Disability Services

We want everyone in Espoo – regardless of disabilities or illness – to be able to lead a good and safe daily life. The City of Espoo’s Disability Services unit offers various services and other forms of support. Our goal is to enable persons with disabilities and chronic illness to cope both at home and outside the home.

Contact us

Disability Services' helpline, tel. 09 816 45285, serves from Monday to Friday at  9-11

Email: vammaispalvelut@espoo.fi
Street address: Kamreerintie 2 A, 4th floor (Espoon keskus)
Postal address: P.O. Box 2513, 02070 City of Espoo

  • ATTN: Please avoid visiting the Disability Services office. Our office does not advise clients at this time. Please call the Disability Services helpline or send us an email instead. The office will only receive clients who have an appointment. 
  • The locked letterbox of Disability Services (Kamreerintie 2 A) is now located on the first floor next to the elevator. Please put your applications and hourly time sheets in the letterbox instead of visiting our office on the fourth floor.

This website contains information about the services and forms of support provided by the Disability Services unit and other services of the City of Espoo and its partners. If you call our helpline or send us an email, we will advise you on your situation. If necessary, we will refer you to other professional services that you may need. If you would like to have your service needs assessed or request other forms of support, please fill in an application form or send us a free-form application. Some services are subject to a fee. The fee will depend on your ability to pay.

Service needs assessment

Your service needs are always assessed individually, in cooperation with you and your support network, if necessary. A Disability Services employee will assess your needs in a meeting that can take place in our office, your home or another suitable location. We will take a look at your background information, ability to function, situation in life, and draw up a plan for your future services.

Espoo’s Disability Services unit aims to provide life-long support. In the case of children with disabilities, we particularly focus on supporting the parents and the rest of the family to cope. As the child grows, the focus shifts to supporting their independence. When the client grows up, we provide versatile support for various aspects of adult life, such as independent living, studies, work and other forms of participation in society. Services for elderly people with disabilities are organised in cooperation with Elderly Services.

The municipality’s basic services are always the primary form of support that will be offered to you. If the municipality’s basic services are not enough to meet your need for support, the municipality may grant you disability services.

A Disability Services social worker can help you assess your situation and determine what services will best meet your needs. A social counsellor can give you advice on everyday matters and service counselling concerning disability services. Social workers also support and guide you in using services and combining them for example in the areas of personal assistance and informal care.

Safe housing

Everyone has the right to a home of their own and to the support they need at home. Furthermore, every person has the right to decide with whom they want to share a home. To enable all this, we offer various kinds of housing, services, forms of support and coaching for independent living for persons with disabilities. In line with the Government resolution on securing individual housing and services for persons with intellectual disabilities and a decision of the Social and Health Services Committee of the City of Espoo, we particularly focus on providing individual housing services.

The housing units of the Disability Services unit of the City of Espoo (in Finnish)

Coaching for independent living

Moving away from home for the first time and other changes in one’s housing arrangements are big steps for anyone. We offer coaching for independent living to help persons with disabilities adapt to such changes. Coaching means that you get to practise everyday situations and learn good practises with a Disability Services employee.

24-hour and supported living

We arrange housing services for persons with disabilities at city-owned housing units and as outsourced services with other service providers in the area. Some units have personnel present throughout the day, while others are only attended by personnel during the daytime. Supported living in your own or a rental apartment is also possible. In this case the city’s housing units will provide you with the support you need. If you live in your own apartment, you will be supported by a supported living team, the housing unit or a contracted service provider.

Service housing in a housing unit

We offer service housing for persons with severe disabilities who need a significant amount of help or constant help because of their disability or illness. The housing unit employees help the residents with matters such as getting around, getting dressed, personal hygiene, personal food management and home cleaning. Service housing can be arranged in a service home or a housing unit.

If a person needs care for reasons other than disability (for example because of old age), this is a question of service housing that falls under the scope of the Social Welfare Act. In case a person needs daily help because of disability, their service housing is provided for in the Act on Disability Services and Assistance.

