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Govt moves holistic rights bill for disabled

28 Sep 2018, 02:46 ( 9 Months ago) | updated: 28 Sep 2018, 11:00 ( 8 Months ago)

DF Report
File Photo Kela.

The government on Thursday submitted a proposal to parliament for enacting a new law ensuring sufficient and appropriate services for all persons with disabilities equally and also for strengthening their participation in and right of self-determination.

The purpose is to consolidate the Act on Services and Assistance for the Disabled and the Act on Special Care for the Mentally Handicapped into one act on special social services for persons with disabilities.

The act would implement the principles of the UN Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, said a government press release.

The proposed legislation on services for the persons with disabilities would safeguard the access to services every one of them need in situations where it proves insufficient or inappropriate in terms of legal right.

Services for the persons with disabilities would be available for those who because of functional restrictions caused by long-lasting disability or illness need assistance or support indispensably and repeatedly to cope up in everyday life. Diagnosis would not determine that eligibility for services.

The proposed new act emphasises that the persons receiving services should be able to participate and be included in the process of assessing their service needs as well as planning and provision of the services. The regulation would also take into account the particular needs of children and young people.

Persons with disabilities would keep their right to those services similar to those currently provided to them, such as housing support, personal assistance, and transport services. Other individual services would include, for example, coaching, support and short-term care, which would support persons with disabilities in many different ways. Services for them would also remain free.

Families with children with disabilities would get individualised assistance at home so that they could live in home even in demanding cases. Coaching and support would be stronger to help young people with disabilities start an independent life and live in their own homes.

Personal assistance could still be provided in many ways. There would be detailed provisions in situations where persons with disabilities become employers, and such an employer model could only be used with the person’s consent.

There would be more options for enhancing their mobility, for example, they could be assigned cars instead of public transports, if they meet certain conditions.   

The act is scheduled to come into force on January 1, 2021.