Comprehensive assistance provides a high level of independence
Helsinki is constantly striving to become more accessible for all of its residents. Assistance for people with limitations is available in many forms.
Services for people with disabilities
Services for people with disabilities in Helsinki provide services to people with disabilities in the city. The services also work to overcome disability-related obstacles and maximize people’s quality of life. Assistance from the city is based on the needs of each individual. The objective is to promote the maximum level of independence and comfort possible. In order to provide the best service, city employees prepare a service plan for each individual. The plan is based on a comprehensive evaluation of your needs and personal preferences.
Personal assistance may be provided to those with severe disabilities. In general in such an arrangement, the disabled person acts as the employer of the assistant, with the municipality paying or subsidising the assistant’s salary. Our section on Health services can provide you with health-related information.
Housing services for people with disabilities are available in group homes, housing groups and assisted-living facilities. In addition, service professionals provide support and assistance according to the customer’s needs on a 24-hour basis or at regular intervals. Finland is slowly replacing institutional care facilities with individualized housing service options. This is aimed is to allow people with disabilities to enjoy the highest degree of independence possible.
Helsinki has several special schools for children with disabilities. These are the Toivola School and the Solakallio Special School in the district of Itä-Pakila, the Karviaistie School in Malmi, and the Sophie Mannerheim Special School in the city centre (websites of the schools are in Finnish only). In addition, there are several services that support children with special needs in integrated classrooms.
Activities for people with disabilities
Helsinki also offers many different kinds of activities and events for people with disabilities, including daily activity groups, work programmes, summer camps and courses, and sports and exercise clubs. In addition, Culture Companions and volunteers can help clients to attend art, music and theatre events.
The Support Center for Immigrants with Disabilities Hilma offers information about living in Helsinki, guidance with applications and forms, and peer support to new arrivals with disabilities or chronic illnesses. Services from Hilma are free of charge and available in all languages with the help of interpreters.