Speaking to Lusa News Agency, the Secretary of State for the Inclusion of People with Disabilities said that it was a difficult process, but stressed that the document is “finally” approved.
“It's official, it's approved, it will be published in Diário da República within a week, I hope”, said Ana Sofia Antunes.
With the approval of the document, Portugal becomes the first European country to approve a national strategy for people with disabilities, after the European strategy was approved in March, during the Portuguese presidency of the European Union, something that the secretary of State says shows that the work is being done and that the Government is “on top of events”.
Ana Sofia Antunes said that Portugal is not the first country to approve a strategy, as other countries have already done so before, although now they have to be revised according to the new European strategy, something she said she knows that no country has done yet.
The strategy is divided into eight points: citizenship, equality and non-discrimination; promoting an inclusive environment; education and qualification; work, employment and professional training; promotion of autonomy and independent life; social measures, services and support; culture, sport, tourism and leisure; knowledge, research, innovation and development.
In terms of education, the strategy foresees the creation of resource centers to support students with disabilities in higher education institutions, which is not yet a universal reality.
According to the secretary of state, the document also provides for the creation of a support line, not only to improve accessibility to culture, but also to enable people with disabilities to take part in cultural production itself.
According to the official, there is no overall financing amount for the strategy, with only the financing of the measures that come into force in 2021 being guaranteed for now, with the rest being approved year after year and each entity being responsible for "ensuring that the measure for which they are responsible, is included in their budgets and has funds to be executed”.
Ana Sofia Antunes also said that the approval of the national strategy shows that there is a government that is mobilized to work on behalf of people with disabilities, with very concrete goals for all areas.