Perestroika and Persons with a Physical Disability

Sean Atkins


Perestroika brought important changes to the place in Soviet society of persons with a physical disability. The administrative and bureaucratic changes of (he Soviet government, including those affecting social security benefits, and the increased involvement of persons with a disability in governmental and nongovernmental organizations were vital to the changes. The establishment of the All-Russia Society for the Disabled in 1988 reflected the growth of private and public charity. The media began encouraging public response, leading to the growth of local and community relief organizations. The media also provided a forum in which persons with a physical disability could be heard. The period between 1988 and 1991. however, revealed how enormous the task of social rehabilitation would be. Although the Soviet government acknowledged the rights and needs of persons with a physical disability it did not and could not provide enough money to deal effectively with these needs.

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