Rights of the disabled
By law, the disabled are entitled to general services and assistance. They shall have equal rights and enjoy living standards comparable to other members of society.
Disabled people have the right to education with appropriate support at all stages of education.
They also have the right to guidance and assistance in finding suitable employment.
The Icelandic national organization, „Þroskahjálp “, was established in 1976. The organization‘s objective is to „fight for the rights and promote the interests of people with intellectual disabilities/challenges, as well as other children and adults with disabilities, and to ensure that their rights are fully comparable to those of other citizens“, as stated in the statutes of the organization.
Taxes, discounts and deductions
According to tax legislation, disability pension recipients and other benefit recipients may utilize deductions to reduce their income tax base. Most local authorities have established rules on various types of assistance for people with disabilities. The extent of the support differs between municipalities. Disabled people may, for example, receive a discount on property taxes.
People with disabilities can, among other things, apply for subsidies for the operation of a car, cancellation of vehicle taxes, and fixed fees for home telephones. Disability pension recipients and children with care assessments are among those who pay less for the medicinal products they have to use. The Social Insurance Administration, moreover, contributes towards the dental expenses of people with disabilities.
Disabled people pay lower fares than is generally the case for travel on public buses.
For more details we recommend the following links:
Housing, admission and residency
In Iceland everyone has the right to housing as a basic human right. For people with physical disabilities, there are rights regarding accessibility and services or assistance within the home around the clock. People with disabilities live, as others do, either in their own housing or in rented housing. Other forms of residence may include homes for the elderly, short-term care, sheltered housing, apartments or group homes, apartment complexes and social rental housing.
Applications for short-term care for disabled children/adults and for permanent housing are made to the regional offices for the disabled and to many of the municipal authorities.
Responsibility for the residency and housing issues of the disabled lies with the regional offices for the disabled, the Organisation of the Disabled in Iceland, local authorities and the Social Insurance Administration. Useful information can be found on their website links provided here.
Education and employment
Children with disabilities are entitled to pre and primary school education in the municipality in which they have legal residence. A diagnosis analysis should occur upon or before entrance into school to ensure children receive the appropriate support services. There is a specialized school for primary school aged children with severe disabilities, in the Reykjavik area.
Children with disabilities in secondary schools shall, according to Icelandic law, have access to appropriate specialised assistance. Many secondary schools have specific departments, vocational study programmes, and additional courses specifically designed to suit the needs of children with disabilities.
Fjölmennt adult education center, provides various courses for people with disabilities in addition to providing advice on other studies in collaboration with Mímir continuing education school. The University of Iceland offers a vocational diploma program in development therapy. Enrolment is every other year.
The Organisation of the Disabled in Iceland, together with interest groups, non-governmental associations, and local authorities, provide advice and information relating to the education and employment available to the disabled.
Support for those who need assistance with finding suitable employment in the private sector is provided through the Directorate of Labour.
Rights of children with disabilities
Þroskahjalp The National Association of Intellectual Disabilities has produced informative videos about the rights of children with disabilities with immigrant background. Here below are three versions in English. More videos in additional languages, can be found here and more information about the rights of the disabled in general on the Þroskahjálp website.