Swedish disability policy
Swedish disability policy is based on the principle of universal equality of human dignity and human rights.
Society is to be shaped in such a way that all citizens will have the same possibilities. Universal solutions are to be designed to as to function for everybody. Sometimes special, individualised solutions may be needed. Different forms of individual support create opportunities of participation and equality, supplementing the universal solutions.
Disability policy spans all policy fields. The Government’s strategy for disability policy implementation between 2011 and 2016 contains targets for ten different policy fields. Some twenty national authorities have been tasked with implementing the Government’s disability policy in their respective fields. These authorities are to render account of the measures taken and of their outcomes from the viewpoint of the disabled individual.
One of the strategy’s vital foundations is the human rights laid down, for example, in the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Sweden’s national disability policy aims are set forth in the action plan “From patient to citizen”. That plan was a manifesto. Whereas previously persons with disabilities had often been referred to as patients, the Riksdag now emphasised a civic perspective, meaning that persons with disabilities are to be seen, not as patients but as citizens with rights and obligations like everyone else.
Responsibility for building a society in which everyone can participate devolves on the whole of Sweden’s public sector.