Service housing at home

Service housing can also be arranged at the client’s home. In this case, you are supported by an informal carer, home care services or a personal assistant, for example. In such a case, the services are free of charge, with the exception of support services (e.g. meal service).

Long-term family care

Family care means an arrangement where a person with disabilities lives in the home of a private family carer as an equal family member. The family carer is responsible for the client’s care and good everyday life. Many family homes house several persons with disabilities. Long-term family care is arranged as an outsourced service.

Apartment modifications and renovations

We may reimburse the necessary and reasonable costs of modifications made to the permanent homes of persons with severe disabilities. This is possible if the person’s disability or illness make it particularly difficult for them to move about or function otherwise. A social worker, an occupational therapist, a domestic services counsellor and a construction professional will assess your need for modifications with you and determine how they should be made. Examples of apartment modifications include widened doorways, slopes and support railings.

Instructions on applying for apartment modifications (in Finnish) (pdf, 172 Kt)

Equipment and devices at home

We may reimburse reasonable costs of devices that are permanently installed in the apartment of a person with severe disabilities, such as lifting devices and alarms. We may also reimburse half of the costs of other necessary equipment that the person needs in their daily life, such as domestic appliances.

To apply for equipment and devices for your home, please fill in the general disability services application form. Please enclose a statement from a health care professional, such as an occupational therapist, as an attachment.

Support for everyday activities

A disability or an illness may make many ordinary things difficult. We are here to offer a helping hand. We also support the family and loved ones who are responsible for ensuring that the daily life of the person with disabilities runs smoothly. We offer them versatile support at home and opportunities to go on leave.

Services at home

Domestic services help persons with disabilities or illnesses with their daily coping at home. These services also support the family members who are in charge of their well-being. Additionally, domestic services help adult persons with disabilities or chronic illnesses to continue living at home even if their ability to function decreases. We may also grant domestic services to the families of children with severe disabilities. This is possible if caring for the child is very demanding or requires ongoing commitment, and the basic services of the municipality do not meet the family’s needs.

Domestic services at home (in Finnish)

Short-term care outside the home

We may support the coping of the family members of a person with disabilities by providing the latter with short-term care in a housing unit or a private family. For children younger than 16, family care is the primary form of care. If the client is an adult, a short-term care period at a housing unit may comprehensively support their housing and life management. We may provide you with counselling, help and activities that for example improve your ability to take care of your daily activities, medication, hygiene, housekeeping, nutrition, health, social relationships and leisure activities. The need for short-term care is assessed by a social welfare professional. Domestic services at your home are the primary form of support we provide.

If we grant you services that are arranged as special care, you will get also free taxi rides to these services.

Informal care

Informal care is an arrangement where an older, disabled or ill person is cared for and supported by a family member or a loved one who has signed an informal care agreement with the municipality. Support for informal care consists of care allowance, informal carers’ leave and other services needed to ensure successful informal care.

Instructions on applying for and using support for informal care (in Finnish)

Opas omaishoitajille 2019 (pdf, 2983 Kt)

Personal assistance

We provide personal assistance for persons with severe disabilities who necessarily and repeatedly need someone to help them in their daily life. This need for help must be caused by factors other than ageing-related illnesses or disabilities. A personal assistant may help with daily tasks, work, studies or hobbies and participation in society.

Instructions on applying for and using personal assistance (in Finnish)
Become a personal assistance service provider (in Finnish)

Support persons

A support person helps a person with disabilities establish social relationships, gain more independence and pursue leisure activities. A support person is not a personal assistant, however. A support person helps with matters such as shopping, running errands or participating in hobbies.

The support person can be someone the disabled person already knows and who signs an agreement with the Disability Services unit. The support person and the person receiving support meet 1−4 times a month, and the Disability Services unit pays a small compensation to the support person.

