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Persons with Disabilities Face Problems When They Apply to Banks for Employment


Lado Bitchashvili, Shida Kartli

Soso Kumelashvili, the disabled person, faces many problems when moving in Gori streets. On June 27, Kumelashvili overcame the barriers and attended the presentation of the Public Defender’s Special Report on the Rights of the People with Disabilities in 2016. The report was presented by Irina Oboladze, representative of the Department on the Issues of Persons with Disabilities at the Public Defender’s Office of Georgia.

In accordance to the special report of the Public Defender, nothing is done to promote independent life for the persons with disabilities that is further encouraged by their isolation from the society. Big part of the report is dedicated to the problems about infrastructure, transport, physical environment and access to information. The Ombudsman believes they have not observed notable development in relation with the main challenges of this segment. Lack of guarantees to ensure independent life for disabled persons is still among most problematic issues, as well as problems in employment. In 2016, only 52 disabled persons were employed in the public sector and 32 in the private companies. The Public Defender states the statistics demonstrate that there is serious problem in this direction in our country.

“The Report reviewed all the problems, which we encounter in the street, because we are unable to move independently due to non-adapted buildings. The situation in this regard was slightly improved,” Soso Kumelashvili said.

The persons with disabilities, representatives of nongovernmental and local governmental organizations attended the presentation. Davit Gurgenidze, who is blind, informed the representative of the PDO about the problem, which he encounters when applying to the banks. 

“When we need to take a loan or buy something for credit, we usually face problems during the communication with banks because I cannot read documents. They usually ask for guardian or a person, who will have a power of attorney to sign the contracts on my behalf. It would be good if the banks had established the services necessary for the disabled persons,” Davit Gurgenidze said. 

Head of the PDO Department on the Issues of Persons with Disabilities Irina Oboladze said the situation should be improved and the state shall resolve the problems of the people with disabilities.

“We have discussed the problems of the disabled people in this municipality. Namely, these refer to social issues, accessibility to different services, in particular to bank services. They mentioned the case of Liberty Bank. We have made notes about all problems the people raised here, and we will continue to work in this regard,” Irina Oboladze said.

The Special Report includes the recommendations of the Public Defender of Georgia to different state institutions. Main recommendations are sent to the Ministry of Labor, Healthcare and Social Welfare, and to the Ministry of Education and Science. 

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