Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite believes the country should do better in helping its citizens with mental and physical disabilities.
Grybauskaite stated there are more than 30,000 (around one percent of the Lithuanian population) people living with disabilities in Lithuania, yet many are still to receive assistance from the state.
She also called for an immediate reform of major care institutions and stated those with disabilities and their families must be guaranteed care.
The President believes in order to reduce discrimination, Lithuania’s disabled must be provided with the appropriate care from childhood and fully integrated into the education system. She added the state must also support parents to properly raise the child, and find work simultaneously.
Grybauskaite also believes those with disabilities must be given the necessary help to fully integrate into the labour market.
She urged Lithuania’s municipalities and the Ministry of Social Security and Labour to increase cooperation with communities and non-governmental organisations to ensure the move from institutional care to community-based services.
Grybauskaite’s comments come following her opening of the new Betzata Community Home in Cekoniskes, Vilnius Country, for people with special needs.
The home uses social services models found in 40 countries across the world. It also promotes self-support.