I. - 2.Formulation of the "Government Action Plan for Persons with Disabilities"

In 1995 the Government Headquarters for Promoting the Welfare of Disabled Persons, presided over by the Prime Minister, determined a "Government Action Plan for Persons with Disabilities - A Seven-Year Normalization Strategy," which incorporates specific numerical targets.

The newly formulated plan specifies the policies of the "New Long-Term Programme" and positions the second-stage priority measures for achieving normalization. It is a seven-year plan ending in 2002 that will coincide with the last year of the New Long-Term Program.

The Plan has two major characteristics. The first one is that it incorporates specific policy goals by setting numerical targets. Some of these goals are the provision of group homes and welfare homes as living infrastructure that will allow persons with disabilities to live independently within communities, improvement of in-home nursing care services, construction of barrier-free sidewalks and stations with consideration of persons with disabilities, and promotion of measures for social rehabilitation of persons with mental disabilities.

The second characteristic of the Plan is that it is a comprehensive and horizontal implementation of policies in line with the following seven viewpoints: (i) living together in communities, (ii) promoting independent participation in society, (iii) creating barrier free environment, (iv) aiming to improve quality of life (QOL,) (v) ensuring safe living, (vi) removing psychological barriers, (vii) promoting suitable international cooperation and exchanges.

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