NSIOS

The National Council of Disability Organizations of Slovenia is a non-governmental organization that voluntarily unites representative and other disability organizations operating at the state level in the Republic of Slovenia. NSIOS was established in accordance with the provisions of the Disability Organizations Act and represents the interests of over 180,000 Slovenian disabled people.

The disability organizations involved represent 98.5% of all organized Slovenian disabled people and work in more than 220 local associations throughout Slovenia. NSIOS is also a full member of the European Disability Forum (EDF). This means that we summarize all modern European disability policies, and at the same time provide specific Slovenian disability interests and current content for the creation of new systemic solutions, which by their nature are specific and mandatory for our country.

legislation

The National Council coordinates the interests of all disabled people in the country, taking into account the autonomy of each disability organization, and represents them in dialogue between disability organizations and in dialogue with professional associations, state bodies, public institutions and other publics. In accordance with the regulations, the NSIOS proposes joint representatives of people with disabilities to bodies of state and other public institutions and bodies of international organizations and associations, and performs other jointly agreed activities. NSIOS is actively involved in the preparation of new sectoral legislation, as well as in changes to existing regulations that have a significant impact on the lives of people with disabilities.

Education

Education is crucial for individual development, for opportunities for participation in society, for entering the labor market and for the development of personal potential, so it is essential that education is an equal right of all. Children and adults with disabilities must have equal access to education, the possibility of education under a special or regular program, in an inclusive environment, and the opportunity to choose between decisions about the educational needs and desires of the individual and his or her family.

 

The state must ensure that the bodies responsible for general education are also responsible for the education of people with disabilities in integrated environments, which means that it is necessary to provide information and other professional services that are adequately accessible and professional in meeting the needs of people with disabilities. The involvement of parents and disability organizations in the educational process is essential.

 

The state must have a clearly defined policy regarding the provision of conditions for the education of people with disabilities, where curricula are flexible and adaptable to complement each other, and teachers and assistants have the possibility of continuous training and access to quality didactic and other necessary materials. Article 57 of the Slovenian Constitution stipulates that education and schooling are free, and that the state provides opportunities for citizens to obtain an appropriate education.

HUMAN RIGHTS

The European Union is founded on the principles of liberty, democracy, respect for human rights, freedoms and the rule of law. The principle of equality and non-discrimination is therefore one of the main foundations of the protection of human rights in Europe. This is also the case in Slovenia, which already stipulates in its Constitution in Article 14 that everyone is guaranteed equal human rights and fundamental freedoms, regardless of nationality, race, gender, language, religion, political or other belief, financial status, birth. , education, social status, disability or any other personal circumstance.

 

Nevertheless, there are cases of discrimination, from more visible forms (accessibility, employment) to more hidden ones (physical, psychological and social barriers), which can lead to social exclusion of people with disabilities. NSIOS therefore works in the field of education and awareness of all Slovenian disabled people, in terms of awareness of inalienable human rights and citizens’ rights to equal opportunities, which is written in internationally and legally binding documents, the Slovenian Constitution and other sectoral legislation.

religion

People with disabilities must have the opportunity to participate equally in religious life. In Slovenia, the choice of religion is a free and individual decision of any person, therefore also a disabled.

INCLUSION

People with disabilities also have their own creative, artistic and intellectual potentials that they would like to exploit. Involvement in cultural and other activities is necessary, not only for their own benefit, but also for the enrichment of their community. NSIOS, together with its members, strives to enable people with disabilities to participate and be involved in cultural and other fields, in activities such as dance, music, theater, painting and sculpture, cultural events,…

EMPLOYMENT

People with disabilities want equal treatment in employment. In fact, people with disabilities face twice as high unemployment as non-disabled people. They are also more exposed to unemployment over the long term and, in addition, face a higher risk of losing their existing job. Currently, more than two thirds of people with disabilities are completely excluded from the labor market. Most of these are forced to live on state support, making their incomes significantly lower than others. The income of people with disabilities is also lower than that of non-disabled people. Employment of people with disabilities is a key EU issue.

 

Like other citizens, people with disabilities must be treated equally when applying for or retaining a job. In addition, they must have the right to equal pay and the right to equal professional status and qualifications. Employers should be prepared to adapt the workplace to the needs of the disabled. NSIOS and its members strive for equal opportunities for people with disabilities to work productively and profitably in the labor market.

 

Target areas for more equal participation of persons with disabilities in this field are: the promotion of laws and regulations, which must not restrict or impose obstacles to the employment of persons with disabilities; active state support in the integration of people with disabilities into regular employment (active support means various measures such as vocational training, quota system based on incentives, employment-oriented, loans or grants to companies, granting technical and financial assistance to companies that employ people with disabilities …); raising public awareness to overcome negative attitudes and prejudices about disabled people and disabled workers and thus encouraging companies to adapt facilities that are also accessible to disabled workers. In Slovenia, we also have two successful forms of employment under special conditions: DISABILITY COMPANIES and PROTECTIVE WORK CENTERS.

