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"Changing mindsets for disability equality."
"If a person who has become blind due to an accident is not rehabilitated, he or she will be as dependent as a quadriplegic person," said Valentín Fortún, president of ONCE's committee Territorial. He was in charge of addressing the topic of disability from the point of view of associations in the fourth workshop of the cycle "Training to understand disability". A cycle, organized by Tantaka (the Solidarity Time Bank of the University of Navarra), which has counted with the presence of experts in different fields to provide complementary views on disability. Fortún spoke about the factor core topic that institutions play in the lives of people with disabilities: "We currently have a very heavy Structures , we must go to a more economically sustainable model , optimizing equipment, simplifying processes and having clear cooperation between institutions when providing services.
The speaker explained to those present that disability is not a problem of the individual person, but a problem that affects society as a whole. Therefore, he reflected on disability throughout history and the role of institutions according to the models that have existed over time.
The first was the model of dispensation, whose maxim was based on the idea that the person with a disability was not useful. Therefore, they were hidden and removed from society. "It was a matter of hiding it, of taking disability out of the social image," he explained. And for this reason, he stated that the organizations that were created were asylums, charitable centers, most of them for people without resources, forced to beg to support themselves.
This way of acting," Valentín explained, "was replaced at the end of the 19th century by the medical-rehabilitation model . Depending on how curable the disability is, the person will be useful and will be able to integrate into society". The organizations that were created were institutions that tried to integrate the disabled into the labor market, as well as training institutions. Valentín explained that we have to be satisfied with the moment in which we find ourselves because of the progress we are making, where the social model prevails. This recognizes the value provided by disabled people and their activepartnership to meet the social needs of citizens. This social perspective is based on principles such as independent living, civil dialogue and universal accessibility.
"If there is a voice that speaks on behalf of all people with disabilities, it becomes a very important loudspeaker ," he said. This voice in Navarra is called CORMIN (committee de Representantes de Personas con Discapacidad en Navarra). Valentín clarified that a change in the social mentality is necessary for a disabled person to live his or her condition as a citizen in the same way as people who do not have that disability.