Sweden - Article 26

(updated 11/01/2018)

Law and Policy

  1. Is there a legal right to habilitation and rehabilitation services in your country? Please describe relevant laws
    The Social Service Act ensures collaboration amongst social, health and education authorities.
    Law on the support and service for some people with disabilities, LSS    
    The Swedish school law does not ensure collaboration with other parties

    and give links to further information for:
    • a. Health (i) Blind persons (ii) Partially sighted persons
      The Swedish Health Care Act
    • b. Education (i) Blind persons (ii) Partially sighted persons
    • c. Employment (i) Blind persons (ii) Partially sighted persons
    • d. Social Services (i) Blind persons (ii) Partially sighted persons
  2. Is there a legal right to assistive technology, aids and equipment? (i) Blind persons (ii) Partially sighted persons

    Yes, but it does not state what sort of aids and equipment.
    Health Care Act, Patient law

  3. Do laws on rehabilitation recognise and support participation in all aspects of community life? (i) Blind persons (ii) Partially sighted persons
    Yes
  4. Are there policies on habilitation and rehabilitation services for people who are blind or partially sighted?
    Sweden lack national policies or programme for rehabilitation services for blind and partially sighted. There are some national standards and some documents that are used at the low vision clinics.
    • a. For children who are (i) Blind persons (ii) Partially sighted persons
      Yes, but no national policy
    • b. For adults of working age who are (i) Blind persons (ii) Partially sighted persons
      Yes, standards, but no national policies, see standard below
    • c. For older people who are (i) Blind persons (ii) Partially sighted persons
      yes, but no national policies
      There are national standards:
      -    for orientation and mobility
      -    for using enlarging video system (CCTV)
      -    for rehabilitation planning for adults of working age
      -    A document about psychosocial support from low vision clinics
  5. Do policies recognise the importance of a personalised multidisciplinary assessment of each individual´s needs and circumstances? Please describe the policies and give web links to more information, for people who are: a. Blind persons b. Partially sighted persons
    There are different categories of staff working at the low vision centres and they are often working multidisciplinary, at least in the big cities. Unfortunately physiotherapists and psychologists are few in the country. This is something we see as a problem.
  6. Are there policies on developing peer support for habilitation and rehabilitation?
    • a. For children (please also include policies on family support) who are (i) Blind (ii) Partially sighted
    • b. For people of working age who are (i) Blind persons (ii) Partially sighted persons
    • c. For older people who are (i) Blind persons (ii) Partially sighted persons
      No, within SRF we are working with a material about peer support and inspire our local branches to start groups.
      Several of the low vision centres arrange groups for older people, for parents, for partners and they are very important.
  7. Are there resources for peer support services? Please describe these and give web links where possible for people who are (i) Blind persons (ii) Partially sighted persons
    No
  8. Do blind and visually impaired people and their organisations fully participate as equal partners in the development of policies and standards for habilitation and rehabilitation services? Please give details for people who are (i) Blind persons (ii) Partially sighted persons
    Yes. Our organization are involved in the work with policies and standards through our low vision clinics and through the National Board of Health and Welfare. We also answer different reports and investigations from the government.

Access to Habilitation and Rehabilitation

Support Services

  1. Are there dedicated services for both partially sighted and blind people that meet their distinct needs? Are these habilitation and rehabilitation services focussed on supporting independent living in the community living for people who are: (i) Partially sighted persons (ii) Blind persons
    Yes
  2. What is the full range of services in your country, for (i) Blind persons (ii) Partially sighted persons
    Opticians, technical aids, support and training, orientation and mobility, daily living skills, psycho social support, physiotherapist training
  3. How is eligibility determined to access habilitation and rehabilitation services for (i) Blind persons (ii) Partially sighted persons
    Personal needs
  4. Who provides habilitation and rehabilitation services (for example, dedicated blindness and low vision rehabilitation and support centres, hospitals (private and public), NGOs)? (i) For blind persons (ii) For partially sighted persons
    low vision centres, in some communities there are instructors that can provide some services in the persons home. There are five folk high schools that invite old people to courses where they can train mobility, their devices, daily living skills, meet others in the same situation.
    Some of the folk high schools invite people of working age to train their technical devices.
  5. Are services available locally in all parts of the country? (i) For blind persons (ii) For partially sighted persons
    Yes from low vision centres, see above
  6. How are services funded (for example, free, paid for by the user, means tested)? (i) For blind persons (ii) For partially sighted persons
    free, sometimes paid by the user
  7. If services are not free have any problems of affordability been reported? (i) For blind persons (ii) For partially sighted persons
    Some people
  8. Are services available for all age groups: children, adults and older people? (i) For blind persons (ii) For partially sighted persons
    Yes

Access to Equipment and Technologies

  1. The CRPD states that governments should make sure disabled people know about aids, technology and assistive devices and how to use them. How is this done in your country? (i) For blind persons (ii) For partially sighted persons
    Through low vision centres, through SRF. The companies who distribute equipment and technologies to low vision centres organise exhibition in different parts of Sweden where people can see different equipment.
    When local branches have meetings for members they can invite some company to come and inform about equipment.
  2. What training is provided in the use of equipment and technology? (i) For blind persons (ii) For partially sighted persons
    training at low vision centres see above, and the courses at the folk high schools.
  3. How is eligibility for equipment, technology and training determined? (i) For blind persons (ii) For partially sighted persons
    according to the persons need, and according to policies at the regional low vision centres
  4. How are aids, equipment and technology funded (for example, free, paid for by the user, means tested)? (i) For blind persons (ii) For partially sighted persons
    free, sometimes paid by the user
  5. If services are not free have any problems of affordability been reported? (i) For blind persons (ii) For partially sighted persons
    Sometimes
  6. Are there any limitations on the choice of equipment? What are these? (i) For blind persons (ii) For partially sighted persons
    Yes, there is a list to choose from.
    In some parts of Sweden you can get a check and by what you want (Free choice). We can see that older people sometimes have more difficult to get technology and equipment. And sometimes it is problems for children to get equipment they need.