RECREATION

Sport and recreation also mean a shift to the disabled towards a positive self-image of the individual, his greater self-confidence and improved contact with the environment. Both forms directly affect the maintenance and improvement of health, increase competitiveness and self-criticism, and affect the psychophysical condition of the individual. It is important to ensure that people with disabilities have access to recreational and sports facilities, beaches, stadiums and gyms.

AVAILABILITY

Disabled people, like other citizens, must have free, independent and safe access, accompanied by a guide dog for the blind or a companion dog for the disabled, to all public buildings and public areas such as parks, playgrounds, restaurants, cafés, theaters, shopping malls, museums or any part of the built environment, such as sidewalks, roads and pedestrian crossings. Like other citizens, people with disabilities have the right to travel freely and independently by bus, train, plane or boat to selected destinations.

sport

Sport and recreation also mean a shift to the disabled towards a positive self-image of the individual, his greater self-confidence and improved contact with the environment. Both forms directly affect the maintenance and improvement of health, increase competitiveness and self-criticism, and affect the psychophysical condition of the individual. It is important to ensure that people with disabilities have access to recreational and sports facilities, beaches, stadiums and gyms.

EU disability card

It represents an improvement in the accessibility of goods and services for people with disabilities with the European Benefit Card. The project will contribute to greater social inclusion of people with various forms of disability, with benefits will help reduce the risk of poverty of people with disabilities. The project activities will encourage active and equal inclusion of people with disabilities in society by professionally verifying and enabling the physical and digital accessibility of providers of benefits and by raising their awareness and education about this. The project builds on the pilot project EU Card of Benefits for the Disabled implemented in 2016 and 2017, implemented in partnership by the Ministry of Labor, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities, the Ministry of Public Administration and the National Council of Disability Organizations of Slovenia.

About the project

The project will include seminars to raise awareness and educate providers of benefits about physical and online accessibility, the needs and user habits of people with disabilities, what and how they can contribute to greater accessibility of their range of services, products and activities – physical and online or digital. In this way, they will be able to get closer to the still untapped market of consumers with various disabilities. This will greatly contribute to greater social inclusion of disabled people – cardholders and also attract potential holders.

 

On the other hand, it is a great challenge to attract and encourage people with disabilities to use the card, as many of them have bad experiences with social inclusion projects, which rarely bring sustainable results that they would notice in their daily lives. Therefore, it will be necessary to strengthen the trust of users through targeted intensive awareness-raising and information, which will take place through the network of NSIOS members.

 

At the same time, we will strengthen trust through seminars for cardholders and potential cardholders – they will be informed about the method of use, individual providers and the options offered by the card, and will be informed that they are also the ones who need to warn the providers of the unavailability of their services, products or facilities – therefore, they will be informed that as benefit card holders they can assess the offer and availability of any provider and submit their assessment in the dedicated section of the EU Benefit Card website and inform the provider and the community of other cardholders. As part of the project, the project partner, the Urban Institute of the Republic of Slovenia, will carry out expert assessments of the accessibility of facilities of providers of benefits in the field. They will do this with field colleagues – people with various disabilities and experts in the field of urbanism and architecture. These will list the inaccessible and accessible elements in the provider’s facility, and information on this will be published on the website of each provider. In this way, cardholders will be able to check the status and availability of an individual benefit provider in advance and decide on this basis whether they will use the benefits or its services as consumers.

 

The project is coherent and implemented within the Operational Program for the Implementation of European Cohesion Policy in the period 2014-2020, priority axis 9: “Social inclusion and poverty reduction”, 9.1 priority investments: “Active inclusion, including the promotion of equal opportunities and active participation, and increasing employability “, 9.1.3 of the specific objective:” Prevention of slipping into poverty or social exclusion and reducing health inequalities “. The project is also in line with European directives: the Access to Goods and Services Directive and regulations, and the European Disability Rights Strategy 2021-2030, which explicitly mentions the EU Disability Benefits Card and the importance of mutual recognition of benefits for target groups.

 

The purpose of the project: through an integrated approach and systematic activities to increase the social inclusion of target groups of people with disabilities through greater accessibility and accessibility of products and services. Project value: a maximum of EUR 399,628.32 (in words: three hundred and ninety-nine thousand six hundred and twenty-eight euros and thirty-two cents) to co-finance the total eligible costs of the operation under the contract.

 

Project goals:

  • upgrade and establish a properly accessible website and mobile application of the EU Disability Benefit Card in accordance with the recommendations of WCAG 2.1, at least at the AA compliance level;
  • increase the number of benefit providers and increase the number of holders of the EU Disability Benefit Card;
  • expert analysis of the physical accessibility of facilities of benefit providers, which represents a substantive upgrade of the pilot project, as these activities have not yet been implemented.

The project “Improving the accessibility of goods and services for people with disabilities with the European Benefit Card” is co-financed by the Republic of Slovenia, the Ministry of Labor, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities and the European Union, European Social Fund. Project timetable: 1.7.2021 to 31.12.2022.