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On the Slovenian Day of Paraplegics and Tetraplegics, the Ombudsman is concerned about their situation

On the occasion of the Slovenian Day of Paraplegics and Tetraplegics, the Ombudsman Peter Svetina has emphasised that everyday life with the obstacles it brings already constitutes a daily challenge. At the time of the epidemic, this is even more difficult for people with disabilities, as they are faced with all kinds of problems, hardships and concerns like everyone else, including many others arising from their disability. It is harder not only for them, but also for their families. "Since the outbreak of the coronavirus, I have been drawing attention to the need for equal medical treatment so that people with disabilities, who generally are more exposed to the risk of this disease, are not further endangered by discrimination. I am aware that in this emergency situation, the state apparatus is making every effort to successfully overcome this contagious disease together. Now is the time to make a joint effort and ensure that no one is left behind in this situation. I therefore call on those responsible to provide as soon as possible the means of protection for the most vulnerable groups of people with disabilities and their personal assistants," emphasised the Ombudsman.

The Ombudsman added that the measures aimed at containing the spread of the virus by maintaining social distancing and self-isolation may be a much greater challenge for those who in everyday life need help or assistance, rehabilitation therapies and other aids needed for life. "We should take care that, due to preventive measures, people with disabilities are not socially isolated to an even greater extent, even if there is no need for it, which could further worsen their distress. We should not allow them to feel as though they have been forgotten in this crisis," said Svetina.

Not only individuals with disabilities, but also their family, co-workers, classmates, friends and others want to live in an environment that will provide them with a comparable quality of life. This motto should not be taken as a mere principle, but should be implemented on a daily basis in all our actions. "All of us who work in this field have a task to shape our lives in such manner that even the weakest in society have their place in it by living safely and without fear for their futures. On this day, I would particularly like to thank the Slovenian Paraplegic Association, which for 51 years has cared for the recognition of social justice and equal opportunities and conditions for quality and comprehensive integration of paraplegics and tetraplegics into life and their environment. Thank you, each and every one of you," concluded Ombudsman Peter Svetina.