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Greece

A. UN Convention status

A1. Ratification or conclusion of the UN Convention

Greece signed the UN convention on 30 March 2007 and ratified it by Parliamentary Law on 10 April 2012 (Law 4074 Official Journal of Government 88/A/2012).

Links

Update date: Tue, 2017-05-16

A2. Ratification or accession to the Optional Protocol

Greece signed the Optional Protocol on 27 September 2010 and ratified it by Parliamentary Law on 10 April 2012 (Law 4074 Official Journal of Government 88/1/2012).

Links

Update date: Tue, 2017-05-16

A3. Declarations, Reservations and Objections

A 'Justifying Report' was published on 29 March 2012 by multiple involved Ministries for the consideration of the Hellenic Parliament in view of the passing of the Law 4074 on 10 April 2012 which ratified the UN Convention and the Optional Protocol. The report includes a description of each article of the UN Convention and the Optional Protocol, the draft law as well as a special report by the General State Accountancy on the financial implications on the state and the local authorities’ budgets (as it is forseen by the Greek Constitution Article 75 par. 3). In particular, on a central level the report declares –among other- the funding for the establishment of one or more focal points, a co-ordination mechanism and one or more independent mechanisms for monitoring implementation, maximum availability of funds for ensuring the rights of people with disabilities, training of staff in the field of justice, provisions for education as well as establishment of ethical standards in healthcare for people with disabilities specifically. Local authorities are responsible for implementing actions related to accessibility (Articles 4 and 9 of the UNCRPD), community support, personal assistance and assistive devices (Articles 16, 19, 20), specialized community based healthcare and rehabilitation (Articles 25 and 26), access to the labour market (Article 27) and to social protection measures (Article 28).

Links

Update date: Mon, 2012-12-03

A4. Comprehensive review

The Compatibility Study of the Greek Legislation with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities was completed in February 2015 examining the compatibility of the Greek legislation with the social model approach to disability, with the general principles of the UNCRPD as well as with specific social policy interventions required, concluding with a set of recommendations across these levels, so as to achieve harmonisation with the UNCRPD objectives.

Links

Update date: Wed, 2016-04-06

A5. Focal point

The General Secretariat of Transparency and Human Rights of the Ministry of Justice, Transparency and Human Rights is appointed as the Central Focal Point for issues related to the implementation and monitoring of the UN CRPD on central, regional and local levels (Law 4487/2017, Art.70). The Central Focal point is expected to cooperate with the Focal Points established within each Ministry (Law 4487/2017, Art. 71) and the Independent monitoring mechanism (Law 4487/2017, Art.72), as well as to consult with representative disability organisations. The Central Focal Point is also responsible for submitting to the Greek Parliament a National Disability Action Plan, as well as reporting to the UN Committee as foreseen in Article 35 of the UN CRPD.

Links

Update date: Mon, 2018-08-27

A6. Coordination mechanism

The State Minister is the appointed Coordination Mechanism as defined in Article 33, Paragraph 1 of the UN CRPD (Article 69, Law 4487/2017). Relevant responsibilities include the coordination of the Ministries in charge of developing and implementing public policies which promote disability rights, coordinating and monitoring of policy implementation in the private sector as well as other responsibilities with regards to monitoring the implementation of the Convention, as defined in the UN CRPD and the Optional Protocol.

Links

Update date: Mon, 2018-08-27

A7. Independent mechanism

The Greek Ombusdman, a constitutionally established Independent Body monitoring human and civil rights, is appointed as the independent mechanism for monitoring and promoting the implementation of the UNCRPD, according to Art. 33, par.2 of the Convention (Art. 72, Law 4487/2017). In order to achieve its mission, the Greek Ombudsman cooperates with the National Confederation of Disabled People (NCDP), a third-level disability representative organisation, and undertakes the following indicative activities:

  • Expresses opinion on the compatibility of public policy with the legal framework of the UN CRPD;
  • Manages and investigates reports of violation of rights of persons with disabilities;
  • Conducts research and studies related to the implementation of specific articles/ sectors of the UN CPRD;
  • Conducts an annual evaluation of public policy implementation and produces recommendations for action.

