The Disability policy in Sweden
A top-down presentation for the MECED project
by Octavian Dumitriu
OD for MECED Porto Disability policy in Sweden 1
Ministry of Health and Social Affairs (1)
• Areas of responsibility: peoples financial security, social
services, health and medical care, public health and the
rights of children and disabled people.
• Objectives of the Disability policy:
a social community based on diversity;
a society designed to allow people with disabilities of
all ages full participation in the life of the community;
equal opportunities in life for girls and boys, women
and men with disabilities.
OD for MECED Porto Disability policy in Sweden 2
Ministry of Health and Social Affairs (2)
• Focus areas for the work with disabled:
identifying and removing obstacles to full participation in society
for people with disabilities
preventing and combating discrimination against people with
enabling children, young people and adults with disabilities to
achieve independence and self-determination
• Aim: to remove obstacles to full participation in society, action to
combat discrimination and individual support
The measures are cross-sectoral and included in most policy
OD for MECED Porto Disability policy in Sweden 3
Ministry of Health and Social Affairs (3)
Remove deficiencies in action to safeguard the people in most
need and the people who cannot always speak for themselves
(such as mentally ill and persons with extensive disabilities)
More attention to labour market: greater priority to work to
increase employment for people with disabilities and to
identifying and removing the obstacles to participation in working
Making Sweden accessible: The national action plan for
disability policy - clear objectives for accessibility that should be
attained during 2010 (making public transport accessible and
remedying easily eliminated obstacles in premises and public
OD for MECED Porto Disability policy in Sweden 4
The National Action Plan
• The most important policy document in Swedish disability policy
• Covers all sectors if of society and shows disability policy to be of an
a social community based on diversity;
a society designed to allow people with disabilities of all ages full
participation in the life of the community;
equal opportunities in life for girls and boys, women and men with
• Focuses on the following tasks in particular:
identifying and removing obstacles to full participation in society for
people with disabilities;
preventing and fighting discrimination against people with disabilities;
making it possible for children, young people and adults with disabilities
to lead independent lives and to make their own decisions in life.
OD for MECED Porto Disability policy in Sweden 5
The Swedish agency for Disability Policy Coordination
• Government agency aiming to remove the obstacles which people
with disabilities are still encountering in the community
– supporting the sectoral authorities tasked with implementing the
national plan for disability policy
– follow up and evaluate the work on the action plan.
• Acceleration: developing knowledge concerning accessibility in the
community and in particular ensuring that the public sector sets a good
• “Guidelines for an accessible Government Service”
OD for MECED Porto Disability policy in Sweden 6
The Swedish Handicap Institute
• Government institute acting as national resource centre on assistive
technology and accessibility for persons with disabilities.
• Aim: full participation and equality for persons with disabilities by
ensuring access to high-quality assistive technology, an effective
provision of assistive devices and an accessible environment.
testing and procurement of assistive devices
research and development
analyses of needs, knowledge and method development
training and capacity building
OD for MECED Porto Disability policy in Sweden 7
The Swedish Disability Ombudsman
• A government agency that works for people with disability, by monitoring
the rights and interests of the people with disabilities.
• Objective: that people with various kinds of disability should be able to
participate fully in the life of the community and live on the same terms as
• The foundation for the operations: the UN Standard Rules on the
Equalization of Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities and Sweden’s
Action Plan for Disability Policy, "From Patient to Citizen“
• Four acts prohibiting discrimination on the grounds of disability.
1. The Prohibition of Discrimination in Working Life of People with Disability Act
2. Equal Treatment of Students at Universities Act
3. The Prohibition of Discrimination Act
4. Act on the prohibition of discrimination and other degrading treatment of
children and pupils
The Ombudsman task: to see to it that this legislation is complied with and
to bring court actions where necessary.
OD for MECED Porto Disability policy in Sweden 8
The Swedish Disability Federation (1)
• The united voice of the Swedish disability movement before
government, the parliament and the local authorities.
• Founded 1942 - consists today of 43 national disability organisations
with about 500 000 individual members
• Each organisation makes its own decisions and determines its own
activities but on issues where all member organisations agree,
common action is taken.
• The 43 member organisations
• Work basis: everyone is equal and that everybody has the right to
decide over their own body and life
• Goal: a society for everyone, characterized by solidarity, equality and
• Needs: political initiatives in many fields; medical care, support
services, education and training, labour market policy, physical
planning, culture and information.
OD for MECED Porto Disability policy in Sweden 9
The Swedish Disability Federation (2)
• Intensive dialogue with the government:
member of the government's disability council.
separate meetings with any minister it wishes to approach on a
member of official governmental inquiry committees.
Receives reports from governmental inquiry committees with the
right to comment officially.
Has extensive informal contact with governmental officials, groups
• Agenda 22 - a method to realise the UN Standard Rules
• Co-operation on a European level - member of the
European Disability Forum (EDF)
OD for MECED Porto Disability policy in Sweden 10
• www. sweden.gov.se/sb/d/2061
OD for MECED Porto Disability policy in Sweden 11
Thank you for your attention!
OD for MECED Porto Disability policy in Sweden 12