Personal Assistance and the Crisis: Now is the time to promote Direct Payments for Personal Assistance.
Against the backdrop of the impact of the current economic crisis on persons who depend on practical assistance by other persons with the activities of daily living the author outlines arguments for direct payments for Personmal Assistance services. These services are demand driven, superior in quality and cost-efficiiency to supply driven services such as residential institutions and support the United Nations Convention Article 19 "living independently and being included in the community".
Personal Assistance empowers persons with disabilities and benefits the national economy.
Direct Payments for Personal Assistance make demand-driven services possible that promote freedom of choice and quality. Supply-driven services, on the other hand, are often monopolistic in-kind services that force users to adapt their lives to the needs of the service provider. The Swedish Personal Assistance Act of 1994 is an example of a Direct Payments policy. Its outcome is discussed as well as its implications for the national economy in times of economic crisis.
Personal Assistance: Key to Independent Living as illustrated by the Swedish Personal Assistance Act.
United Nations Human Rights, Office of the High Commissioner, Europe Regional Office convened a meeting in Brussels on May 7 2012 "CRPD and EU Structural Funds: The way ahead for Independent Living" to raise awareness about the violation of CRPD Article 19 "Living independently and being included in the community" by using EU Structural Funds for the construction and maintenance of residential institutions. The paper shows how demand-driven direct payments for Personal Assistance services, not only achieve far superior quality of services than residential institutions resulting in higher quality of life for service users at lower costs but also affect a country's economy more favorably. Thus, violating Article 19 of the CRPD is not only illegal but also wasteful in terms of human and monetary capital.
Personal assistance policy features for Independent Living:.
What are the important features of a national policy on personal assistance that is to promote "living independently and being included in the community" "with choices equal to others" and to enable persons with disabilities to fulfill their duties and to enjoy their rights as citizens?
The presentation identifies the elements of the Swedish Personal Assistance Act of 1994 that have contributed most to the outcome of this widely acclaimed legislation.
2012_01_Wien_PPP_Word.doc (47 KB)