Cultural and social inclusion underwent noticeable changes in the RA cultural policy after the Velvet revolution (2018), when the Ministry of Education and Culture of the Republic of Armenia and other infrastructures of the state system (for example, the Ministry of Social Affairs) began to develop a series of joint cultural inclusion programmes, targeting pensioners, schoolchildren and the disabled.
The school subscription system implementation programme is intended for students and teachers of grades 1-12 of state public schools. The implementation of the system, launched in 2018 guarantees to each student and teacher one free entry to three cultural institutions (a museum, a theatre, a concert hall) during the school year. The goal of the project is to promote school – cultural institution connection, to contribute to the artistic education and aesthetic development of children and teenagers. Within the first months of November-December 2018, more than 40 000 students and teachers had visited the museums and other cultural institutions. This figure is persistently increasing. Museums and theatres are more frequently visited organizations, and concert halls less. Thus, through the subscription system, more than 386,000 students studying in RA public schools can participate in the cultural event of their community or any other city of RA.
In the 2019-2023 five-year development plan of Yerevan city, the problem of social inclusion of pensioners and disinherited elderly has been raised and possible solutions addressed. Article 10 of this programme envisages “the creation of day care and entertainment centres in each administrative region for lonely and disinherited elderly and socially insecure pensioners”.
In 2018, a project to give pensioners opportunities of visiting concert halls and theatres for free was developed. It was implemented in October-December 2018, but revealed a number of problems with escorting pensioners, as many of them could not attend cultural institutions alone and the inclusion of pensioners in regional and rural areas required expensive transportation. The programme was suspended.
Social and cultural inclusion of people with disabilities is carried out not only through state programmes, but also through a number of public organizations. By signing the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (PWD), the Government of the Republic of Armenia has taken over the responsibilities to support, protect and ensure the full exercise of human rights and fundamental freedoms for all persons with disabilities.
By ratifying the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities on October 22, 2010, the RA authorities undertook to implement the obligations specified by the Convention, Article 30 of which refers to cultural life, recreation, participation in entertainment and sports activities.
Many non-governmental organizations deal with the cultural and social problems of people with disabilities, and as a result of getting to know the issues raised by them, the corresponding policy is developed in order to ensure the integration of people with disabilities into society. Significant changes in this field also became noticeable after the revolution in RA. In 2021, the RA Law on Persons with Disabilities was adopted.
The purpose of this law is to provide favorable conditions for the realization of civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights and freedoms for persons with disabilities, on an equal basis with other persons, guaranteed by the Constitution of the Republic of Armenia, as well as in accordance with the universally recognized principles and norms of international law, international treaties ratified by the Republic of Armenia, ensuring their equal participation and effective social inclusion in public life. This law replaced the RA law on social protection of disabled persons adopted in 1993, which did not comply with the norms of international law. In order to integrate into cultural life, to meet one’s own cultural needs, it is important to have physical access and accessibility to cultural institutions, such as adaptations like picture descriptions in galleries, subtitles for films, sign language translation for theatres, alternative books for people with intellectual disabilities.
Meanwhile, there are almost no performances and concerts adapted for people with hearing, visual or other types of disabilities. Furthermore, the inaccessibility of cultural facilities prevents people with disabilities from participating in cultural life. In particular, there are almost no art groups in Armenia (theatre, painting, song, dance and other art groups) in which people with disabilities will be involved. Along with that, there are still cultural institutions that are not accessible for people with disabilities to enter and exit, as well as for their free movement within the mentioned buildings. Moreover, specially adapted areas for people with locomotor, as well as hearing and visual problems are not provided at all in the halls of a number of cinemas, theatres and other cultural structures. There are no bathrooms adapted to the needs of people with disabilities. Certain steps have been taken to solve the above problems. Just recently the mentioned problems (free movement and bathrooms) has been solved in the Museum-Institutes of the Armenian Genocide and Komitas, M. Saryan’s House Museum, Yerevan P. In the Tchaikovsky Secondary Music Vocational School and 7 of the 29 cultural organizations are located on the first floor. Within the framework of the programme of social inclusion of persons with disabilities, which started in 2018, the “Children’s Special Creative Centre” SNOC implemented the aesthetic and craft training programme in Yerevan, Lori, Shirak and Gegharkunik marzes, within the framework of which free arts and crafts training was organized for 614 children with disabilities in 12 specialties.
 See: https://www.yerevan.am/uploads/media/default/0001/96/47e1986386f7c83ef76ba01ff53f3411cfa11b44.pdf
 https://www.arlis.am/documentview .aspx?docID=64762
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