Is personal assistance available in your country?

Explanation

Personal Assistance is a tool which allows for Independent Living. Personal Assistance is purchased through earmarked cash allocations for disabled people, the purpose of which is to pay for any assistance needed. Personal Assistance should be provided on the basis of an individual needs assessment and depending on the life situation of each individual. (Accordingly to ENIL’s definition of Personal Assistance)

In detail

Summary

Results show that countries are half way in providing full and sufficient personal assistance helping people with disabilities to live independently (45.2 %). Only 7.5% of respondents confirmed that personal assistant is available and sufficient for all people with disabilities to ensure independent living in the community. The main barriers highlighted by respondents were:

  • Dependency on the financial capability of PWDs to pay for personal assistance: often, personal assistance allowances are not sufficient for care services or material and is not always covered by insurance
  • PWDs have to go through qualification processes for receiving personal assistance, which depends on a strict assessment of people’s needs and is only available for certain types of disability
  • The right to personal assistance is often dependent on public funding opportunities and limited
Comments

A quarter of families of children with an intellectual disability report financial difficulties in meeting household and disability-related expenses. 37% of parents report that the services they lack are not available locally. (2010 CACL National Report Card)” (Tara Brinston, Canadian Association for Community Living, Canada)

“The normative references governing the provision of indirect support services are law 162/98 and art. 14 of law 328/00 on the individualized plan (largely unrealized). It is important to note that these laws, both prior to the adoption of the CRPD, do not fully reflect the interpretation of independent living given by the CRPD. The projects that can be implemented are in fact self-managed or indirect assistance projects but they are always bound to available funds, it is therefore not an acquired right. The financial support of these projects is constantly put at risk because the funds made available are not specifically dedicated to independent living and can be absorbed by public or private structures, mainly for the elderly.” (Maria Vincenza Ferrarese, Disable People’s International, President, DPI, Italy)

CRPD Article

Article 19: Living Independently and being included in the community

“States Parties to the present Convention recognize the equal right of all persons with disabilities to live in the community, with choices equal to others, and shall take effective and appropriate measures to facilitate full enjoyment by persons with disabilities of this right and their full inclusion and participation in the community, including by ensuring that:

a) Persons with disabilities have the opportunity to choose their place of residence and where and with whom they live on an equal basis with others and are not obliged to live in a particular living arrangement;

b) Persons with disabilities have access to a range of in-home, residential and other community support services, including personal assistance necessary to support living and inclusion in the community, and to prevent isolation or segregation from the community;

c) Community services and facilities for the general population are available on an equal basis to persons with disabilities and are responsive to their needs.”

(UN Convention on the Rights for Persons with Disabilities)