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Quadriplegic congresswoman urges government to address wheelchair waiting list

In a conversation with Dilma Rousseff, Deputy Mara Gabrilli talked

Published in 10/03/2016 - 12:17

By Paulo Victor Chagas reports from Agência Brasil Brasília

Parlamentares da Comissão de Direitos Humanos da Câmara dos Deputados visitam o presídio da Papuda em Brasília. Na foto: Deputada Mara Gabrilli (José Cruz/Agência Brasil)

Deputy Mara Gabrilli José Cruz / Agência Brasil

President Dilma Rousseff met with Federal Deputy Mara Gabrilli to hear the demands of advocacy organizations for people with disabilities. At the meeting Wednesday (Mar. 9), the federal deputy, who has quadriplegia, urged the government to address the current 800,000 pending wheelchair applications in the government's waiting list as soon as possible. According to Gabrilli, President Rousseff said zeroing out the queue is an attainable goal.

The two also discussed assistance to babies with microcephaly as the number of cases rose dramatically in recent months and may be related to Zika virus.

As she left, Gabrilli said she was confident that at least some of her claims would be met. She said the president showed interest in supporting a project she coordinates which reaches out to people with limited mobility.

“These needs have been frankly overlooked until now. Keeping a child out of school waiting five years for a wheelchair is a crime. This is not the federal government's responsibility alone, it's the cities' and states' as well. But the federal government's got to do something about it. Only 20% of Brazil's elementary schools are wheelchair-accessible. And when kids at last have their wheelchairs, [they struggle] getting around on sidewalks and [finding] wheelchair-friendly transport,” she said.

Mara Gabrilli is a federal deputy for São Paulo and a member of PSDB, the largest opposition party to Rousseff's administration.

Translated by Mayra Borges

Fonte: Quadriplegic congresswoman urges government to address wheelchair waiting list
Edition: Maria Claudia / Augusto Queiroz

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