Update: 04.03.2015

The Federal Act on Equal Rights for People with Disabilities turns 5

Equal rights for people with disabilities have advanced on several fronts in the past five years. Both representatives of the federal administration and of organizations active in the support to people with disabilities agreed on that when they presented their 5 years report on 3 December 2009.

Change of perspective needed

Based on Article 8 of the Federal Constitution, the Federal Act on the Elimination of Discrimination against People with Disabilities (EPDA) was developed and entered into force on 1 January 2004, setting the framework conditions for better integration of disabled persons in society. Forbidding inequalities and giving a better juridical protection, the new legal framework also started to give a change of perspective: disability is a form of deficit of social structures. Impact analysis however shows that more is to be done: too often, authorities or private entreprises simply ignore the rights of people with disabilities. Cantonal laws are needed, and mentally disabled people often do not benefit of their equal rights.

Essential demands

The report of the support organizations, the umbrella group DOK, the Equality Council and the Centre Equality Disability show that the implementation of the existing law can be improved, extended or adapted. Fields of concerns are construction, transport, school and further training, work or state services. The organizations also demand raising awareness campaigns and the strengthening of financial, specialized, personnel related  resources as well as infrastructures.

Documentation

  • Press releases and reports (in pdf) by the Federal Administration and by the support organizations, the umbrella group DOK, the Equality Council and the Centre Equality Disability are available only in German and French.
    See corresponding articles for the links.
  • Disabled still face barriers in Switzerland
    swissinfo, 3 December 2009 
  • Equality and integration of people with disabilities
    On the Swiss Portal ch.ch

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