ArmInfo. The USAID-sponsored Protection, Inclusion, and Empowerment Activity programme being implemented by Democracy International in Armenia has presented the results of assessment of public accessibility of 27 places in Yerevan (10 Metro stations, three railway stations, and 14 historical buildings). The results were presented at the Institute of Ancient Manuscripts (Matenadaran), which is on the list as well.
During the event, Deputy Minister of Labor and Social Affairs of the Republic of Armenia Tatevik Stepanyan noted that accessibility and adaptation should not necessarily be associated exclusively with people with disabilities.
In turn, Acting Director of the USAID/Office of Democracy and Governance of Armenia Ani Manukyan emphasized that it is important to remember every day that people with disabilities have the right to live full and active lives in their community with equal rights and choices. USAID defends these rights and believes that inclusive societies are a pillar of democracy and that these countries have the best chance of achieving their development goals.
Two international experts who assessed the current level of accessibility of the above-mentioned buildings and outlined possible changes presented their findings and recommendations in the form of a review. Thus, First Deputy Chairman of the Urban Planning Committee David Grigoryan said that in order to attract specialists to assess the accessibility of buildings, an appeal for USAID support was sent. "Today we have the opinions of international experts on all buildings, which will allow us to continue our work effectively," Grigoryan noted.
Jim Wasserstrom, Chief of Party for DI's Protection, Inclusion, and Empowerment Activity in Armenia, in turn, expressed hope that the accessibility assessment under the programme will contribute to the process of increasing the accessibility of public buildings in Armenia, initiated by the Government of the Republic of Armenia.