From 5 – 9 September, the European Network on Independent Living – ENIL organised a study visit on deinstitutionalisation in Stockholm, Sweden. The aim of the study visit was to present the steps Sweden took to close its institutions for disabled people – a process which ended 16 years ago, on 1 January 2000. The key messages of the study visit were captured on camera, in a short film launched by ENIL today.
Deinstitutionalisation is often referred to as a ‘complex’ process. ENIL’s objective with this study visit was to break it down into steps and to speak to those involved in the reforms. The Act Concerning Support and Services for Persons with Certain Functional Impairments (so-called LSS) played a key part in the process. It came into effect at the beginning of 1994, with different measures including the legal right to personal assistance. This legislation, among other, helped close long-stay residential institutions and enabled people to live in their own apartments or small homes housing 5 – 6 persons.
The study visit took place over four days and consisted of visits to various national and local government authorities, as well as to the technical equipment company Sodexo, STIL – a Cooperative for Personal Assistance, Bosse – a Support Center for Disabled People and a private apartment that had been adapted by the city of Stockholm. Participants came from Bulgaria, Spain, Lithuania, Germany and Sweden, and included disability activists, NGO representatives, the Lukovit municipality in Bulgaria and New Bulgarian University.
The event was organised by ENIL, in cooperation with the Centre for Independent Living Sofia and STIL, and was co-funded by the European Commission. Patrick Doodt of Doodt Films recorded the sessions and has produced two films to raise awareness about deinstitutionalistion. ENIL thanks him, as well as all partners and participants, for making this event a success.
If you are interested in attending a study visit on deinstitutionalisation in the future, please contact Jamie Bolling (firstname.lastname@example.org).