MPs seek improved access for disabled

MPs recommended yesterday that companies be given incentives to hire disabled people and that architects take compulsory lessons in accessibility in an effort to improve conditions for a section of Greek society that has been ill-served so far. A cross-party committee delivered to Parliament yesterday the first in-depth study of its type, detailing problems faced by disabled people in Greece. The panel identified six key areas in which improvements need to be made: education, employment, accessibility, health, public awareness and coordination of actions. «We hope that the committee’s suggestions are the basic elements for a public discussion on improving the quality of life for people with disabilities,» said New Democracy MP Eleftheria Bernidaki. The deputies suggested that more job opportunities could be created for disabled people if firms were given incentives for hiring them and if the law was changed so they get recognized as being independent of other specified groups, such as people who have four or more children. Access for disabled people should be a prerequisite for all new public buildings, the MPs recommended. They also demanded that drivers who block access to buildings or park in disabled spots should face tough penalties. Transport Minister Michalis Liapis said earlier this week that under the upcoming highway code, these drivers could have their licenses revoked.