09 Nov Disabled children are guaranteed free out-of-school education
Photo: A concert of blind and visually impaired children, dedicated to May 9 (the Day of Memory and Honour) at specialised boarding school №77 in Tashkent.
I wrote many times about barriers that blind and visually impaired children were facing to study music in Uzbekistan. For several years the Uzbek officials have been giving empty promises to the children and their parents. But with the adoption of the new Law “On the Rights of Persons with Disabilities” in Uzbekistan, it seems that the issue has been resolved in favour of disabled children.
Article 38 of the new Law “The right of persons with disabilities to education” says that “The state guarantees the provision of free general secondary, out-of-school, secondary specialised and vocational education for persons with disabilities.” While Article 40 of the Law stipulates that “Out-of-school education for persons with disabilities is carried out in palaces, houses, clubs and centres for children’s and youth creativity, children’s schools “Barkamol Avlod”, children’s and youth sports schools, children’s music and art schools, studios, information-library and health institutions.”
Given that the new law will come into force on 16 January 2021, starting from the next year disabled children including blind and visually impaired children will be able to receive free out-of-school education at music and art schools. Importantly, art and music education helps children with visual impairments to realise their creative talents and be included in society. After leaving boarding school, their choice of profession is already quite limited due to discrimination based on disability in the labour market and the inaccessibility of many jobs for job seekers with visual impairments.