MOSCOW, August 10 (Itar-Tass) — Russia’s government is studying a draft law that will make obligatory for healthcare and social security institutions to use a sign language while providing services to deaf and mute people, Labour and Social Protection Minister Maxim Topilin told reporters after a Cabinet meeting on Thursday.
The Cabinet considered amendments to the legislation on social protection of disabled persons as concerns a sign language.
The minster highlighted that this law should be adjusted to the requirements of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
“If to speak about practical implementation, gradually different institutions (healthcare and social welfare institutions and those that provide material services), i.e. the whole system of state and non-governmental services should be adjusted in such a way as to make possible for disabled persons and people who communicate only in a sign language to get these services properly,” Topilin said.
“This system should be transformed, this is a rather long transition period,” he said. “For this purpose the government will set the rules for providing services in a sign language.”
He added that practically nowhere in Russia such technologies were used. As a rule, a disabled person should hire a sign language interpreter for his/her own money to visit different institutions.
Topilin emphasized that the Russian Association of the Deaf positively assesses adoption of this draft law.
Within the framework of Russia’s Affordable Environment programme five TV channels broadcast in a sign language. By 2013 forty percent of the total broadcast time on these channels will use a sign language.