PWDs. Also, this should be accompanied by monitoring of the work of the personal assistant by the relevant authorities to avoid cases of abuse of PWDs.

Issue brief link.

This activity was held in cooperation with the Institute for Democracy and Mediation (IDM), within the program “Support to Parliament and Civic Education in Albania” PACEP, supported by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC)Embassy of Switzerland in Albania, implemented by the NDI Albania – National Democratic Institute– Instituti Demokratik Amerikan and the OSCE Presence in Albania.