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Services for people with disabilities

A woman and a wheelchair with a woman accompanying her on a Helsinki bridge.

There are many services for people with disabilities in Helsinki, beyond primary health care. Helsinki is constantly striving to become more accessible for all of its residents, and assistance for people with limitations is available in many forms.

Services

Disability services in Helsinki provide services to people with disabilities in Helsinki, working to overcome disability-related obstacles and maximize people’s quality of life. Assistance is based on the needs of each individual, with the objective of promoting the maximum level of independence and comfort possible. In order to provide the best service possible, a service plan is prepared for each individual based on a comprehensive evaluation of needs and personal preferences. 

Personal assistance may be provided to those with severe disabilities. In such an arrangement, the disabled person acts as the employer of the assistant, with the municipality paying or subsidising the assistant’s salary. 

Housing

Housing services for people with disabilities are available in group homes, housing groups and assisted-living facilities. Support and assistance are organized according to the customer’s needs on a 24-hour basis or at regular intervals. In Finland, institutional care is being slowly replaced with individualized housing service options, allowing people to enjoy the highest degree of independence possible.

Schools

Helsinki has several special schools for children with disabilities, in addition to services that support children with special needs in integrated classrooms. Examples include the Toivola School and the Solakallio Special School in the north-central district of Itä-Pakila, the Karviaistie School in northeast Malmi, and the Sophie Mannerheim Special School in the city centre.

Events and groups

Helsinki also offers many different events and groups for people with disabilities, including daily activity groups, work programmes, summer camps and courses, and sports and exercise clubs. Culture Companions and volunteers 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. Interpreters are used when necessary.

Have questions about accessibility in Helsinki?

MyHelsinki has collected information on accessibility in Finland’s capital city.