Leaving your homeland behind and moving to a new country can be a daunting experience. However it can be even more frightening for a person with a disability.
The Swedish Government’s disability policy aims to give equal access and participation to people with disabilities to all that Swedish society has to offer on the same terms as everyone else. Here are some organisations and services specifically designed to help disabled people live in Sweden.
The Equality Ombudsman
If you experience discrimination on the grounds of disability, you may contact the Equality Ombudsman to file a complaint.
Depending on the type of visa or residence permit, the Swedish Social Insurance Agency (called Försäkringskassan in Swedish) offers benefits for both people with disabilities and their carers. Learn more about Försäkringskassan.
Designed to help disabled people access the community, Färdtjänst offers subsidised transport for disabled people and their carers in the form of free bus and train travel and heavily discounted taxies. Applications for Färdtjänst are taken through your local municipality (Kommun).
The Swedish Employment Service (called Arbetsförmedlingen in Swedish) offers several programs to assist people with disabilities both to develop their skills and to find employment. They can also assist in providing adaptive technology or modifications for the workplace. Learn more about the Public Employment Service.
Established in 1980, Samhall is a state owned company, which aims to help people with, reduced function build working skills.
Contact your municipality
In addition to these services, it is also worth contacting your local municipality (kommun) or visiting their website. Local municipalities are responsible for providing services for people with disabilities such as help with cooking, cleaning and other household activities (Hemtjänst). Monthly access to a support person (ledsagare) who helps you to access the community can also be provided. This person helps you to attend appointments, go shopping, go to the gym, to social meetings, and so on. Many kommuns also offer extra financial support for you and your carer.
Written by Louisiana Galileo Ahnström
Louisiana Galileo Ahnström is one of Sweden’s many love refugees.
Originally from Australia, she moved to Sweden in 2013 to live with
her Swedish partner. Galileo was born with congenital glawcoma which
caused her to lose all the sight in her left eye and most of the sight
in her right.
She is based in Stockholm where she lives with her husband and 1 year
old daughter. Her passions include music, chess, languages, reading and history. In Australia she worked as a radio presenter for community radio in the Blue Mountains, was lead singer in a band and studied youth work and community services.