The Disability Services unit may also arrange a support person for a client as an outsourced service. The client’s needs determine whether the support person needs to be a trained, professional support person.

Instructions for support persons (in Finnish) (pdf, 76 Kt)
Support person report (in Finnish) (pdf, 88 Kt)

Support for adaptation

Communication education

You may get communication education if you need modes of communication that support or replace speech in your daily life. Communication education is a form of adaptation training. You may for example learn sign language or other modes of communication that support or replace speech, or guidance on how to use communication aids. The education can take place as family, group or distance learning. Communication education enables the loved ones of a person with disabilities learn ways to communicate with them. You may also send us an application for a voucher for a course where a certain mode of communication is taught. Communication education does not replace speech therapy or guidance by a speech therapist, or the communication aid assessment that is part of medicinal rehabilitation.

Instructions on applying for communication education (in Finnish)

Neuropsychiatric coaching

Neuropsychiatric coaching is meant for persons with a specific neuropsychiatric impairment. It is a form of everyday support and counselling that particularly helps the client practise executive function. Executive function refers to skills needed to get things done, such as the ability to plan, start, finish and organise things, and manage one’s time. Neuropsychiatric coaching may help you cope with your everyday life, social interaction and life management in general. It may also help you gain more independence, strengthen your self-esteem and a positive self-image, and support your studies, work and free time.

Other services

Adaptation training consists of advice, counselling and training for both the person with disabilities and their immediate community. The goal is to promote the person’s ability to function socially. Adaptation training can take place individually or in groups, and repeatedly if necessary.

If you need to have adaptive clothing made for you because of your disability, we may reimburse you for the price difference between them and ordinary clothes. We may also grant you support for extra costs caused by a special diet or special dietary preparations that you must use regularly for a long time because of your disability.

Services that support mobility

The purpose of transport services is to promote the equality of a person with severe disabilities and their opportunities for active life. Accessible and well-functioning public transport is the primary way to ensure mobility. A Disability Services employee can help you find modes of transport that suit your needs.

HSL’s public transport vehicles

A wheelchair user does not need a ticket on any public transport operated by Helsinki Region Transport (HSL). Your companion can travel for free with you, provided you have a Companion Pass. Instructions on how to apply for the Companion Pass are available on the HSL website.

Blind persons, disabled war veterans and front-veterans who are permanent residents in the HSL area are entitled to free regional Travel Cards provided they meet certain criteria. Further information is available on the HSL website.

Neighbourhood routes

Neighbourhood routes have been designed for persons with physical disabilities in particular. They are run by low-floor minibuses, and the driver helps passengers and their belongings on and off the bus when needed. In Espoo, these buses operate in Tapiola, Leppävaara, Espoonlahti, Kauniainen and Espoon keskus.

Neighbourhood routes and timetables

Transport services

If your disability or illness makes it unreasonably difficult for you to use public transport, you may apply for transport services. If necessary, you may also apply for escort services. You may also apply for the right to use a taxi for persons with disabilities, or with an ordinary taxi.

Instructions on applying for and using transport services (in Finnish)

Transportation services for people with disabilities and elderly people are being reformed step by step in Espoo and other municipalities in Western Uusimaa.

Read more about the transport services in Western Uusimaa.

Group and individual transport

We organise group rides for clients who attend day or work activities. The rides take place between their home and the location of the activities. The rides mainly take place at 7–9 in the morning and at 15–17 in the afternoon. You may be granted taxi transport to short-term care or between your home, school or day activity location if you are unable to use public transport. Group and single-client transport are free of charge.

Transport for a child with disabilities

You may apply for transport service for a child who is old enough to use public transport alone but cannot do so because of their disability or the assistive devices they need. School transport is organised by your child’s school. Transport to day care is organised by the early childhood education unit.

Mobility aids

We may grant you financial support for example to help you purchase a car or an electric mobility scooter. In the case of cars, we primarily grant financial support to persons with severe disabilities who need a car daily. We will also cover the cost of the necessary modifications to the car.

