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Description: To discuss the steps which need to be done in order to provide opportunities for children and adults with mental disabilities to live, study and work without isolation from the society in Kazakhstan.
To overview two fundamentally different approaches in social policy towards people with mental disabilities - the so-called “paternalistic” approach which was inherited by Kazakhstan and other ex-soviet countries from the USSR, and the approach based on a policy of social integration, which Kazakhstan announced after the fall of the Soviet Union.
Questions raised: What needs to be done in order to achieve policy changes? Is it possible to deinstitutionalize huge institutions? Can advocacy for inclusion prompt the loss of social benefits of people with disabilities? What other “barriers of the past” we need to overcome to reach our goals?
Ainur Shakenova graduated with a bachelor’s degree in law from Turan University (2002) and with Master’s degree in law from Saint Louis University (2012). She has worked as a Law Reform Program Coordinator for the Soros Foundation-Kazakhstan (SFK) since 2007 with a one year gap as an Edmund Muskie Fellowship Program fellow, and supervised law and health projects. She initiated the projects on Deinstitualization/Social Inclusion of people with mental disabilities as a new concept in program activity of SFK.
She is also a lecturer at Almaty School on Advanced Training for Physicians on the issues of healthcare law and bioethics.