Surveying solutions for independent living
Support and services are an important prerequisite for many people with a disability to be able to live independently and participate in society. In the project Personal Budgeting, we survey the available solutions for personal budgeting of support and service for people with disabilities in the Nordic region.
Article 19 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities sets out the requirements on states when they design support and services for people with disabilities. Article 19 deals with the right to live independently and be included in the community. Among other things, this presupposes that people with disabilities have access to various forms of social services and support. The Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities has prepared General comment No. 5 (2017) to support the interpretation of this article. The Committee defines independent living thus:
“Independent living/living independently means that individuals with disabilities are provided with all necessary means to enable them to exercise choice and control over their lives and make all decisions concerning their lives. Personal autonomy and self-determination are fundamental to independent living…”
Support and services for people with disabilities have been reformed in several Nordic countries. This has been done with the intention of increasing the individual’s self-determination and influence over the support and services to which they are entitled. Measures such as personal assistance and individual plans are examples of this, as is the introduction of freedoms to choose who performs such services. One solution is for the individual to have a personal budget for support measures. This system is in use in some countries under the name direct payment.
The purpose of this project is to survey models for personal budgeting of support and services to ascertain which models can reinforce the implementation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, in particular with regard to Article 19 on the right to live independently and be included in the community.
The project is a collaboration between the Nordic Welfare Centre and the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL). The project, an activity within the framework of Finland’s 2021 presidency of the Nordic Council of Ministers, will be conducted during the first half of 2021. The survey will form the basis for a forthcoming reform in Finland.