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Netherlands – Disability

The Netherlands is often considered a progressive country when it comes to disability rights and inclusion. However, like any country, there is still room for improvement. This article will explore the common attitudes towards disability in the Netherlands, the discrimination and legislation issues surrounding disability, public transport and building access for the disabled, and any lobbying or advocacy groups for the disabled.

Attitudes towards Disability

Generally, the Dutch have a positive attitude towards disability and actively work towards creating an inclusive society. There is a strong belief in equal opportunities and accessibility for all individuals, including those with disabilities. However, as with any society, there are still some negative attitudes towards disability.

One common issue that people with disabilities face is the idea of pity. Some individuals may see people with disabilities as objects of pity, which can be dehumanizing and condescending. Additionally, there is a belief that people with disabilities are not capable of working or contributing to society. This idea can lead to discrimination in the workforce and can limit opportunities for people with disabilities.

Discrimination and Legislation Issues

Discrimination against people with disabilities in the Netherlands is prohibited by law. The Dutch Equal Treatment Act (Wet gelijke behandeling op grond van handicap of chronische ziekte) prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in employment, education, housing, and other areas of life.

However, despite these legal protections, discrimination against people with disabilities still occurs. Many people with disabilities face barriers in the workforce, and are often excluded from certain jobs. Additionally, access to public transportation and buildings can be limited, which can create barriers to education, work, and social activities.

Public Transport and Building Access

The Dutch government has made significant efforts to make public transportation and buildings accessible to people with disabilities. All public transportation systems, including buses, trains, and trams, are required to be accessible to people with disabilities.

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In addition, all new buildings in the Netherlands are required to be accessible to people with disabilities. This includes wheelchair ramps, elevators, and other features that make buildings accessible. However, there are still many older buildings that are not fully accessible.

Advocacy and Lobbying Groups

There are several advocacy and lobbying groups in the Netherlands that work towards improving the lives of people with disabilities. These groups provide support, advocacy, and resources for people with disabilities and their families. Some of the notable groups include:

  • Ieder(in): Ieder(in) is a national organization that advocates for the rights of people with disabilities. They work on issues such as accessibility, independent living, and inclusion in society. Their website is iederin.nl.
  • Dovenschap: Dovenschap is an organization that works specifically with the deaf and hard of hearing community in the Netherlands. They provide advocacy, resources, and support for this community. Their website is dovenschap.nl.
  • MEE: MEE is an organization that provides support and resources for people with disabilities and their families. They provide services such as counseling, advocacy, and education. Their website is mee.nl.

Overall, the Netherlands has made significant progress towards creating an inclusive society for people with disabilities. However, there is still work to be done to ensure that all individuals have equal opportunities and access to resources. Through continued advocacy and awareness, the Netherlands can continue to improve the lives of people with disabilities and create a more inclusive society.