Personal Assistance - a revolution for people with disabilities - Keynote.
In this presentation Mr Bengt Westerberg, former Swedish Minister of Social Affairs 1991-1994 and leader of the Liberal Party (Folkpartiet), describes the Swedish Act concerning Support and Service for Persons with Certain Functional Impairments (LSS), puts it in context with other Swedish legislation, and reflects on its societal costs and benefits. The reform utilizes direct payments for freedom of choice, self-determination and personal responsibility and, in this way, differs from traditional Swedish welfare politics where state agencies typically combine the functions of needs assessment, financing, quality control and service provision. Mr Westerberg, who credits the Swedish Independent Living movement for introducing the concept of direct payments for personal assistance to Sweden, succeeded in getting the legislation approved by Parliament during the country's deep economic crisis at the beginning of the 1990's. In Sweden, his personal pride in the legislation he authored is well-known.