People with disabilities in Russia face a range of barriers that limit their participation in society. Public buildings and transportation are often inaccessible. People with mental disabilities are often forcibly confined to institutions for long periods of time. Pregnant women who have disabilities are coerced by medical professionals to have an abortion. Parents who give birth to a child with Down syndrome are still encouraged to give up their baby.
According to the United Nations Children's Fund, only 2 percent of Russian schools have an inclusive education approach, in which children with and without disabilities attend school together. The government has pledged to expand inclusive education to 50 percent of schools. But reaching that goal will require a comprehensive plan to improve school infrastructure, train teachers, and - last, but definitely not least - educate parents and the community as to why this is important and beneficial for society as a whole.