Accessibility and usability of commercial services for disabled people in poland and in the eu and efta countries


  • Mirosław Grewiński
  • Karolina Geletta


persons with disabilities, EU countries, rehabilitation, commercial services


The purpose of this report is to identify the best solutions to Europe’s accessibility and usability of commercial services for people with disabilities in the European Union and EFTA. In conjunction with the previous report – “The impact of the community of people with disabilities on the socio-economic position in selected countries of the EU and EEA accessibility and usability of public services in the areas of education, employment and counseling, various forms of health care and rehabilitation” - provides a comprehensive look at solutions for the delivery of services to disabled people in the EU / EFTA countries. In the writing section on commercial services, much less widespread in the EU in relation to public services, the authors tried to choose the solutions belong to the domain. “Best practices” that are worth considering the possible implementation in Poland. Commercial services have significantly less widespread in the EU in relation to public services in the writing section, so the authors tried to choose the solutions belong to the domain: “Best practices” that are worth considering for the possible implementation in Poland. Commercial service market is the most developed in countries of Weber’s “Protestant ethic”; commercial services are still only residually in many EU countries, this is often due to historical reasons, and attachment to this, but not to other model of the welfare state.
The first part of the report presents the solutions for the commercial housing services and related supporting services such as health and respite care. As the most interesting commercial solutions on the EU market the authors found the Dutch housing clusters which are a model example of the use of architecture to the needs of people with disabilities. An important fact is their wide dissemination. More than 1300 houses covers practically all of the Netherlands. As a second example of commercial housing services is shown in the UK, along with a model “supported living” where service innovation is separated from the residential care services, in order to promote the ideal independent life for the disabled people.
In the second part of the report the authors present situation regarding the care and rehabilitation services, and other support services. The most interesting current trend in Western Europe seems to be the idea of “direct deposit” and “personal budgets”. The authors present three completely different models of personal budgets used in the UK, Germany and the Netherlands. It shows the breakthrough of the solution for the development of a commercial market for disabled people, where, for example, in the UK, it can not spend its budget for the purchase of services other than commercial. In the case of Germany and the Netherlands there is also the professionalization and pulled out of the “gray zone” of care of family members, neighbors and friends. This is also impacts on the overcoming discrimination against women in the labor market caring, and their work in the care of family members can be rewarded.
In the third part of the report the authors present a solution for the mobility of persons with disabilities and commercial services in the field of transport. The best practice is an example of the UK, which occupies a prominent place in the EU for the provision of commercial services for disabled people in the mobility and transport. These are initiatives such as transport cards and vouchers for disabled people, and 100 % adjustment of the commercial fleet for transporting disabled people. The second example is indicated in the statement of Ireland, where the challenge is in the continuous adaptation and availability of commercial services in the field of mobility, however, there are good practices, such as Vantastic network operated by a local NGO and providing effective and affordable transportation for the residents of Dublin.
In the fourth part, the authors briefly present the current state of legislation across the board in terms of electronic availability of television, Internet and other ICT-based services in all EU member states. It also identifies weaknesses in fastest-growing high-tech and mobile phone industry.
In conclusion, the authors provided the recommendations arising from the report, together with recommendations for the implementation of commercial services market in Poland. Particular attention was devoted to the innovative tool like personal budgets and direction of change in the approach to services, in which commercial services can be more efficient and more competitive than those provided by public entities.