Links

Update date: Mon, 2018-08-27

A8. Official reporting

On 1 June 2015 the first official report was submitted by Greece in accordance with the Article 35 of the Convention. So far, UN concluding observations related to disability have been issued to Greece by the Human Rights Committee within the context of the CCPR which voiced particular concern over the “discrimination faced by persons with disabilities, in particular with regard to access to education, employment and health services” (p.2), and indicated additional measures for eliminating routine use of physical restraint and sedation in institutional care settings.

Links

Update date: Wed, 2017-08-09

A9. Shadow reporting

No independent shadow report has been officially submitted to the UN Committee. The National Commission for Human Rights (Annual Report 2014) provided an independent brief review of legislative compliance with the requirements of the UN CRPD emphasising that "independent mechanisms, which shall promote, protect and monitor the implementation of the Convention, have not been established, as required by Article 33(2) of the Convention" and by consequence "the possibility (of civil society and disability representative organisations) to be involved and to fully participate in the monitoring process of the Convention" (p. 78).

Links

Update date: Tue, 2017-05-16

B. General legal framework

B1. Anti-discrimination legislation

The Greek Constitution establishes the principle of equality among all Greek citizens (article 4). Article 21 refers explicitly to the fundamental rights of disabled people for autonomy, employment, and participation in social and political life, as well as the duty of the state to implement measures that safeguard those rights. Furthermore, Law 3304/2005 provides legal protection against discrimination on the grounds of disability in accessing employment as well as in favour of reasonable accommodation in the workplace.

Links

Update date: Mon, 2012-12-03

B2. Recognition of legal capacity

According to Article 128 of the Civil Code (Presidential Decree 456/1984, modified 2447/1996) children who are 10 years and under, and persons under full legal guardianship, lack legal capacity. Articles 1666-1687 specify the conditions under which legal guardianship is established, including psychological, intellectual or physical impairment due to which one cannot take care (fully or partially) of their own affairs. Legal guardianship can be applied for by relatives of the individual or the public prosecutor (even against the will of the individual), except in cases of physical disability where application is accepted only from the individual (Article 1671). In the case where it is not possible to determine an individual as the legal guardian, guardianship is appointed to an association or institution with suitable staff and structure, or to a relevant social service. The court decides whether an individual is incapable of any or some of legal acts (full or partial guardianship), or defines that consent of the legal guardian is required for any or some of legal acts, or decides a combination of the two possibilities mentioned (Article 1676). The court can later modify the kind and extent of guardianship on its own accord or at the request of third parties.

Links

Update date: Tue, 2017-05-16

B3. Accessibility of voting and elections

The Presidential Decree 351/2003 outlines in a single document all the regulations and legislation regarding the election of parliament members. All Greek citizens who have reached the age of 18 have the right to vote (article 4). Article 5 states that people under full legal guardianship, as well as those under irrevocable criminal conviction for certain felonies, are denied the right to vote (as according to Civil Code Article 128, and the Constitution of Greece, article 51 par.3 ). Article 83, par. 3 states for the first time the obligation of judicial authorities or members of the supervisory committee to facilitate in any way possible individuals with physical impairments who cannot access or use the intended process of voting, in order to secure their right to a secret vote. Further guidance was issued in view of the national elections in 2012 reinstating that obligation to ensure access to voting.The circular further urges regional authorities, which are responsible for the administration of elections, to have detailed guidelines in place, whilst it also specifies that in the case of lack of access to the building, the voting procedure can take place in any other area of the polling station that is accessible, with the assistance of judicial representatives.

Links

Update date: Thu, 2014-05-01

B4. Official recognition of sign language

Sign language was firstly recognised in Greece in 2000 for educational purposes, through Law 2817/2000 on the Education of individuals with special educational needs and other regulations. In particular, Article 1 par. 4 of this Law recognised Greek sign language as the primary language of deaf and hearing impaired individuals (across all special education units). It also required knowledge of sign language by teachers in special schools for deaf pupils. Law 3106/2003 and 30356/2006 (Article 3) specify the provision of interpretation in communication with public authorities, paid for by the state. Article 13 C) of Resolution 595/2011 allows deaf candidates who are applying for public sector vacancies to be interviewed with a sign language interpreter. The Media Law 3021/2002 requires TV channels to show a minimum level of signed news broadcast each day.

