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Department for Social Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities

The Project

International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health LogoΛογότυπο Συστήματος Αξιολόγησης της Αναπηρίας

The projet “Expansion of the Implementation of the New System for the Assessment of Disability and Functioning” is implemented by our Department in the programming period 2014-2020 through financing by the European Social Fund with a total budget of €4,2 m. The project consists an expansion of the previous project implemented in the period 2007-2013 for the introduction of the new disability assessment system with a cost of €1,8 m.

The Ministry of Labor, Welfare and Social Insurance as the competent Ministry for the coordination of State services provided to persons with disabilities, acknowledged that the absence of a scientific, commonly accepted assessment system in Cyprus, can lead to insufficient services for persons with disabilities and to a non – complete profile of required State facilities and interventions that will cover the needs of persons with disabilities.
The design and implementation of the New System of Assessing Disability and Functioning in Cyprus is based on the scientific tool ΙCF (International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health), provided by the World Health Organisation, and aims to establish a scientific, reliable and credible data basis for the assessment of disability and functioning, and for the provision of the rights of persons with disabilities.As from December 2013 the first Disability Assessment Center operates in Nicosia and from May 2017 the second Center operated in Limassol. An additional Center is expected to operate in Larnaca and for the time being operates from the buildings in Nicosia. The operation of three assessment centers is required in order to fulfill the needs of all Cyprus districts. Disability Assessment Centers provide disability and eligibility certification for applicants of social benefits and services offered to persons with disabilities by our Department and the Welfare Benefit Administration Service (Minimum Guaranteed Income – Disability Allowance and Home Care Services). Disability assessments also serve the certification of eligible persons to be recruited in the wider public sector through a quota law.

Since 2019, the Disability Assessment System has expanded with the addition of new mechanisms, procedures and methods that are based on the ICF, for the assessment of supported living needs and for the integration of special education graduates in the open labor market.

Today, five types of assessments are provided :

    · Assessment of Disability

    · Assessment of Disability and Home Care needs

    · Assessment of Disability and Supported Living Needs

    · Assessment of Disability and Vocational Rehabilitation Needs

    · Assessment of Disability and Functioning

    The objective is the performance of 19.500 assessments throughout the whole project.

    The pillars of the Project

Among the deliverable results of the project, the pillars that stand out as added value in the field of disability management in Cyprus are :
  • Infrastructure: The first Disability Assessment Center in Nicosia opened in December 2013, with a modern and accessible infrastructure and equipment, a reception desk, disability assessment rooms and functionality rooms.The Limassol - Paphos Disability Assessment Center officially started operating in May 2017, following the same specifications. For the Larnaca Disability Assessment Center, efforts are underway to find suitable infrastructure. At the moment, the Center operates under the roof of the Nicosia Disability Assessment Center. The Centers are easily approachable to persons with disabilities, parking areas are included and a comfortable, modern and professional environment is presented. In addition to the building infrastructure, the administrative infrastructurewas designed in order to serve the assessment mechanism and was organized through a series of procedures and forms, with the aim of making it simple, easy to use, fast and efficient for the citizens.
  • Knowledge: The International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) was the basis on which the new assessment system was built. Taking into account the Cypriot data, the framework, the aspirations and the aims of the new Assessment System in Cyprus, Focused Assessment Protocols were designed for the main types of disability and Special Forms for the collection, recording and presentation of the data of each assessment.Guide Manuals have been written for the implementation of the new System to be used by Assessors and Government Officials. Also, a Guidebook for anyone interested in ICF was also written. The staff manuals are upgraded from time to time to include any changes that may occur. The assessment mechanism is a dynamic project and its effectiveness is evaluated at regular intervals. Regarding the citizens access to information, a Citizen's Guidebook was written for the new System and an information leaflet was designed for easier reference.
  • Education: Assessors are the main human resource providing their services for conducting disability assessments. With specifically designed training programs, more than 150 Doctors and Rehabilitation Professionals on contracts with the Department, were trained in the use of ICF, in the completion of the Assessment Protocols and the Holistic Assessment Reports onDisability.The completion of the training of the Assessors included the on-the-job training process. In addition, by providing a specifically designed Instructor Training Program, a team of Doctors and Rehabilitation Professionals is ready to provide training in the new System to any future assessors. At the same time, public officials and members and employees of Non-Governmental Organizations that serve people with disabilities were trained.

Expected benefits from the implementation of the new System

The expected benefits from the implementation of the new Disability and Functioning Assessment System are the following:

  • The holistic assessment, certification and documentation of the needs and capabilities of each person with a disability and the identification and proposal of the most appropriate support interventions in each area of ​​his/her life, by opening new perspectives for social protection and inclusion.
  • Avoiding the distress experiencedby persons with disabilities through multiple, time-consuming and complex procedures for the assessment of their disability and needs and offering a modern, scientific, constant and reliable new assessment mechanism.
  • The issue of a HolisticAssessment Report on Disability with all the social benefits and services offered by the Ministry of Labour, Welfare and Social Insurance for each individual, commonly accepted by the state services. Such benefits and services include monthly cash allowances, ah hoc cash allowances, the issue of a Blue Badge (Parking Card), the issue of the European Disability Card, home care services, vocational rehabilitation services, supported living services.
  • The creation of a scientifically substantiated database in relation to the state of disability and functioning of persons with disabilities and the gradual creation of a National Register of Persons with Disabilities in Cyprus
  • Provision of information for more effective targeting and more rational allocation of state resources, through the formulation of appropriate policies, to meet the needs and fulfill the rights of persons with disabilities.
  • The systematic use of the ICF scientific tool in Cyprus and the strengthening of scientific knowledge for disability.

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