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Spain – Disability

Spain is a country located in the southwestern part of Europe, known for its rich culture, history, and traditions. When it comes to disability, the Spanish government has taken significant steps to promote equal rights and inclusion for people with disabilities. In this article, we will explore the common attitudes towards disability in Spain, the discrimination and legislation issues faced by people with disabilities, the accessibility of public transport and buildings, and the advocacy groups supporting people with disabilities in Spain.

Attitudes Towards Disability in Spain

The attitudes towards people with disabilities in Spain have been changing over the years, from a focus on charity and medical models to social models that emphasize equal rights, accessibility, and inclusion. In the past, people with disabilities were often hidden away in institutions or their homes, but the disability movement in Spain has helped to bring them into the mainstream.

According to a survey conducted by the Spanish Committee of Representatives of Persons with Disabilities, 80% of people with disabilities believe that society does not accept them as equals. This is reflected in the lack of access to education, employment, and public spaces. However, the same survey found that the majority of the general population is supportive of the inclusion of people with disabilities in society.

Discrimination and legislation issues

The Spanish Constitution recognizes the rights of people with disabilities and prohibits discrimination on the grounds of disability. In 1982, Spain enacted a comprehensive disability law that aimed to promote the integration of people with disabilities into society. This law was updated in 2013 to bring it in line with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

Despite these legal protections, people with disabilities in Spain still face discrimination in many areas of life, such as employment, education, and housing. In addition, the unemployment rate for people with disabilities is much higher than that of the general population. Many buildings and public spaces in Spain are also inaccessible, making it difficult for people with disabilities to participate fully in society.

Accessibility of public transport and buildings

The Spanish government has made significant efforts to improve the accessibility of public transport and buildings. Most buses and trains in Spain are equipped with wheelchair ramps, and many metro stations have elevators. In addition, new buildings and major renovations are required to comply with accessibility regulations.


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However, many older buildings and public spaces are still inaccessible, and the lack of enforcement of accessibility regulations is a common issue. The Spanish Disability Rights Coalition has called for stricter enforcement of accessibility regulations to ensure that people with disabilities have full access to public spaces.

Advocacy groups for people with disabilities in Spain

There are several advocacy groups in Spain that support people with disabilities and work to promote their inclusion in society. Some of these organizations include:

  • CERMI (Spanish Committee of Representatives of Persons with Disabilities)
  • Down Spain (National Confederation of Down Syndrome Organizations in Spain)
  • ONCE (Spanish National Organization of the Blind)

These organizations provide a range of services, including advocacy, information, and support for people with disabilities and their families. They also work to promote awareness of disability issues and to influence policy and legislation related to disability.

In conclusion, Spain has made significant progress in promoting the inclusion of people with disabilities in society, but there is still much work to be done. Discrimination and accessibility issues continue to be major challenges, but advocacy groups are working to address these issues and promote equal rights for people with disabilities. With continued efforts and commitment, Spain can become a more inclusive society for all its citizens.


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