• A better quality of life for disabled people in Cuba

    Published on 15 December 2015 by Granma

    special ed cuba

    In line with changes being applied to the national education system in Cuba, Special Education is undergoing an extensive improvement process, looking to perfect comprehensive education for students with special and learning needs, with a key focus on diversity, noted Dora Laborí Kindelán, a special education methodologist from the Ministry of Education (Mined).

    Educational support for students with varying needs and circumstances, the role of specialists and staff training programs, are all important aspects of this process.

    Experimental initiatives focused on areas such as support for pupils with severe learning disabilities and work with blind and visually impaired students, are currently being applied in six of the country’s provinces. The results of these experiments will later be extended throughout the rest of the country.

    “Today every school is designing its own institutional educational scheme, working on the basis of a more flexible and context specific curriculum,” the Mined methodologist stated.

    Another proposal is to restructure the assessment system and aim toward providing quality education in a school which must continually work to be more inclusive.One of the aims of the Special Education program during this stage of the improvement process is to have a learning agenda focused on the potential of every student. “The impact of the social and educational factor is far more important than any biological limitation the student may have,” Laborí Kindelán noted.

  • Cuba: a beacon of hope for disability rights

    Save the Accord demoglasgow
    Save the Accord Demo

    ‘Glasgow City Council should take a leaf out the book of Cuba’ says mother campaigning for the rights of the disabled…

    In Britain today people with disabilities claiming incapacity benefit, must go through a humiliating and daunting health assessment carried out by a private multinational contractor – Atos Origin – to determine whether or not they are ‘fit for work’. Ever more stories of injustice, abuse and trickery emerge as Atos ploughs its way through over two million people. 40% of those found ‘fit for work’ and kicked off their benefit have subsequently won their appeals. For the other 60% (which has included non-terminal cancer sufferers and people with mental health problems) it is straight to job searching or work; if they protest they risk losing all entitlement to benefit. To cope with such a situation, job centres have been giving staff training on how to deal with people threatening suicide.

  • Cuba: Inclusive education for disabled children

    Published on 4 April 2016 by Granma

    Cuba school disabled

    To visit the Solidaridad con Panamá (Solidarity with Panama) School, where 180 children and young people with physical and intellectual disabilities or cerebrovascular diseases study, is a moment to rid oneself of sorrows, and be inspired by the determination to overcome any difficulties that lie ahead.

    Students at the school are motivated by the staff who work closely with them every day, some 110 workers in total, including 64 teachers, and over 40 assistants, physical therapists and other professionals. Some of whom have also provided educational services in Venezuela, Ecuador, Bolivia, Nicaragua and other countries.

    The school, located in the Fontanar neighborhood in the municipality of Boyeros, Havana, is a site without architectural barriers to mobility, characterized for its cleanliness, order, discipline, lighting in every corner and use of color to invoke peace and happiness.

    The Solidaridad con Panamá School was inaugurated by the leader of the Cuban Revolution Comandante en Jefe Fidel Castro Ruz on 31 December 1989, in the context of U.S. military aggression against Panama. The school teaches at three levels: primary, secondary, and for children with intellectual and developmental difficulties. The school also participates in the “Educate Your Child” program, which offers tools for parents with disabled children.

    Walking around the site, one comes across children with no hands eating with their feet; a child who has difficulty walking pushing the wheelchair of another; or another holding a pencil between his teeth to write during class. They all play the normal games for their age, particularly enjoy art classes and get up to mischief now and again. There is no sense here of pity for these children, solely because they have certain limitations.

    What stands out is the joy expressed on each of their faces. They all are eager to be photographed and open to talk to anyone. Teachers, workers and students clearly recall key moments in the 25 year history of the school.

  • Initiative Launched to Increase Employment Opportunities for Disabled People in Venezuela

    Correo del Orinoco Ewan Robertson

    40 companies participate in Venezuelas first disabled peoples employment fair

    The Venezuelan government is organizing a series of employment fairs to increase the number of disabled people in formal employment, as part of efforts to guarantee the disabled their full rights as citizens.

    The employment fairs seek to connect public and private companies with disabled people looking for work, and to help companies meet the legal requirement for 5% of employees to be people with disabilities. The requirement is part of the Law for Disabled People, passed in 2006, which aims to ensure that disabled people enjoy the “full and autonomous exercise of his or her capacities”.


    The first disabled people’s employment fair was opened last Monday in Caracas with the presence of around 40 public and private companies. Similar events will be held around the country.

  • Venezuela Creates Council for People with Disabilities

    Published on 9 December 2014 by TeleSUR English

    The presidential council will advance participatory democracy for people with disabilitiesVenezuela has approved the creation of a new national council for people with disabilities in an attempt to eliminate the stigma around such communities, announced President Nicolas Maduro in a national address late Monday. 

    The Presidential Council for People with Disabilities was created to strengthen the participation of disabled persons in state and societal affairs, as well as increase awareness and eliminate discrimination towards disabled individuals across the country. 

    In the past months, Venezuela has tried to address the needs of the country's large disabled community.