Persons with disabilities are entitled to receive attention for their individual and social needs in the context of the provisions for the general population, as well as to promote their development as persons, allowing them to interrelate with the rest of the population, respecting their individual circumstances. They have the right for equal opportunities as citizens recognized in a society which is plural and respectful of the difference and diversity of the individuals who make them up. They are also entitled to participate in the social affairs of their community without restriction and to the enjoyment of the welfare that the development of this community may generate.

It has been agreed in the European Congress of "The City and the Disabled" held in Barcelona in 1995, and signed as Barcelona Declaration that, the deficiency and disability are matters that affect not only individual persons and their family members but the society as a whole. Persons with disabilities experience many forms of marginalisation, including barriers to the labour market, lack of access to social and cultural resources and lack of physical Access to buildings, transport and so on. Thus, it is the responsibility of the community and of its social organization to promote more favorable conditions for the full development of persons, avoiding or removing all causes that hinder or prevent such development. Regarding this approach the city, as being a common form of social organization must equip itself with the necessary means and resources to promote equal opportunities and the well-being and participation of all its inhabitants.

Local authorities have the main responsibility to consider the differences between citizens and to design services and structures so that they can be used by everyone. They have to enhance opportunities for the disadvantaged by regulating the provision of accessible spaces, thus tackle their social exclusion and promote equality. In doing this they are being encouraged to create participatory mechanisms whereby several actors including the persons with diabilities as well are given the opportunity to shape local services.

The persons with diabilities are entitled to receive attention for their individual and social needs in the context of the provisions for the general population, as well as to promote their development as persons, allowing them to interrelate with the rest of the population, respecting their individual circumstances. They have the right for equal opportunities as citizens recognized in a society which is plural and respectful of the difference and diversity of the individuals who make them up. They are also entitled to participate in the social affairs of their community without restriction and to the enjoyment of the welfare that the development of this community may generate.

Local authorities/municipalities have crucial roles to provide access for disabled. They should promote better awareness of the persons with diabilities, their rights, their needs, their potentials and their contributions among the general public. They should stimulate the integration of the persons with diabilities and the normalization of their relations with their physical and social surroundings which may allow them to optimize their relationship with them. Within their area of competence, they should promote and ensure the access of the persons with diabilities to cultural, sporting, and recreational activities and, in general, to the participatory coexistence with the community. They should establish permanent skill-providing and training systems aimed at city personnel in order to ensure adequate comprehension and attention to the needs of the disabled.

Çankaya Municipality has strong views about a sustainable future of its district and tries to realize urban planning and design principles due to participatory planning aims. One of the projects of Çankaya Municipality is the inclusion of disabled people to the city by creating employment opportunities and reorganizing the public spaces for them. Çankaya’s local councils are working with residents, community groups, universities, NGO’s and other associations in Ankara to reach this goal. Increasing the accessibility and mobility of disabled, raising the awareness of citizens and creating common platforms with many local organizations are new and crucial subjects for Ankara that can lead to other districts and cities to develop a vision for sustainable solutions.

Çankaya Municipality aims to integrate disabled groups into society within the scope of "the principle of health for all and equality". Describing persons with disabilities as part of the society and forming the conditions of living together is a requirement of the social state. We have implemented a series of studies which had been the pioneer projects among other municipalities of Turkey, to raise the quality of life of persons with disabilities, to solve the problems they face, and to provide a healthy and livable urban environment for all.

Çankaya Municipality is determined to re-establish the social municipality in recent time that the principles of equality and “citizen-orientation” were left out of the politics. And, Çankaya Municipality has been trying to realize a participatory, self-governed, and inclusive service supply model which forces out the old, narrow mould of politics and municipal understanding. One of the most important elements of our social municipality understanding is to reveal a local government model in which all disadvantaged groups, namely oppressed, poor, and discriminated citizens can benefit equally, and can participate in decision-making processes related with his / her problems. The social project we are following after is realisation of the city that neither of the citizens is in need of the other. For this reason, in Çankaya, we are trying to build step by step a new social solidarity model based on production and employment.

Regarding the fact that our citizens with disabilities are exposed of sophisticated discrimination in various dimensions of our societal life, we are very sensitive for them in terms of providing opportunities to participate in all aspects of the life. We consider developing long term projects that can solve their education, health, and employment problems as a must for new social municipal understanding. Up to now we have performed many educational and cultural activities for and with our citizens with disabilities. And recently, we are targeting vocational training and then employment of many citizens with disabilities and poor citizens through our facilities and projects of ÇENGEL Cafe, and ÇAÇOY (Çankaya Wooden Toy Atelier).

Map of Intensity of Çankaya Municipality’s Services on the Disabled People within Çankaya District

Çankaya Municipality is Turkey's largest district municipality with a resident population of nearly a million. According to the Turkey Disability Survey data which was published in 2006 by Prime Ministry Administration for Disabled People, 12.29 % of the population is with disabilities and 78.29 % of this population is not included in the labor force. Disabled people have limited participation in social life and have the problem of not being employed.

Çankaya Municipality’s governance model for modern resolutions for the disabled in structural-institutional-partner participation/decision/implementation regarding health and participation for everyone: Coordination on Activities for Disabled in Çankaya under the slogan of maintaining/strengthening of whole residents’ direct and interactive participation/benefit in every aspect of societal life; especially economic/professional, educational, social, sport, health dimensions; and under the goal of disabled peoples’ participation to life without an additional need, a new model on coordination for activities for disabled people has been maintained. Instead of governmental, normative and legal/bureaucratic/institutional hierachy these activities are based on open and participatory principles in organizing public service, replanning its functioning, planning and decision-making process.