Persons with disabilities may be eligible for a disability tax deduction on the car (further information is available in Finnish on the website of the Finnish Tax Administration).

We recommend that you contact the HUS Assistive Equipment Centre (website in Finnish) to ask about mobility aids.

Operating guidelines on services and support measures provided within the limit of available appropriations, 1 September 2012 onwards (in Finnish, pdf, 40 Kt)

Orientation and mobility instruction

HUS (website in Finnish) is in charge of providing instruction in basic orientation and mobility skills for persons with a visual impairment, covering the necessary routes in their immediate environment. The Disability Services unit may also grant you more extensive orientation and mobility instruction. Additionally, orientation and mobility instruction may for example be granted to persons with brain injury or an intellectual disability to help them learn the routes of their daily routines. To apply for instruction, please fill in the general disability services application form.

Day and work activities and access to employment

The City of Espoo offers day and work activities to persons with intellectual disabilities and severe disabilities. The day and work activities are a versatile set of services that are outsourced to several service providers. The city itself operates two day and work activity locations, namely the Riilahti and Kuninkaantie activity centres. Before you start attending day or work activities, we can offer you a familiarisation or assessment period.

Disability Services’ activity centres in Espoo (in Finnish)

Day activities

Day activities are meant for persons with severe disabilities or intellectual disabilities. Persons with severe disabilities have subjective right to attend it. This service supports rehabilitation, promotes and maintains everyday skills, and offers opportunities for social interaction. Your personal knowledge, skills and experiences are the starting point of this service. Examples of day activities include cooking, physical exercise, discussions, hiking, creative activities and exercises in social skills.

Work activities

Work activities are meant for adults with intellectual disabilities who are able to take care of their daily routines independently. We will find suitable work for you based on your education, work experience, interests and/or traineeship. You will also receive daily support and counselling. You may also complete periods of work experience included in basic education and traineeships included in vocational education as work activities. Work activities are unpaid.

Supported work activities

Supported work activities are an arrangement where a person with intellectual disabilities performs work activities at an ordinary workplace while being a client of Espoo’s Disability Services. A work coach will find a suitable workplace for you, train you for the tasks and monitor your coping at the workplace. Your working hours and tasks will depend on your skills. The workplace will also appoint a support person for you. You will receive incentive pay for every day you perform work activities.

Supported employment

Supported employment means that you will be in an employment relationship but still get the support you need from the city’s Disability Services unit. A work coach will find a suitable workplace for you and train you for the job. Persons in supported employment usually have a traineeship period first, to make sure that the work is suitable for them. After this, they are asked to sign an employment contract. Your work coach will support you and your employee, amongst other things by visiting your workplace regularly.


When a child has a disability

If a child is born with a disability or illness – or if a disability or illness is diagnosed later – the child needs care and support. The rest of the family also needs support to cope with the situation. The City of Espoo may offer domestic services or disability services for your family, depending on your family’s needs.

Early childhood education as special care

Children with disabilities primarily attend early childhood education in an ordinary day care centre. They receive support measures to be able to do so. In some cases, early childhood education may be granted as free-of-charge special care. Please attach a plan of support measures, drawn up by your child’s early childhood education unit, to your application.

Morning, afternoon and holiday care for school children

Morning, afternoon and holiday care is available for children with intellectual disabilities or severe autism while their parents work or study. This care is provided at Espoo-based schools selected for this purpose. First, the Disability Services unit makes a decision on your child’s care. After this, you may contact the Education and Cultural Services sector of the City of Espoo to register your child for morning or afternoon care. You need to register your child for morning and afternoon care once every school year. Similarly, you need to register for holiday care separately for every holiday season.

Instructions on morning, afternoon and holiday care for school children (in Finnish)

Communication education

Communication education is available if a child needs modes of communication that support or replace speech. Communication education means that the loved ones of a person with disabilities also learn ways to communicate with them.

