The Danish AT provision system
Four basic principlesThe Danish provision system rests on four basic principles:
The principle of compensation means that a disabled person receives, to the broadest extent possible, compensation for the consequences of a disability.
The principle of solidarity makes it everybodys responsibility to ensure that disabled persons can receive the necessary services, i.e. through taxes.
The principle of sector responsibility places the responsibility for the provision of assistive technology on the authority under which the need arises.
The principle of non-discrimination is the result of the UNs standard regulations on equality and the equal treatment of disabled persons. It was ratified by Denmark in 1993.
Regulations on grants for ATThe authority for the provision of assistive technology products for use in everyday life in the home lies primarily with the municipality.
The scope of the Services Act is to provide grants for assistive technology and consumer goods for persons with long-term physical or mentally disabilities when the assistive device:
- is expected to relieve the long-term effects of the disability to a considerable extent
- is expected to facilitate day-to-day home life to a considerable extent, or
- is necessary for the person in question to perform a job.
For consumer goods the municipality covers 50% of the cost of a standard version of the product plus the full cost of any necessary features to compensate the disability. The product is owned by the applicant.
For both assistive technology products and consumer goods it applies that the municipality cannot provide the grant if the applicant has acquired the product before applying to the authorities.
The provision processIn Denmark we have municipal self-government which means that each municipality chooses its own methods for the provision process. However, there are certain steps in the process that to a wide degree are common:
- The initiation of the case, where the need for assistive technology products are brought to the attention of the municipality.
- The gathering of relevant information, where the applicant plays a key role.
- The analysis and assessment based on the gathered information.
- The choosing of the right assistive technology solution.
- The implementation of the solution.
- Follow-up and evaluation.
In the guidelines to the Services Act it is specified that the:
- overall situation of the applicant has to be considered,
- municipality has an obligation to offer advice to the citizen,
- citizen is entitled to apt instruction,
- citizen has to be involved in his/her own case,
- citizen if possible should have the opportunity to try out the assistive product,
- municipality should perform a follow-up on the provision, and
- process especially for persons with mental disabilities may be prolonged.