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Problems and perspectives of disability policy in Russia: The move from paternalism towards disability rights?
Elena Tarasenko, Institute of Sociology of Russian, Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia
The construction of disability policy in USSR included the extensive social welfare system, pensions for disabled people, universal health care, free and environmental inaccessibility of education. People with disabilities were typically seen as objects of pity or compassion who require charity and services. But the period of paternalism in disability policy was finished.
Since 1991 the collapse of the USSR has brought a number of fundamental changes in the disability policy in Russia. Disabled people have meet with unexpected consequences of political and economic reforms in Russia. The transition to a market economy has brought a number of basic changes in the disability policy. These changes affect the status of people with disabilities profoundly. During the Eltzin's period severe economic and political crises, reduction of social protection, increasing unemployment - all this exerts a negative influence upon the chances for integration and full participation of the people with disabilities in social life.
In the Putin's era the disability policy in Russia is facing a triple set of problems:
All these aspects will create instability in Russian disability policy in the future. As a result the trust of disabled people to the state have lessened.
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