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.
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 2013
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 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).
Completing the work on getting the follow-up system on the disability strategy into place will be prioritised in 2013. The follow-up system will provide the Government with information to enable it to take decisions on new or amended initiatives. Each year, in connection with the Budget Bill, the Government is to report on the results of the development towards identified indicative targets and sub-targets.
The Act concerning Support and Service for Persons with Certain Functional Impairments and assistance compensation
In 2012, the Government decided that the Budget Bill for 2012 was to include measures to prevent cheating, errors and overuse of assistance compensation. The new legislative proposal will enter into force on 1 July 2013. The Swedish Social Insurance Agency will be given greater resources to enhance control and follow-up of decisions concerning assistance compensation. The Swedish Social Insurance Inspectorate will be tasked with monitoring and evaluating the measures. In 2013, the Government will conduct a review of the standard hours within assistance compensation.
Increased employment for people with disabilities
The Government wants to increase the employment rate of people with reduced working capacity. The Ministry of Health and Social Affairs and the Ministry of Employment have ongoing cooperation on this issue.
Sign language interpretation
New efforts will be made in 2013 regarding the issue of future sign language interpretation. In 2011, an inquiry presented a proposal to the Government concerning the future design of sign language interpretation.
Review of the Swedish Institute of Assistive Technology
This year, the Government will conduct an internal investigation into the future and organisational affiliation of the Swedish Institute of Assistive Technology as part of the follow-up of the review of government agencies in areas covered by the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs.
Free choice of technical aids
A compilation of the report to the Government, 'Fritt val av hjälpmedel' (Free choice of technical aids), was completed in September 2012. Preparation of the inquiry's proposal on increased freedom of choice in the area of technical aids began in autumn 2012, but most of the work will be carried out in 2013.
Measures will continued to be carried out in 2013 to ensure that Sweden continues to have a high international profile regarding disability issues.