After having analyzed the main components of Swedish disability policy, this article explains in detail cash benefits and the various employment assistance schemes. The description indicates a sustained will to improve the lot and the level of participation of the disabled, with particular reference to the most severely handicapped. The policy is ambitious in its objectives and generous as far as cash benefits are concerned, but its results on the ground appear mixed. Reform of personal assistance has considerably improved both the resources of the disabled and their autonomy. The outburst costs have led to tighter targeting on the most severely handicapped. Growing decentralization of social services, which imposes greater burdens on local authorities, could weaken their capacity to ensure uniform service delivery to all disabled persons. Furthermore, remarkable progress in accessibility, compared to other European countries, is still judged inadequate by the Swedes themselves, whether activists of government experts. All in all, Swedish policy appears to be a much envied ideal that is encountering problems of practical implementation.
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