Development of the Competence of Professionals

  1. Are there training programmes for rehabilitation professionals? Please describe these (If there is accredited training, the qualifications recognised, where people are trained, to what level etc.)
    For the moment we have problem with training programmes for rehabilitations professionals. There are to courses at two different universities on a master degree. One is in cooperation with Norway. Very few people from Sweden attend this course, maximum 2-3 per year. The other is also in cooperation with Norway and with the hospital in Denmark. Few people from Sweden attend.
    There has been a short vocational course for 3 years where around 20 people per year have been trained and many of them have started working at low vision clinics. This was at a folk high school and now on a university level.  
    We have started a working group to see how the situation can be solved in the future as many professionals will retire within the next years.
  2. Please describe how rehabilitation professionals are trained. Does training emphasise meeting needs on an individual basis?
    Yes
  3. Does professional training incorporate human rights perspectives?
    Yes
  4. Additional comments on professional training n/a

Your Organisation

  1. Does your organisation represent both blind and partially sighted people in your country?
    Yes
  2. What are the conditions for someone with visual impairment to become a member of your organisation or use its services? Please be as specific as possible both for blind and partially sighted people.
    If a person have problem with their sight in their daily life and when ordinary glasses are not enough they can be a member of SRF. We do not need any document from ophthalmologists.
  3. Is this strictly applied, or is there more flexibility in practice? n/a
  4. Is there another organisation that a person with visual impairment can turn to if they cannot affiliate to your organisation or if you cannot meet their needs? Please give as many details as possible.
    There is one family organization where children, young people and their families can find different activities and summer camps,
    There is one organization where people with low vision and blindness can find activities for the whole family,
    Then there are different organizations for different diagnosis for example LHON, Aniridi, Spielmeyer Vogt, Retinitis Pigmentosa.
    There are also organizations for people coming from Eastern Europe, Africa, Arabic speaking countries, Persian speaking and from Kurdistan.
  5. How is your organisation involved in the implementation of the right to habilitation and rehabilitation support services and programmes for both blind people and people with partial sight? Please give as much detail as possible, especially regarding:
    • a. policies and standards
      through representation within the National the Board of Health and Welfare
    • b. monitoring of implementation
      n/a
    • c. actions to ensure that dedicated services are in place that meet the distinct needs of blind and partially sighted people.
      through contacts with regional low vision center, through regional representation at councils with regional politicians
    • d. actual provision of services to blind and partially sighted people and the rights that people with visual impairment have to services.
      see above
  6. Is there an officer or expert appointed in your organisation to work on partial sight matters? Please describe.
    We have three officers that are working with different areas of habilitation and rehabilitation.
  7. What actions is your organisation taking to implement the right to rehabilitation services with dedicated, distinct services for blind people and people who have low vision, and to ensure that these services are/will be available in practice? Please give details (examples: lobbying, cooperation with rehabilitation centres, setting up support services, cooperation with universities to develop specific training for rehabilitation experts etc.)
    National and regional lobbying, cooperation with low vision centres, cooperation with universities, with The National Agency for Special Needs Education and Schools, SPSM, Organization for rehabilitation, FFS
  8. How does your organisation inform people with visual impairments and the general public about living with blindness and partial sight? (Examples: a website, a national helpline, information stands in hospitals, campaigns, etc.)
    We have a website, a member magazine, information at eye hospitals, we are represented at exhibitions. Our local branches have employees who educate for example staff at public transportation, taxi drivers.
  9. How does your organisation inform others about the available habilitation and rehabilitation and support services for blind and partially sighted people?
    When we organize courses for parents and other important persons, through our member magazine, through meetings with local branches.
  10. In what way is your organisation working with specialised ophthalmologists, optometrists, rehabilitation centres, and teachers, residential homes for older people etc. to prevent, inform and support people with visual impairment?
    We have contact with the regional low vision centres.
    SRF are represented in user council run by the centres responsible manager.
    SRF are represented at meetings with people who are new at the low vision centres, mostly older people, to inform about SRF.
    SRF organize meetings with ophthalmologists to inform people and their partners about different diagnosis.
  11. Is your organisation involved in the Vision 2020 initiative in your country?
    No
  12. Are you familiar with the EBU standards for low vision services in Europe toolkit for implementing the right of partially sighted people to the services they need? How helpful is this resource document?
    Yes. Until now we have not used it as much as we could have. We will look into it as we will focus on habilitation and rehabilitation between 2018-2021.
  13. What, if any, type of support would you like to have to implement UNCRPD article 26 for blind and partially sighted people? Be as specific as possible.
    Examples of standards that are used.
  14. If you compare the current situation with five years ago, regarding the implementation of the right to rehabilitation services for blind people and for people with partial sight, would you say that in your country:
    • a. nothing has changed (explain )
    • b. The situation has worsened (explain why and how)
    • c. The situation has improved (explain why and how)
      n/a
  15. Is further action needed in your country? If yes, please explain what needs to be done.
    There are still big differences between different parts of Sweden, between different age groups and between genders. We have to assure that unaccompanied minors have the right to habilitation during the asylum process.
  16. Please send any articles, material, training, standards, protocols, or links that you feel could perhaps serve your colleagues in other EBU countries aiming at high standards services for everyone with sight loss.
    n/a