On December 10, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) handed over 2,000 copies of the “Collection of Legal Documents on the Rights of People with Visual Impairments” in Braille to the Ministry of Justice of Uzbekistan, the U.S. Embassy in Tashkent said in a statement.
The collection contains documents such as the Law on Social Protection of the People with Disabilities and related presidential decrees, as well as a list of available support services to which people with disabilities are entitled. Representatives of the USAID mission to Uzbekistan and the Ministry of Justice took part in the ceremony.
“One of the most fundamental things preventing those who are blind or who have low vision to participate and integrate into society, is the lack of access to information, which is an essential condition of freedom and self-determination,” said Rebecca Black, USAID Uzbekistan Acting Mission Director. “As we are witnessing large-scale reforms in Uzbekistan when new laws and regulations and presidential decrees on different subjects are introduced quite frequently, it is extremely important that everyone, including people with visual disabilities, has up-to-date knowledge about his or her legal rights.”
There are more than 60,000 visually impaired people in Uzbekistan, and the books in Braille are a part of the U.S. government’s continued assistance to Uzbekistan to make justice available for every citizen. The collection will fill the existing gap in legal literature for people with visual impairments. The books will be distributed across the country through the Ministry of Justice, NGOs, the National Library, and local government agencies.
USAID’s Legal Reform Program supports Uzbekistan’s efforts to ensure further development of rule of law principles, build the capacity of legal professionals and training institutions, enhance citizens’ access to justice, improve the legal operating environment for civil society, promote gender equality, and create a healthier investment climate.