Stranded in the past
Marjorie Farquharson , Author of Rough Justice: The law and human rights in the Russian Federation (2003) London, Amnesty International
The sea of change that has swept over Russia since the end of the cold war has left children with learning disabilities stranded, reports Marjorie Farquharson
Russian children with learning disabilities who are unlucky enough to be put in one of the state’s 155 ‘internats’ – all-purpose institutions for children living apart from their families – have no chance to acquire an education. A directive from the USSR Ministry of Education dating back to the 1970s classifies children with Down syndrome, cerebral palsy and autism as ‘not fit to be educated‘. No attempts are made to help them dress, wash, feed themselves or be self-sufficient in any way, and little or no effort is put into making their lives enjoyable through music, play or painting.
Learning Disability Practice. 6, 10,6-7. doi: 10.7748/ldp.6.10.6.s6