If forms of residential care exist in your country, is the number of persons with disabilities living in institutional care decreasing due to the increased availability of quality services in the community supported and funded by the state?
25% responded negatively while 15% responded positively. However 37% chose the Non Applicable option due to the unavailability or reliability of statistics on the trend. Respondents mentioned a few reasons explaining either a stagnant number or increase of PWDs in institutions:
- Budget cuts and the lack of state capacity to provide services to the community, hinders the ability of PWDs to opt for community alternatives
- Private assistance services at PWDs’ residences are often a solution but can cost more than a residential care institution. Government or private insurance may not always fund personal care assistance so many PWDs, especially people with psychosocial disabilities end up being institutionalised. Often, services in the community are more and more limited to basic activities such as cleaning.
- Waiting lists for alternatives to institutions: there are limited places in institutions
“In Flanders the PAB (personal assistance budget) offers a better alternative for institutional care, but due to waiting lists there is no free choice” (Peter LAMBREGHTS, policy officer and regional coordinator, Onafhankelijk Leven vzw / ENIL, Belgium)
“Deinstitutionalisation is prepared but a disability reform actually works against it because if people are not active enough, they may lose funding/allowance they used to use for services state did not provide.” (Sven Kõllamets, specialist, Tallinn University of Technology, Estonia)
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)