Today, in our country, the protection of human honour and dignity, ensuring his legitimate rights and interests are defined as the priority areas of state policy. Special emphasis is placed to the care and comprehensive support for citizens with disabilities.
It is worth mentioning that all of our efforts are deeply imbued with the ideas of humanism and are consistent with the goals and objectives of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities on December 3.
On this day, which is widely celebrated in our country, as well as in other countries of the world, I express my sincere respect and the best wishes to nearly one million of our citizens with disabilities.
As it is well-known, large-scale measures are being implemented in Uzbekistan to provide persons with disabilities with the necessary assistance, their active involvement in public and political life. Nowadays, a great number of structures specializing in supporting such people are effectively operating, including, the Society of the Disabled of Uzbekistan, the Association of the Disabled, the Society of the Blind, the Society of the Deaf.
Most importantly, none of the compatriots who, by the will of fate, turned out to be disabled, is left without the attention and care of our people and state bodies. Through their labour and abilities, they occupy a worthy place in society, their will, resilience and the best human qualities serve as an example for everybody.
We highly appreciate your good aspirations and express our deep gratitude to all of you for your active participation in the social and economic life of the country.
In recent years, a number of laws, more than 25 other legal acts have been adopted, as well as a solid legislative base has been formed in Uzbekistan in order to ensure the rights and interests of citizens with disabilities, who are an integral part of our society, to improve their working and living conditions. It has created even more favorable environment for this category of the population to receive medical and social services, gain knowledge, engage in labor activities, realize their abilities and potential, access to qualified medical care, in a word, so that they could feel like full members of our society.
And now, addressing all our people, I call on you, dear compatriots, to intensify the work we have begun in this direction. In this regard, we will undertake comprehensive measures to establish an inclusive society, in which all citizens, including persons with disabilities, have equal opportunities. On this basis, we have set for ourselves the important task of gradually moving from the long-obsolete medical model for determining disability to a generally recognized social model.
From now on, in the construction, reconstruction of buildings and facilities, the production of public transport, information and communications, priority will be given to unhindered access and the possibility of using by the persons with disabilities.
The work will be carried out to double the coverage of persons with disabilities with rehabilitation and prosthetics centers, about 10 such centers in the regions will be expanded and equipped with modern medical and rehabilitation equipment.
I would like to assure you that we are mobilizing all our strengths and capabilities so that our citizens with disabilities do not feel lonely, can acquire the necessary knowledge and professions, show even greater activity in all spheres of life, go in for physical education and sports, join the arts.
Taking this opportunity, I wish all of you a sound health, peace, happiness and prosperity.
With deep respect,
President of the Republic of Uzbekistan