Transport for a child with disabilities

You may apply for transport service for a child who is old enough to use public transport alone but is unable to do so because of their disability or the assistive devices they need. Transport service may also be granted to a child younger than this if using public transport is unreasonably difficult for them, even with the help of an adult. School transport is organised by your child’s school. Transport to day care is organised by the child’s early childhood education unit.

Support for children’s participation outside the home

Sometimes children with disabilities need support from another person for example to have hobbies and to participate in other activities outside the home like other children of the same age. We offer various forms of support that depend on the child’s age, functional ability and need for support. A social worker will help you find the right service.

If the child needs care and supervision, potential forms of support include a child carer appointed to your family as a domestic service or assistance with child care granted as special care. The child care provider is someone who has been trained for the job.

The social relationships of a child with disabilities may also be supported by a support person. A support person may be granted to a person with disabilities to support their independence and development. The support person acts as the client’s friend/companion at home or outside the home, for example at cinemas and theatres and while the client is running their errands.

In some cases, a child may be granted personal assistance for daily activities and mobility outside the home (for example for hobbies and seeing friends). Assistance is available for things which a child of the same age but without disabilities would be able to do independently. The child must be able to tell the assistant when help is needed. This personal assistance does not primarily consist of care and supervision. The assistant is not required to have training for the task.

Young persons with disabilities

Youth is a time when many think about studies after comprehensive school, becoming independent and moving away from the family home. A Disability Services employee can help you chart your options and services that may help you realise your plans. The services you will need will be entered in your individual service plan. Your school will provide you student counselling in the transition to studies after comprehensive school, just like all young persons in your age group.

For some young people, it may also be time to consider transferring from informal care to having a personal assistant. When a young person reaches adulthood, it may also be time to apply for guardianship (further information is available on the Local Register Offices’ website in Finnish).

Morning, afternoon and holiday care

We offer morning, afternoon and holiday care for persons with intellectual disabilities and severe autism. The service is intended for persons who cannot spend time alone at home before or after their studies or during educational institutions’ holiday seasons. Apply for care from the Disability Services unit. After we make a decision on your application, please contact your educational institution to register for care.

Commuting to your educational institution

You may apply to the Disability Services unit for taxi rides to the educational institution that you attend after completing comprehensive school, if you are unable to travel independently using public transport. Please include a medical certificate and a certificate of attendance from your educational institution as attachments to your application. We recommend that you apply for taxi rides immediately upon hearing that you have been granted a place to study.

Coaching for independent living

Moving to live alone for the first time is a big change for anyone. We offer coaching for independent living to help persons with disabilities adapt to such changes. Coaching means that you get to practise everyday situations and learn good practises with a Disability Services employee. During your coaching process, we will chart your need for help and support to ensure that you will receive enough support at home. Coaching for independent living is subject to a fee. It is arranged by the housing units of the City of Espoo (in Finnish).

Application forms of the Disability Services unit (in Finnish)

To apply for an assessment of your service needs or to apply for services and other forms of support, please fill in the general disability services application form or send us a free-form application. Some services have specific application forms that take the characteristic of each service better into account. If you need advice on your situation and on the applications, please call our telephone counselling number (tel. 09 816 45285, Mon–Fri at 9–11 and 12–14) or send us an email (vammaispalvelut@espoo.fi). 

Contact with Disability Services on another person’s behalf

Please note! Right-click to save the file; select ’save link as’. You can then fill in and print out the application. Send the application to vammaispalvelut@espoo.fi

Disability services application form:
Application for disability services (in Finnish, pdf, 129 kB)
Illustrated application for disability services (in Finnish, doc, 388 kB)
An illustrated list of disability services (in Finnish, pdf, 292 kB)

Travel allowance application forms:
Application for allowance for travel to supported living in a practice apartment (In Finnish, pdf, 88 kB)
Application for travel allowance to short-term care (in Finnish, pdf, 84 kB)

