Personal Assistance

Finland: “The new personal assistance law doesn’t quite make it”

Westberg, Kenneth.  2008.  Finland: “The new personal assistance law doesn’t quite make it”.
In Finland personal assistance became a right on September 1, 2009. However, dissatisfaction is great because municipalities can still decide how assistance should be provided.

Spain - Spaniards are fighting for more personal assistance

Erdtman, Emil.  2008.  Spain - Spaniards are fighting for more personal assistance.
Independent Living—or Vida Independiente, as it will be called in this article—has grown in Spain via the internet and is now running a pilot project with personal assistance in several urban areas.

Greece – Stelios lives “independently” with help from his family

Erdtman, Emil.  2008.  Greece – Stelios lives “independently” with help from his family.
In Greece families assume a large responsibility, including for personal assistance. But society is rapidly changing, as can be seen in the streets and squares in recent times.

Iceland – Few have been granted personal assistance payments

Erdtman, Emil.  2008.  Iceland – Few have been granted personal assistance payments.
The population of Iceland is less than 300,000. Everyone knows each other in small towns, and even in the city of Reykjavik. Yet for now, the number of people who have assistance can be counted on one hand. Iceland is a Nordic country, but in terms of personal assistance it has not kept up with the region.

Flanders, Belgium - long queue for personal assistance

Bernt, Malin.  2008.  Flanders, Belgium - long queue for personal assistance.
“In Flanders, Belgium, 4,000 people are waiting to receive assistance,” says Viviane Sorée, chairperson of Bol Budiv. Viviane Sorée is chairperson of the organization Bol Budiv, which helps individuals who receive assistance. They provide advice and support to 1,350 people with disabilities living in Flanders. Bol Buiv is a two-year old project that is financed by government funding. “We have high hopes to be able to continue our work after the project ends.”

Germany – means-tested personal assistance

Bernt, Malin.  2008.  Germany – means-tested personal assistance.
Christian Bayer’s most important issue is means-tested personal assistance. People who have a job and earn money have to pay for their personal assistance themselves. According to German law, people in need of personal assistance can get money from the State for it. Yet, unlike Sweden, the payments depend on your income and property.

Towards an operational definition of Personal Assistance

Dr. Adolf Ratzka.  1992.  Towards an operational definition of Personal Assistance.

Persons with extensive disabilities need assistance by other people in their everyday lives with such activities as getting bathed and dressed or going to the toilet; with shopping, preparing meals, cleaning or doing the laundry; with such responsibilities within the family as doing the practical tasks involved in raising small children or assisting one' s aging parents. Assistants help the user at work, about town and on travel. They assist in communicating or in structuring the day, as the case might be. In brief, assistants help with those activities which the user would have done by himself or herself, had it not been for a physical, sensory, mental or intellectual disability.

Personal Assistance: The key to Independent Living

Dr. Adolf Ratzka.  1989.  Personal Assistance: The key to Independent Living.


logo of European Network on Independent LivingSocial policy is typically not made by the people who are most affected by it. Up to now, we, the users of assistance, have had to accept the decisions handed down to us by other people. Since we are often considered helpless and incapable of taking charge of our own lives, the public and often we ourselves have taken for granted that it is best for us, if others, the professionals make these decisions for us.

Croatians are proud of their disability policy

Erdtman, Emil.  2008.  Croatians are proud of their disability policy.
Croatians are proud of their disability policy. A disability ombudsman who has a disability has been appointed and accessibility and legislation are on the right track. A law on personal assistance will take effect in 2010.

Center for Independent Living in Jerusalem

Brafman, Daniela.  2008.  Center for Independent Living in Jerusalem.
By Daniela Brafman, Director, Center for Independent Living Jerusalem, January 2008


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