More recently, Law 4487/2017 officially recognises the Greek Sign Language as equal to the spoken Greek language (Art. 65, par.2) and acknowledges the responsibility of the state to take measures to meet all kinds of communication needs of citizens with hearing impairments.

Links

Update date: Mon, 2018-08-27

B5. National disability strategy and action plan

There has not been a specific national disability strategy or action plan developed in Greece thus far. The UNCRPD Implementing framework legislated in 2017 (Law 4487/2017) foresees that the assigned Central Focal Point (the General Secretariat of Transparency and Human Rights) is responsible for conducting and submitting a National Disability Action Plan to the Greek Parliament (Art.70).

Disability targeted actions are found in the new National Strategic Framework for Social Inclusion (2014-2020). Some of the most prominent disability related measures include widening the provision of community based services, promoting de-institutionalisation, ensuring access to special education, extending tasks provided by home help services, as well as promoting participation of people with disabilities in specifically designed VET schemes, active labour programmes, and social entrepreneurship schemes.

National actions for disability can also be found in the national development strategies with respect to the EU cohesion policy and use of structural funds aimed at social protection and inclusion, covering sectors such as employment, education and lifelong learning, health and social participation. Particularly in the fifth programming period 2014-2020, the ex-ante conditionality on non-discrimination on the grounds of disability has served to mainstream accessibility requirements across policy sectors.

Links

Update date: Mon, 2018-08-27

C. Accessibility

C1. Transport accessibility

Disabled passengers’ rights in rail and air travel are regulated directly by the EU regulations, in particular by the European Regulation 1371/2007 for railway travel and the European regulation 1107/2006 for air travel. There have not been any further legislative instruments for the implementation of the regulations in the national context.

Accessibility standards for city buses were first established in 1992 outlining measures for autonomous access in and out of buses, (including necessary mechanical interventions), suitable space design and security for wheelchair users. In the city of Thessaloniki exclusively, the Organisation of Urban Transport is mandated (Law 3185/2003) to provide free transportation to people with disabilities by appointing two wheelchair accessible mini-buses, and an additional one if needs exceed fleet capacity.

Further, accessibility standards for passenger ships were adopted through the National Action plan for disabled passengers, an initiative of the Ministry of Commercial Shipping in 2006, which included standards for access, common spaces, parking, securing of wheelchairs, signposting, communication and customer service. The right of passengers to accessible sea travel was consolidated with Law 3709/08 Rights and Duties of Passengers and Service Providers in Regular Sea Travel.

Links

Update date: Mon, 2018-08-27

C2. Built environment accessibility

The New Building Code 4067/2012 updated regulations regarding built environment accessibility existing since Law 2831/2000 (article 28). The Regulations require compliance with the Design Guidelines for the Autonomous Movement and Living of People with Disabilities (Disability Office, Ministry of Environment 1986-1990) for all new buildings- apart from housing where distinct regulations apply (Article 26 par. 1). The Design Guidelines include standards for horizontal and vertical access, internal spaces (e.g. corridors, doors, elevators, WC, information desks, signposting) as well as external (pavement, entrance, outdoor common spaces). The regulations also cover constructions in public pedestrian spaces such as parks, pavements, or walkways, which must ensure access to disabled people through ramps, navigators for blind people, appropriate placement of civil equipment and designated disabled parking spaces (Article 26 par. 6). Buildings dating before 2012 which host public sector services, local authority services, public spaces for culture, sports and entertainment, temporary accommodation, education, health and social welfare, and justice services as well as industry, trade and offices are required to ensure accessibility according to standards by 2020 (Article 26 par. 4). As regards housing, new buildings must ensure horizontal and vertical access in all common spaces, as well as permit easy adaptation of housing units for potential use of people with disabilities. Furthermore, the New Urban Planning Regulations 2012 introduce the right of disabled residents to make adaptations for ensuring access to common spaces within housing buildings, against any other regulation (e.g. housing contract) (Article 27 par. 2) and without a construction license (Article 4 par. 3), as long as the infrastructure of the building is not affected and they cover the expenses.

