The Czech National Disability Council (CNDC) was established in 2000 in recognition of the fact that people with disabilities have many common needs and interests. From this recognition it was but a small leap to the realization that the collective needs and interests of disabled people would be substantially more effectively promoted and defended by one overarching, professional organization than by the individual agendas of separate disability associations.
The fundamental aim of the CNDC is therefore to advocate, promote and meet the rights, interests and needs of disabled people, regardless of the type or extent of their impairment. Our work is orientated towards collaboration with state administration and local government at all levels and with organizations and institutions working in this field at both the national and regional level.
CNDC is also part of the European and worldwide movements of people with disabilities. Its principal international partner is the European Disability Forum (EDF). EDF is the most important coordinative body of people with disabilities and their organizations in the EU Member States. EDF consists of the National Disability Councils of the EU Member States and the largest European disability organizations, which altogether represent over 50 million disabled EU citizens.
The promotion of the needs and interests of persons with disabilities is carried out in various forms. To the principal activities of the CNDC belong:
to put forward proposals to both national and local government concerning legislative or other relevant measures for the advancement of persons with disabilities;
to assess draft measures concerning the living conditions of persons with disabilities, drawn up and submitted to the CNDC by other bodies or institutions;
to participate, in compliance with the relevant legislation, in the development and execution of long-term policies related to the equalization of opportunities for persons with disabilities at both the national and the regional level.
For this reason CNDC is member or partner of many significant organizations and institutions:
It is the advisory body of the Governmental Board for People with Disabilities, which is a consultative body of the Czech Government and which draws up fundamental systemic and conceptual governmental procedures for the implementation of policy concerning persons with disabilities;
It is a member of the governing board of the national development programme Mobility for All;
It is a member of the joint committee for the Programme of Development and Renovation of Public Transport Vehicles;
It is a member of two Boards of the Association of Cities and Municipalities;
CNDC collaborates actively with the Association of Regions of the Czech Republic;
CNDC collaborates actively with the Association of Employers of Disabled People in Czech Republic and with the Trade Union of Employees in Health and Social Service in the Czech Republic etc.
Besides policy and monitoring work CNDC also specializes in commenting on individual laws and drawing up its own legislative proposals. It is evident that for a number of years CNDC has held a crucial role in initiating and forming policies which benefit disabled people. In addition, CNDC is expert guarantor for various projects whose aim is to improve the situation of persons with disabilities, e.g. in the domain of employment, education, expert social consultancy etc.
CNDC also works to raise public awareness of disability issues. It is a source of information about the problems people with disabilities encounter and about the different types of disability. For this purpose, many specialist seminars and conferences are organized every year, at both the national and regional level. Since 2006 CNDC has been implementing projects designed to inform the public about methods of communication with persons with disabilities. It regularly informs the media about important changes in the disability field. In addition, it issues technical publications concerning legislative provisions in the disability domain, the equalization of opportunities for persons with disabilities and the defense of the rights and interests of disabled people.
CNDC is an organization with a countrywide province which unifies member organizations with a total membership base of more than 250,000 people with disabilities. In each region of the Czech Republic a Regional Disability Council (RDC) has been established. RDCs, just as the significant bodies of CNDC, defend the interests of disabled people at a local level.
Since its initial formation CNDC has been a respected representative of persons with disabilities in the Czech Republic. It plays an important role in the creation of policies which benefit this large group of Czech citizens.
The work of CNDC corresponds with the concept of the European Commission, which underlines the necessity of expert analyses within the non-governmental sector by creating plans and policies for the equalization of opportunities for persons endangered by social exclusion, and which endorses a professional approach to the specialized work of organizations representing people with disabilities.