The Espoo Disability Council is a cooperative body established by the City Board for disabled persons, their family members, organisations for the disabled, and authorities. The Disability Council incorporates matters that are important to disabled Espoo residents into the planning and decision-making processes of the city organisation. The operations of the Disability Council are based on the Services and Assistance for the Disabled Act.
The Disability Council initiates the processing of new matters based on suggestions from disability organisations or private individuals, if this is deemed necessary after some investigation. The Disability Council also receives tasks from the city’s administrative branches. It operates in cooperation with the disability councils of other regions, and takes part in national and regional events intended for members of disability councils.
Proposals for the city budget
The Disability Council prepares annual proposals for the city budget. It proposes budget appropriations for a variety of purposes, including operational support for disability organisations, securing the provision of information to deaf and visually impaired people, removal of obstacles hindering the mobility and social involvement of people with functional disabilities, and services that support the independent living of disabled people.
Disability policy programme
The Disability Council was actively involved in the efforts to update the disability policy programme of the City of Espoo. At its meeting on 4 May 2009, the Espoo City Council approved the new disability policy programme, which was updated to better match the current operating environment and function in line with the Espoo’s strategy, action plan and financial plan. The vision of Espoo’s disability policy programme is to provide everyone with equal opportunities for everyday life, establishing Espoo as a pioneer in enabling functional day-to-day life for the disabled. The disability policy programme is for all municipal residents.
The Disability Council has issued proposals to the city authorities for the removal of obstacles. The council has been involved in the preparation of the Espoo accessibility programme and accessibility plan, and it works in close cooperation with the Espoo Accessibility Representative. The Let’s Build for Everyone (Rakennetaan kaikille) working group of the Disability Council takes part in accessibility surveys. The aim of the accessibility programme is to eliminate all obstacles that hinder access and activity from Espoo by 2012.
Advisory Board for the Disability Council
The operations of the Disability Council in Espoo are guided and monitored by the Advisory Board for the Disability Council, the members of which include all disability and patient organisations operating in Espoo – a total of 56 organisations.
The tasks of the Advisory Board for the Disability Council include approving the action plan, appropriation proposals and annual reports of the Disability Council, and selecting the representatives of the disability organisations for the council.
More information on the Finnish website