Links

Update date: Thu, 2014-05-01

C3. ICT and Web accessibility

Article 5 and 5a in the revised Constitution of Greece (2001) state the equal right of all to information and participation in the Information Society. In particular, facilitating access to electronic means of information and communication, as well as to the production, exchange and dissemination of information electronically is an obligation of the state. E-accessibility standards in the provision of e- government services became compulsory by Ministerial Decision on 12 April 2012, whereby the websites of the public sector must comply with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), version 2.0, at least to the AA level.

Links

Update date: Mon, 2012-12-03

D. Independent living

D1. Choice of living arrangements

There is no legislation that obliges a disabled person to live in an institution rather than the community, except in the case of mental health. Law 2071/1992 outlines the circumstances under which a person may unwillingly be admitted in a hospital or institution, either by request of relatives or by a public prosecutor. Initially, the unwilling admission of the individual for medical examination cannot exceed 48 hours. There needs to be a justified court decision to keep an individual retained in an institution.

Links

Update date: Fri, 2012-03-23

D2. De-institutionalisation

Law 2082/1992 'Reorganisation of Social Welfare and establishment of new institutions of social protection' first laid out regulations for establishing centres for community based rehabilitation service provision to disabled people, including contracted private rehabilitation services. Public community based services established include Centres of Education, Social Support and Training, Day Centres for children and Autism support centres. A further Ministerial Decision in 1998 set out the conditions, prerequisites, processes, staff and resources for establishing “Housing for supported living” in the community for people with disability, with view to de-institutionalisation and independent living. In the field of mental health, Law 2716/1999 “Development and modernisation of mental health services” enabled the creation of long- or short-term housing and support for children and adults with mental health issues in protected hostels or flats, maintained by either public bodies (including hospitals) or private (profit or non-profit) organizations. It also established regulations for Limited-Liability Social Enterprises. The structure and function of Mental Health Units and protected flats and the services provided are outlined in the Ministerial Decision (Journal of Government 661/B/2000)

Links

Update date: Tue, 2017-05-16

D3. Quality of social services

The Inspection Body of Health and Social Services, established by Law 2920/2001 operating under the Ministry of Health and Social Solidarity, is responsible for carrying out systematic inspections and investigations across all services operating under the Ministry of Health (public and private), including health services of social security bodies. The aim of the inspection body is to improve productivity, efficiency and quality of services provided. Inspections may also be requested by the Ministry and the Citizen’s advocate. It is worth remarking that the Citizen’s Advocate is the single independent mechanism responding to citizen’s complaints and authorised to investigate cases whereby citizens' rights, including children's rights, are violated by public administration. The results of its investigations are mediated to the relevant Ministry for resolution.

Links

Update date: Thu, 2014-05-01

D4. Provision of assistive devices at home

Disability assessment is carried out by the Single Certification Centre for Disability (KEPA) (established in implementation of article 31 of Law 3863/2010) for all provisions of social security bodies and welfare, including assessment for disability pensions, disability benefits and other social entitlements. Assessments of disability are carried out according to the New Single Table for Defining the Percentage of Disability (Official Journal of Government B/2611/2011).

Furthermore, the Single Organisation for Provision of Health Services (established in implementation of article 31 of Law 3863/2010) manages all health related provisions for those who are insured, such as expenditure for hospitalisation (also abroad), rehabilitation programmes and therapies, medical supplies and provision of assistive equipment. The Single Regulation of Health Provisions defines eligibility and cost ceilings for assistive devices, medical supplies and specialized health services.

Basic features of the regulation of provision of assistive devices are: a. devices provided include only basic rehabilitation aids (e.g. wheelchair, prosthetics, hoists, etc.), b. provision is in cash, rather than in kind, c. eligibility is based on medical assessment with an emphasis on diagnosis, rather than need. It is also worth remarking that the Single Regulation for Health Provision 2011 (Annex of Article 15 Additional Aids, Rehabilitation Equipment, Prosthetics and Respiratory devices) introduced a horizontal 50% cut on expenses covered for crucial devices for independent living and rehabilitation before that (such as wheelchairs, prosthetics, hoists, air mattresses and so on) while cost ceilings for medical supplies and rehabilitation expenses were also significantly reduced. The updated Single Regulation for Health Provision (November 2012) introduced further changes adhering to austerity measures, including most importantly means-tested contribution to medicine and medical supplies for those who did not pay a contribution before (such as people with paraplegia/ tetraplegia, multiple sclerosis, kidney failure, diabetes and HIV patients), unless they supply from the Health Organization, as well as a 25% contribution for assistive devices in all cases, except for those who receive the De-institutionalisation Benefit (people with paraplegia/ tetraplegia over 67%) or supply devices from the Heath Organization. There is further reduced entitlement to community-based services, as well as exclusion of people who have been admitted to a rehabilitation unit altogether from such services.

Links

Update date: Fri, 2017-07-21

D5. Availability of personal assistance schemes

There are no specific personal assistance schemes available for disabled people in Greece (such as direct payments or community-based services based on individual support needs). There is one disability cash benefit intended for people who live in the community and who require assistance from a third person known as the 'de-institutionalization' benefit (limited to people with certain physical impairment conditions assessed at more than 67% disability) which equals to 20 minimum daily wages of an unskilled worker as defined at the time of application. Furthermore, Home help programmes for disabled people have operated on a local level since 2006 providing assistance strictly according to available resources, which has been arguably inadequate for people with high support needs. In 2011, home help programs were funded under the NSRF 2007-2013 priority for 'Harmonising family and professional life', rendering unemployed people (with family members who require assistance) as direct beneficiaries. In practice, disabled people living alone or whose family members were working were excluded from these services. In 2012, home help programs were substituted with the Support at Home for Pensioners program implemented by IKA (main social security body of the Ministry of Employment). People eligible for this service are exclusively pensioners (covering most social security bodies of the public, private and agricultural sector), with 67% disability or more, who live alone or have a spouse who has 67% disability, and their individual annual income does not exceed 7,715.65 € or double that amount for married couples. They should not, additionally, receive any disability support cash benefit (usually given to people with paraplegia/ tetraplegia or similar impairment with 67% disability). It is evident that the program excludes a significant part of people with support needs, including those with severe physical impairments, those who are working as much as the unemployed/ uninsured, as well as people who do not live alone.

Links

Update date: Mon, 2012-12-03

D6. Income maintenance

Disability pensions are awarded regardless of age as long as minimum insurance requirements are met, specified according to age, with eligibility criteria set separately by the different social security bodies. The Presidential Decree 169/2007 enabled employees to receive a disability pension regardless of age after completing five years of pensionable service (across social security bodies). The eligibility threshold does not apply if the impairment resulted from the service. Additionally, according to the Presidential Decree, people with paraplegia-tetraplegia, blindness and other specified impairments (with at least 67% disability) are entitled to a full pension if they have completed 15 years of work. The minimum threshold for disability pensions for all social security bodies is 50% disability as assessed by the Single Certification Centre according to the Single Table for Defining the Percentage of Disability (Official Journal of Government B/2611/2011) and in most cases reassessment is required every two or three years. New regulations for calculating pensions (including disability pensions) were introduced with Law 3863/2010 ‘New Social Security System’, applicable for those insured for the first time after the 1 January 2011 or for those who received a pension after 1 January 2015. According to the new regulations, the main pension consists of two sums, the 'basic pension' (360 Euros) and the 'analalogous pension' which is calculated on the basis of coefficients, specified in the legislation, scaled according to the number of insurance days completed. It is noted that in the cases of reduced pension due to disability, the basic pension is paid at 75% of the sum (for people with disability 67% to 79.99%) and at 50% for peolpe with disability 50% to 66.99%. It is specified that the total pension sum cannot be less than 392 Euros for people receiving a full disability pension, i.e. with 80% disability or over, or disabled people (67% or over) who have completed 15 years of pensionable service. This minimum threshold is not however applicable for people receiving reduced disability pensions. For people insured/receiving pensions before the introduction of the new regulations, eligibility criteria for disability pensions, mainly in terms of insured days, are legislated separately for each social security body. Disability pensions of the social security body for private sector employees are coordinated on the basis of Law 612/1977 and 1902/1990, those of the agricultural social security body under Ν.2458/1997, and those of public sector employees under Law 2227/1994 and 3620 /2007. People receiving disability pensions are allowed to work as long as 'the total income does not exceed the salary of a healthy individual according to general reward rules' (Law 3863/2010 art.16 par.4). Furthermore, disabled pensioners who are blind or deemed in need of constant support are entitled to additional income which equals 50% of their pension (it cannot however exceed the sum payment of 20 days of an unskilled worker as it applies in a given time).

