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80% of Russia's Disabled Unemployed

The Labor and Social Affairs Ministry published a statement Monday to mark the International Day of People With Disabilities saying that only about 20 percent of disabled people of working age in Russia are employed.

"Of 3.39 million disabled people of working age, only 816,200 have some form of employment. The unemployment figure among disabled adults is at 2.6 million, or 79.7 percent," the statement said.

The ministry has taken steps in recent years to increase employment among the disabled. Between 2010 and 2011, for example, employers were compensated for making their work places handicap-friendly. More than 18,400 work places were equipped for people with disabilities over this period.

The ministry also cites financial support extended to various societies and unions for the disabled. A total of 950 million rubles ($31 million) was allocated for such organizations this year alone.

A new government program, "Accessible Environment," was approved in 2011 for the period through 2015. The program, with a total cost of 46.9 billion rubles ($15.2 billion), aims to improve the lives of the disabled and integrate them better into society by 2016.

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