FAIDD – The Finnish Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (Kehitysvammaliitto) serves as a strong agent and pioneer of change in work towards a Finland where everyone is equal. Our goals can be summed up in a few words: Out of the margins!
We carry out research, offer training, engage in development, communicate, exercise influence and produce materials with the aim of bringing people with disabilities out of the margins so that they can fully participate in the functioning of society and their own communities.
The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities is the cornerstone of all our activities.
- Full citizenship for people with disabilities
- A society where information and services are understandable and accessible
- Equal opportunities for lifelong learning
FAIDD acts in the interest of social inclusion, equality, right of self-determination and freedom of choice for people with intellectual disabilities, people with complex communication needs and people who need easy-to-read language. We actively participate in different networks and committees on disability policies. We promote the rights of people with disabilities in society and highlight the position of the individual in e.g. service processes. We collaborate closely at national and international level with, for example, service producers, NGOs and different ministries concerned with the field.
In addition to updated legislation, we aim to exercise influence especially in four key areas:
- The right of people with multiple disabilities to participate
- The right to have a home
- The right to easy-to-understand language and digital participation
- The right to salaried employment and other meaningful activities
FAIDD’s research activities largely center on social science research on various phenomena connected to disability. The key themes for research are the status and rights of people with disabilities in society, changes in the service system and the welfare system at large.
The research activities are based on multidisciplinary analysis of the significance of mechanisms of social empowerment to people with disabilities and disability policies. Systematic research serves as the backbone for FAIDD’s activities. The research projects explore the status of people with intellectual disabilities and communicative impairments in today’s society and address different themes for development especially from the viewpoints of users and experience.
The research activities take place in close cooperation with disability studies carried out in various organizations and universities. FAIDD brings together persons engaged in disability research by organizing research seminars and publishing two publication series.
- Status and inclusion of people with disabilities
- Service system and society
- Research on disability policies
FAIDD organizes topical training for professionals working with people with intellectual disabilities and communicative impairments on e.g. personalized planning, supporting independence, interaction, easy-to-read language and other current themes in the field.
The training is provided by FAIDD’s own experts and visiting top experts in the field from both Finland and abroad.
The development activities aim to find effective solutions regarding services and support for people with disabilities who would otherwise be at risk of marginalization and exclusion from meaningful participation and citizenship.
We develop new operating models, service forms and products. The development projects are based on latest research data in the field as well as domestic and international experiences.
Our development projects are designed and implemented in cooperation with other actors in the field. Continuous dialogue and assessment conducted together with our partners ensure that the solutions developed in the projects can be applied in practical work.
FAIDD can also serve as a partner in projects carried out by other organizations and produce, for example, assessment services, training and consultation or follow-up and assessment studies for them.
FAIDD’s assessment services help to design and develop services, texts and websites so that they will serve as effectively as possible the needs of people with disabilities or other focus groups.
- We offer support for work communities and employees in organizing and developing services and quality assessment.
- We carry out assessments of the functional capacities and quality of life of persons with intellectual disabilities.
- We offer assessment services to writers of easy-to-read texts.
- We assess the accessibility of easy-to-read websites.
We customize the assessments according to the customer’s wishes and needs. The assessment is always carried out in collaboration with the customer.
One of the key tasks of FAIDD is to produce and disseminate new information on the rights and needs of people with intellectual disabilities and speech impairments to support decision making and influence attitudes. FAIDD’s communications are closely involved in work aiming to influence legislation, the service system and the development of social security and efforts to promote socially responsible operations.
Ketju is a journal for professionals working in the field of disability. It comes out six times a year, with contents that reflect the lives and thoughts of people with intellectual disabilities and people with communicative impairments and those who work with them. Ketju is also published online (ketju-lehti.fi). Both versions are published in Finnish.
FAIDD maintains several web services and social media channels. The contents are mostly published in Finnish.
Easy-to-understand communication and promotion of easy-to-read language
The Finnish Centre for Easy to Read promotes easy-to-understand information, communication and culture in Finland. The center offers guidance and instruction to anyone interested in easy-to-read language.
One of FAIDD’s key goals is to improve the opportunities of people with intellectual disabilities and communicative impairments to participate and be included in the functioning of society and their own communities at every level. We promote accessibility, i.e. information and services offered in an understandable form and the possibilities of people with speech impairments to communicate in their own ways.
Accessible web services
FAIDD aims to create conditions where an increased number of actors are producing accessible, easy-to-read web services. The Papunet team develops guidelines for realizing accessible web services, assesses the accessibility of easy-to-read websites and offers training and consultation on accessibility.
Papunet.net is an accessible website for people who have complex communication needs or use the computer in a different way. The website also offers information and materials for communication and updated information on the rights and possibilities of people with communicative impairments.
Promoting communication and interaction
FAIDD’s Communication and Technology Center Tikoteekki specializes in communication and interaction among people with complex communication needs. Tikoteekki guides, instructs and develops operating models and communication materials that strengthen interaction between people with complex communication needs and their communication partners.
Tikoteekki also provides consultation on ICT solutions for communication and assistive technology. Tikoteekki influences the development of services by participating in national and international networks, so that people with communicative impairments could flexibly gain access to augmentative and alternative communication technologies and their communication partners could receive guidance in their use.
Producing teaching material
FAIDD produces materials for teaching and rehabilitation. The materials can be viewed in the Opike online shop or in the sales exhibition and shop of FAIDD’s headquarters in the Malmi district of Helsinki. Another sales exhibition is operated in Pieksämäki, Eastern Finland.
FAIDD has taken part in several projects that receive EU funding. We are also engaged in numerous international networks. We introduce Finnish expertise abroad and correspondingly invite internationally prominent experts to act as trainers in the training we organize in Finland.
FAIDD, Inclusion Finland FDUV and Inclusion Finland KVTL launched a new development cooperation project in Zanzibar, Tanzania, at the beginning of 2017. It was a pilot of a model for enabling access to vocational education among young people with intellectual disabilities, which up until now has not been available in Zanzibar. The project also aims to raise awareness on the special needs of people with intellectual disabilities and speech impairments and to prevent sexual abuse of girls and women.
Members of FAIDD
The members of FAIDD promote equal rights for people with intellectual disabilities and users of easy-to-read language and opportunities for them to live a good life in our society.
The membership consists of regular members, corporate members and supporting members. FAIDD can also invite as honorary members persons with outstanding achievements in promoting its activities.
The regular members are communities, corporations or foundations that produce and organize services for or otherwise work in the interest of people with intellectual disabilities and others who need special support.
The corporate members are communities, corporations or foundations that endorse FAIDD’s mission and goals. The corporate members don’t have a right of vote in the administration of FAIDD.
The supporting members are private persons who endorse FAIDD’s mission and goals. The supporting members don’t have a right of vote in the administration of FAIDD.
People with intellectual disabilities want to live like everyone else, study, work and form attachments. FAIDD supports them by organizing peer group activities, providing information and training and developing services.