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Portugal – Disability

Portugal is a country in southwestern Europe with a population of approximately 10.3 million people. The country has made significant progress in recent years towards improving the lives of people with disabilities. In this article, we will explore the common attitudes towards disability in Portugal, discrimination and legislation issues, the state of public transport and building access, and any lobbying/advocacy groups for the disabled in Portugal.

Common attitudes to disability in Portugal

The common attitudes towards disability in Portugal have changed significantly in recent years. While there are still negative attitudes, there is more recognition of the need to promote inclusivity and respect for individuals with disabilities. The country has a growing number of organizations dedicated to supporting people with disabilities.

Discrimination and legislation issues

Portugal has legislation in place to protect the rights of people with disabilities. The Portuguese Constitution recognizes the right of people with disabilities to live independently and participate fully in all aspects of society. The country has also ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

However, discrimination against people with disabilities still occurs in Portugal. A study conducted in 2018 found that more than half of people with disabilities in Portugal felt that they had been discriminated against at some point. The most common forms of discrimination included being treated differently in public places and being excluded from social activities.

Public transport and building access

Public transport in Portugal is generally accessible for people with disabilities. Buses in major cities, for example, are equipped with wheelchair ramps and designated spaces for wheelchair users. Trains also have wheelchair-accessible compartments and staff who are trained to assist people with disabilities.

Building access, on the other hand, can be more challenging. While new buildings are required to be accessible, older buildings may not have been retrofitted to accommodate people with disabilities. This can make it difficult for people with disabilities to access certain facilities or participate in certain activities.


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Advocacy groups

There are several organizations in Portugal that work to promote the rights and welfare of people with disabilities. Some of these organizations include:

  • Associação Portuguesa de Deficientes (Portuguese Association of People with Disabilities) – This organization works to promote the rights of people with disabilities in Portugal. They provide a range of services, including legal support and advocacy.

  • Associação Salvador – This organization is focused on promoting the inclusion of people with disabilities in society. They provide a range of services, including accessible housing and education programs.

  • APD – Associação Portuguesa de Pais e Amigos do Cidadão com Deficiência Mental (Portuguese Association of Parents and Friends of the Mentally Disabled Citizen) – This organization works to promote the rights of people with intellectual disabilities in Portugal. They provide a range of services, including advocacy and support groups.

  • Associação dos Cegos e Amblíopes de Portugal (Portuguese Association of the Blind and Visually Impaired) – This organization provides services and support to people with visual impairments in Portugal. They work to promote the inclusion of people with visual impairments in society.

Portugal has made significant progress in recent years towards improving the lives of people with disabilities. While there is still work to be done, the country has legislation in place to protect the rights of people with disabilities and a growing number of organizations dedicated to promoting inclusivity and respect for individuals with disabilities. Public transport in major cities is generally accessible, but building access can still be a challenge for people with disabilities. With continued efforts from advocacy groups and the government, Portugal can become an even more inclusive and accessible country for people with disabilities.


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