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Personal matters

Rights of people with disabilities

By law, disabled people 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.

Rights of people with intellectual disabilities

Þroskahjálp is the national organisation for people with intellectual disabilities. Their aim is to promote the rights and interests of people with intellectual disabilities or impairments, as well as other children and adults with disabilities. Their role is to ensure that their rights are fully comparable to those of other citizens.

Þroskahjálp, The National Association of Intellectual Disabilities, has produced informative videos about the rights of children with disabilities with immigrant background.

More videos on people with intellectual disabilities in various languages available here.

Equality for people with physical disabilities

Sjálfsbjörg is the Icelandic federation of physically disabled people. The goal of the federation is to fight for full equality for physically disabled people in Iceland and to inform the public about their circumstances.

The Centre for Aid Equipment at the Social Insurance Administration is responsible for issuing aid equipment to the disabled and providing consulting support. The approval of the Social Insurance Administration is required for contributions towards the cost of purchasing aid equipment.

Individuals aged 18-67 who have significant additional costs due to their disability, for example for medicine, medical care or assistive devices may qualify for a disability grant.

Support for people with disabilities

Recipients of disability pension and other benefits may be entitled to tax deductions. Most municipalities offer support for people with disabilities, which may differ between municipalities. Disabled people may qualify for a discount on property taxes and lower fare on public transport.

Parents and service providers for disabled children borrow specialised development toys from toy collections maintained by the regional offices. The offices also provide various other services and parenting advice.

Disabled children and their families can be assigned a support family, which the child can stay with for two to three days a month.

Summer camps for disabled children are available in some locations in Iceland and may be run by local authorities, non-profit organizations, or by the private sector.

The disabled can apply for a parking card that allows them use parking spaces reserved for people with disabilities. Applications for such cards are processed by Chiefs of Police and District Commissioners.

Some of the larger municipalities operate travel services for the disabled. Rules on the number of trips and the charges, if any, for the service differ between municipalities.

Find out more:

More information on support for disabled people

Information on disability benefits

Information on taxes discounts and deductions

OBI – The Icelandic Disability Alliance

Housing for disabled people

In Iceland, everyone has the right to housing as a basic human right. People with physical disabilities may qualify for assistance within their own home. 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.

Apply for short-term care for disabled children/adults and for permanent housing at the regional offices for the disabled or to your municipality.

The regional offices for the disabled, the Organisation of the Disabled in Iceland, local authorities and the Social Insurance Administration are responsible for residency and housing matters for disabled people.

Education and employment for people with disabilities

Children with disabilities are entitled to preschool and primary school education in the municipality of their legal domicile. A diagnostic analysis should occur upon or before entrance into school to ensure children receive the appropriate support services. There is a specialised school for primary school aged children with severe disabilities in Reykjavík.

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 Centre provides various courses for people with disabilities. They also provide advice on other studies in collaboration with Mímir School of Continuing Studies. The University of Iceland offers a vocational diploma program in development therapy.

The Organisation of the Disabled in Iceland, together with interest groups, non-governmental associations, and local authorities, provide advice and information related to the education and employment available for those who are disabled.

The Directorate of Labour provides support for those who need assistance with finding suitable employment in the private sector.