Objectives and priorities for the disability area

The objectives of disability policy is to create a society without obstacles to participation and where there are equal living conditions for people with disabilities. Measures must combat discrimination and give children, young people and adults with disabilities the opportunity to achieve independence and self-determination. Every individual must have the opportunity to influence decisions that affect them.

Photo: Ester Sorri

The objectives of disability policy are:

  • a social community based on diversity;
  • a society designed in a way that allows people with disabilities of all ages full participation in the life of the community; and
  • equal living conditions for girls and boys, women and men with disabilities.

To achieve the policy objectives, work on disability policy must focus in particular on:

  • identifying and removing obstacles to full participation in society for people with disabilities;
  • preventing and combating discrimination against people with disabilities; and
  • enabling children, young people and adults with disabilities to achieve independence and self-determination.

Disability policy covers the cross-sectoral measures aimed at creating a society without obstacles to participation and where there are equal living conditions for people with disabilities.

What the Government wants

Swedish society builds on respect for human rights and at its core is the concept of the equal value of all people and individual freedom and dignity. Politics must effectively contribute to creating and maintaining respect for human rights. The Government considers work on disability policy to be a part of these efforts.

The UN Convention (Swedish Treaty Series 2008:26) that Sweden ratified in December 2009 lays down the rights of people with disabilities. These rights are found in most policy areas, and it is on the basis of this focus that future measures are presented.

In June 2011, the Government adopted a five-year strategy for disability policy. It builds further on the national action plan that applied between 2000 and 2010.

The disability policy objectives are to be implemented in all areas of society, which means that disability policy is cross-sectoral. Inadequate accessibility is one of the biggest obstacles preventing people with disabilities from taking part in society in the same way as others.

Public transport must be accessible, easily shifted obstacles in buildings and public places must be removed and IT and public websites must be made more user-friendly for people with disabilities.

Priorities for 2014

Implementation of the strategy for disability policy

Of central importance to the strategy for disability policy is that objectives are to be followed up and that it should be possible to measure the results of initiatives in a better way.

During the period 2012-2015, some twenty agencies are to annually submit a special report to the Government and Handisam (Swedish Agency for Disability Policy Coordination).

Follow up of the initiatives carried out within the framework of the strategy for the implementation of disability policy is set to continue in 2014.

Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Over the last two years, Sweden has played a leading role in global work concerning the Convention. Maintaining a high international profile on these issues, both within the UN and the EU, remains a priority.

In 2014, Sweden will be called to a dialogue regarding the report that was written in 2011.

Skills initiative on the Act concerning Support and Service for Persons with Certain Functional Impairments

A skills initiative will be launched in 2014 for people who process cases under the Act concerning Support and Service for Persons with Certain Functional Impairments. This training will take place at higher education level.

Improved knowledge support in the area of disability

Efforts to map out existing methods for knowledge support in the area of disability will continue in 2014.

The National Board of Health and Welfare and the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions (SALAR) will be tasked with compiling and developing a knowledge base and knowledge support in this area.

SALAR will also further develop the BPSD register (register of behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia). This will also be used to better care for people with learning disabilities who suffer from dementia.

New agency

Work will continue in 2014 on integrating the Swedish Institute of Assistive Technology into Handisam. The change will take place on 1 May 2014, and at the same time Handisam will change its name to the Agency for Participation.

Free choice of assistive technology

The Government plans to present a Government bill on free choice of assistive technology in 2014. The National Board of Health and Welfare has also been instructed to further develop knowledge support in the area of assistive technology.