Meal allowance application form:
Meal allowance application form for personal assistants who are not members of Heta-Liitto, an association for employers of personal assistants (in Finnish, pdf, 156 Kb) 

Transport services:
Kuljetuspalvelun verkkoasiointi (in Finnish)

Printable forms:
Application for transport services under the Act on Disability Services and Assistance (in Finnish, pdf, 299 kB)
Application for transport services under the Social Welfare Act (in Finnish, doc, 110 Kb) 

Become a service provider:  
Application to register as a service provider (Parasta palvelua)
Report on service voucher use (in Finnish, pdf, 516 kB)
Service provider’s notification of leaving the personal assistance service voucher system (in Finnish, pdf, 528 kB) 

Day and work activities: 
Application to day or work activities (in Finnish, pdf, 530 kB) 

Students’ holiday activities: 
Application for students’ holiday activities (in Finnish, pdf, 106 kB) 

Support for informal care: 
Application for support for informal care (in Finnish, pdf, 542 kB)
Application/revision for support for informal care for children younger than 18 with severe disabilities (in Finnish, pdf, 550 kB) 
Notification of respite care (in Finnish, pdf, 87 kB) 
Online application for support for informal care

Communication education:
Application for communication education (in Finnish, pdf, 138 kB)
Final report on communication education (in Finnish, pdf, 126 kB)
Feedback on communication education (in Finnish, pdf, 237 kB)
Recommendation on communication education (in Finnish, pdf, 110 kB)

Support person report
Support person report (in Finnish, pdf, 86 kB) 

Personal assistance:

Tasks included in pay grade B (pdf, 145 Kt)

Application for financial assistance to cover the costs of employing a personal assistant (in Finnish, pdf, 39 Kb)
Weekly calendar for estimating a person’s need for help (in Finnish, docx, 614 Kb)

When the caretaker is the employer of the personal assistant: 
Guidebook for employers of personal assistants (in Finnish, pdf, 4072 kB)
Notification of a personal assistant’s experience increment (interactive form) (in Finnish, pdf, 149 kB)

Notification of absence (interactive form) (in Finnish, pdf, 135 kB)
How to fill in the notification of absence form (in Finnish, pdf, 75 kB)

Authorisation to the municipality to take care of employer obligations (in Finnish, pdf, 59 kB)

Employment contract, personal assistant (in Finnish, pdf, 93 kB)
How to fill in the employment contract (in Finnish, pdf, 95 kB)

Working hours report, days 1–15 of the month: Personal assistant (interactive form) (in Finnish, pdf, 160 kB) 
Working hours report, days 16–31 of the month: Personal assistant (interactive form) (in Finnish, pdf, 163 kB)
Working hours report, full month: Personal assistant (interactive form) (in Finnish, pdf, 232 kB)
How to fill in the working hours report (in Finnish, pdf, 79 kB)

Shift roster (in Finnish, pdf, 92 kB)

Request of access to personal data stored in personal data registers
Request of access to personal data stored in personal data registers (in Finnish)

Appeal to the Individual Matters Subcommittee of the Social and Health Services Committee of the City of Espoo
Appeal to the Individual Matters Subcommittee (in Finnish)

To fill in, print and save most forms used by the Disability Services unit, please install Adobe Reader on your device.

- Download the Adobe Reader software for free at https://get.adobe.com/fi/reader/
- Download a pdf form to your computer
- Open the form using Adobe Reader
- Fill in the form
- If necessary, save the filled-in form on your computer
- Print the form on paper or send it to us online

If you are unable to open our forms, we recommend that you update Adobe Reader to the newest version. Please also make sure that you are using the latest version of your browser.

If your form contains personal information, the safest option is to send it to us on paper by post. If you send us forms with personal information by email, please ensure that your email is sufficiently protected.

Other information

Service providers accepted by the City of Espoo (in Finnish)

For more information contact our office or social workers in disability services. Phone numbers and addresses can be found under .

Espoo Disability Services on Facebook