All posts by Sofia Karlsson

5 Questions to: the Swedish Disability Rights Federation

Every month we put the spotlight on one of our members. Today, we are delighted to catch up with the Swedish Disability Rights Federation, who joined EPF in April 2017.

  1. What’s on the top of your agenda?

The Swedish Disability Rights Federation bases its work on the core principles of equality and everybody´s right to self-determination and full participation in society. Our vision is a society for all, defined by solidarity, equality and participation. Our goals follow the UN-convention on the rights for people with disabilities, CRPD.

  1. Why does your organisation exist?

At the beginning of the 1940’s there was a lack of workforce in Sweden. However, unemployment among persons with disabilities was still worryingly high. Our organisation was established to address these issues. Today, the Swedish Disability Rights federation is one of Sweden’s largest NGOs. We are the united voice of over 40 national disability organisations, with 400 000 individual members that represent a wide range of conditions and diagnoses.

  1. What is your biggest achievement as an organisation?

We have 75 years of experience in advocacy work and information sharing. We have been a driving force behind considerable labour market and social changes for persons with disabilities. These are only  a few examples:

  • the closing down of major institutions and specialised schools;
  • the development of grants for persons with disabilities;
  • improved labour market conditions for patients and persons with disabilities;
  • access to housing;
  • access to highly specialised healthcare.
  1. What is for you the key benefit of your organisation’s involvement in EPF?

 We believe we can benefit from EPF’s long experience in impacting and advocating for patient-centred policy at the European level. Many domestic issues/matters related to patient empowerment share a common European dimension. We also believe that through EPF, we can benefit from exchanging best practices with other patient organisations at European and national levels.

  1. What are the main challenges you meet?

One of the challenges we face most often is that people with disabilities or chronic diseases are expected to be passive recipients of treatments or measures that affect them. We work for the right to participate actively in your own care, treatment and in planning your own life.

For further information, please go to the website: