Journalists discuss the barriers preventing people with disabilities to fully participate in social activities

For the first time in Almaty, Kazakhstan journalists from 12 newspapers, magazines, TV and news agencies gathered on May 5 in “Nash Pub” cafe for a press breakfast to discuss the barriers that prevent people with disabilities to fully participate in the society. The press breakfast was coincided with the International Day on disabled people’s rights which marks globally this day.

Key speakers included: Mr. Kairat Imanaliyev, Head of the Public Association of Disabled with Higher Education (Namys), Ms. Lyazzat Kaltaeva, Chairwoman of the Association of Women with Disabilities (Shyrak), Mrs. Gulnur Khakimzhanova, President of the Association of Social Workers, Disabled people and Volunteers, and Ms. Jamila Asanova, Executive Director of the Association of Civil Society Development (ARGO).

On this occasion, ARGO also invited a journalist from “Ertis Eniri” newspaper of Semey city, Ms. Mahabbat Audonbay and Mr. Dmitry Ledentsov, a filmmaker from PA “Angel Moy”, Temirtau city, Karaganda region. Ms. Audonbay is a winner of a contest for the best publication, covering people with disabilities. The contest was held for the journalists of Semey in February-April 2014. Mr. Ledentsiv is a producer of a set of 6 social videos “Disability does not have to be doom”. These social videos have been broadcasted by local TV stations in Karaganda as well as Internews Network Kazakhstan satellite channel.

In live discussion, the following topics were covered:The rights of people with disabilities in Kazakhstan that are enshrined in international instruments, such as the Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

In particular, Mr. Kairat Imanaliyev as a key speaker said that a special attention should be paid to the ratification of the Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities by the Kazakhstain Parliament. The Convention provides opportunities for government, disabled people�s organizations, and society to focus on and take stock of gains to include people with disabilities into every aspect of political, social, economic and cultural life.


The right of people with disabilities to work on an equal basis with others.

It was said that the people with disabilities are ready to work but it is hard to find a job. Only one from ten disabled people can be employed in the country today.

Ms. Lyazzat Kaltaeva talked how to prevent stigma and discrimination towards people with disabilities. She also discussed a question of disabled person’s image in the Kazakhstan mass media. “We are the same people with the same problems and joys. Please, stop describing us as people who are always in need. Show positive side of our life, she said”.

Ms. Jamila Asanova briefed the journalists about primary results of a National Assessment on general public perception towards people with disabilities, and the preliminary results of the “Empowerment Now!” national information campaign that aims to change social attitudes towards people with disabilities.

The participants held a common discussion about the role of mass media to raise the awareness of the barriers, preventing people with disabilities to fully participate in the social activities. They highlighted the readiness of journalists to assist the government, civil society and, in particular, disabled people’s organizations in covering rights of people with disabilities, as well as encouraged to write more stories that are positive about disabled people and work on changing disabled people’s image as equal and active members of society.

The press breakfast was organized by ARGO and partnering disability focused organizations, Namys, Shyrak and ASWI&V. This is a component of the national information campaign “Empowerment Now!” supported by USAID, which aims to improve the economic and social conditions of people with disabilities in the Republic of Kazakhstan.

List of Mass Media attended the event:
Vetcherniy Almaty newspaper
Bayterek magazine
KazInform  news agency  news agency  internet news portal
Liter newspaper
Astana TV station
KTK TV station
Ertis Eniri, Semey
Vibiray magazine
Angel May web portal for the people with disabilities, Temirtau
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