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Civic Participation

GÖZDER

Persons with Disabilities Fighting Against Discrimination

The latest episode of “Turkey’s Changemakers” features the ‘Association of Persons with Visual Impairments’ (GÖZDER), an organization that promotes the rights and social participation of persons with disabilities.

Established in 1970 as the Happiness for the Blind Association, GÖZDER adopted its new name, Association of Persons with Visual Impairments, in 1998. Focusing on the challenges facing persons with visual impairments, they struggle for their rights, organize professional sports, social and cultural activities, and provide rehabilitation services.

Their ‘Platform for the Prevention of and Struggle Against Discrimination Against Persons with Disabilities’ project, in partnership with Neurovascular Diseases Association of Turkey and supported by the Sabancı Foundation Social Development Grant Program, aims to build the capacity of civil society organizations and creating a culture of cooperation to address discrimination through monitoring and filing appeals with legal authorities.  As part of the Prevent Discrimination campaign, 32 civil society organizations, from 8 cities who work with over 40 thousand persons with disabilities, gathered in İstanbul.

Workshops were offered on issues such as legislation on discrimination, methods to fight discrimination, and monitoring activities. Organizations that participated in these workshops made approximately 350 appeals to various public institutions regarding accommodation rights for women with disabilities in shelters, education rights for children with autism, accessibility of public buildings, and the rights of drivers with disabilities.

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