Through leaving aside narrow/strict hierarchy of local governments or NGOs, all areas retained for disabled people; all activities conducted by/for disabled from planning to decision-making, form financing to establishing partner relations in regards many respects such as gender equality, sustainability are reconstructed through using modern technical infrastructure.

Sustainability and the quality of the Çankaya Municipality’s services offered to disabled people are reaching disabled people in our city step by step. Sustainable services offered to a disabled person make at least one adult in the family's social life easier and this is to mobilize new forces. Therefore, social characteristics of services we provide have multiplier effect. Our Çankaya Model which is a new, modern and innovative governance model. As well as the level achieved by the organization of service providing is extremely democratic, it also fastens service delivery and helps us to get maximum efficiency in resource utilization. The power of the benefit of innovative aspects of our initiative and sustainability of these benefits lies in the strong relationships with each of its various parameters. Our initiative is fed from an extremely powerful social vessel.

Vertical, solid and long time required processes shortened at a rate of one fourth, staff’s alienation caused by working in the strict hierarchy replaced by staff who enjoy and are excited what they do. Engagement and excitement give place to routine and adoption. As a result, the quality of the services decrease becomes ordinary. Our model is to create 180 degrees opposite effects. Binding disabled preschool children to “normal” children together, providing health and house-cleaning services to old and disabled people in need of nursing; having volunteers from the most elite universities (METU, Bilkent, and Hacettepe etc.) to give lessons for visually disabled people are one and only in Turkey. The success rate of disabled children obtained in the university entrance exam is 85%. It is also unique.

The most effective and important outcome is speaking of the Çankaya Model in services for the disabled not only in Ankara but also in Turkey at this moment. Our ÇAÇOY and ÇENGEL CAFÉ projects were rewarded by the Healthy Cities Association. ÇAÇOY was one of the six projects worth to be presented in 2013 World Healthy Cities İzmir Technic Conference. Our disabled athletes have European championship in athletics, retain the title of Europe’s top goal scorer. One fourth of the National Paralympic Team is composed of our players. Within the Municipality and its communions legally binding criteria of employment of the disabled is sustained. “Barrier Free Çankaya” has become a familiar concept.

Çankaya Municipality sustains optimization of resources of administrative units and NGOs, sponsors and participation of public+NGO+private sector+society labeled as four partners. Not only resources but also suggestion/idea and solutions are constructed through cooperation.

Çankaya Municipality’s Wooden Toy Workshop (ÇAÇOY) Project, a collaborative initiative of Çankaya Municipality, Praunheimer Werstaetten from Germany Frankfurt, National Education Ministry and Turkish Labor Agency, is first and sole example of protected atelier where participants are educated and production is sustained. (good governance-new partnerships-technological innovation)

Another example is the ÇENGEL CAFÉ that entails educating the mentally disabled including people with down syndrome as service personnel aide and employing them in service sector. These individuals also participate into regular social awareness activities like folk dances, theatre and photography group. Hacettepe University Social Services Department has monitoring responsibility of the Project. Corporate activities with various associations for the disabled are organized every year.

Since its establishment preparations dated September 2013 most important and most valuable result of the Coordination for the Disabled in Çankaya, is being more productive in cooperation with the NGOs, universities and several public institutions under our Municipality’s leadership. Nevertheless, we are at the beginning of our project. Through strengthening, we must continue on our efforts.

Not only in using material resources but also in conceptual/theoretical facilities efficiency and creativity are increased. We get the courage to implement various models to our city. Limited though, current material resources are used efficiently.

Constructive contribution of institutions in our coordination, increase our effectiveness as a whole; the synergy that we create has positive return for beneficiaries of project and for public Now, budget is ceased to be a mysterious concept. The amount of budget, its components, its place for usage are ceased to be a secret that some bureaucrats know and becomes open figures composed cooperatively by all the participants. Preparing incoming year’s budget altogether, increase accountability at the end of budget year. Openness in these processes is a rare situation found in local and national level public institutions.

Most important indicators used in elaborating changes, all of our activities can be seen all the time by figures through cooperatively created “common data base for activities for the disabled”. Amount and type of used resources, statistical analysis of beneficiaries, determination of provided service’s quality standard and common data base’s conformity to those standards can be followed. Hacettepe University that we and will cooperate with, brings its scientific and independent approach to the project. A special measuring system to make international standards compatible to Turkey is developing to measure positive impact of the resource used for a disabled person and related its outcome’s. As internationally recognized measuring and elaborating standards will be regularly used then measuring and controlling will be standardized as well.

Several institutions/organizations/NGOs which operate in different areas and are included in Çankaya Municipality’s management agenda are:

  • Lidingö municipality
  • Agence Française de Développement
  • Barrier Free Hacettepe Student Community
  • METU Lodos Community
  • Gazi University Center of the Visually Impaired (GÖÇEM)
  • Confederation of the Disabled People
  • Çankaya Municipality Visually Impaired Sports Club (ÇGESK)
  • Six Dots Foundation for the Blinds
  • Ankara Lions Club Training Center for Autistic Children
  • Barrier Free and Happy Life Association