Pathways for Inclusion
1/27/2016 12:00 PM

The visit of the Hon. Madam Secretary of State for the Inclusion of Disabled Persons - Ana Sofia Antunes, to Porto and North of Portugal, under "Pathways to Inclusion", marked the beginning of proximity work and direct articulation with the Municipal Ombudswoman for Citizens with Disabilities - Arch. Lia Ferreira.

The Ombudsman had the opportunity to participate in a first joint meeting, which took place early in the morning, where she made a quick exposure of some initiatives which have been developed in partnership with various municipal services and whose main objective is focused on promoting a greater inclusion in the city.

In the late afternoon, a less formal meeting took place, where the Municipal Urban Management was represented by the head of Accessibility Promotion Plan for All and coordinator of the Accessible Itineraries System of Porto Municipality (SIA) - Arch. João Pestana. The Ombudsman was able to explore in greater detail the bet that has been made in the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities area.

The mediation and promotion made by the Ombudsoffice has been fundamental for the dynamization of participated synergies, both by the coordination with the various municipal services, as well as in partnership with universities and entrepreneurs around this theme.

"The Ombudsman boosts the services of the different areas of responsibility which have the resources for implementation and enforcement. There is still a long way to go, but the Porto City Council has been exemplary in the way it absorbs the proposals and projects presented by the Office". (Arch. Lia Ferreira).

In addition to the postures and practices already instituted and ongoing, the Ombudswoman mentioned some plans and projects that are still being developed and for which it considers essential the involvement and participation of the State Secretariat, as well as the strengthening of the reinforcement with the National Institute for Rehabilitation, in the context of the Information and Mediation for Persons with Disabilities Service (SIM-PD) whose Porto’s extension is the competence of the Ombudsoffice.

It was mutually agreed the need to continue this meeting and sharing moments for the more effective coordination and the definition of assertive policies for effective inclusion of the people with disabilities in Portugal.