Links

Update date: Mon, 2016-04-18

D7. Additional costs

Disability (cash) benefits are provided for all main categories of impairment (blindness, deafness, physical disability, intellectual disability, HIV/AIDS and 67% disability due to any other impairment) by the respective social security authorities (for those who are employed/insured) or by the welfare state (for those out of work/uninsured). The amounts of the benefits per month (please note these have remained unchanged since 2011) vary from 362 Euros (for most categories) reaching 771 Euros for people with paraplegia, tetraplegia and amputation. The only benefit given in view of specific additional costs is that of mobility (165 Euros monthly), provided to people with 80% disability with complete paraplegia, tetraplegia and lower limb amputation.

It is worth noting that legislation (Art. 13 Law 4331/2015) implemented as of 30 September 2015 secured the continuity of disability welfare benefits provision (for those not in employment/uninsured) for disabled people participating in ESF co-funded employment programs, including Social Entrepreneurship and Vocational Training schemes.

Links

Update date: Mon, 2016-04-18

D8. Retirement income

There are no specific provisions for disabled people who retire due to age. In fact, disabled people who retire due to age meeting insurance requirements for full pension, receive old-age pension. Disability pensions are in general provided on the same basis to younger and older people. According to the new approved measures for the implementation of Law 4046/2012 and the Short-term Fiscal Strategy 2013-2016, from 1 January 2013 full pension is in general awarded at the age of 67 having completed 40 years of employment, exluding mothers of children who are deemed incapable of working, who are subject to previous regulations (Law 3863/2010). It is worth adding that disabled pensioners who receive disability support benefits (cases of blindness or other impairment with 80% disability, or paraplegia/ tetraplegia with 67% disability) as well as old-age pensions who are awarded to disabled individuals after 15 years of employment (Law 3232/2004), in the cases of blindness, paraplegia/ tetraplegia, hemophilia and transplanted patients, are excluded from austerity measures affecting pensions, as voted in implementation of the Law 4046/2012 and the Short-term fiscal strategy 2013-2016, which include up to 25% cuts in old-age pensions over 1000 euros.

Links

Update date: Mon, 2012-12-03

E. Education

E1. Special schools

The decision on whether a disabled pupil attends a mainstream or special school lies exclusively with the authorized Centres for Assessment and Diagnosis (KEDDY) as defined in Law 3699/2008 for Special Education and Education of pupils with disabilities. Parents of disabled children may also consult other private Medical and Educational Centres of diagnosis which are authorised by the Greek Ministry of Education to work under this responsibility. Article 5, par. 4 states that if there is a difference of opinion, then the parents have the right to appeal and the case is assessed by a secondary committee, where the family can appoint one expert (who does not have a right to vote). The decision of the secondary committee is final. Special Education is provided in the following structures: a. The School Units of Special Education with specialised staff (segregated education), b. Schools or departments that operate as autonomous units or annexes of other schools within certain hospitals, rehabilitation units, discipline institutions for under-aged, institutions of chronic illnesses, c. Education at home, when it is necessary, for severe short-term or long-term health problems that prevent a child’s transportation to school.

More recently, Law 4283/2016 promoting inclusive education legislated for the first time the restructuring of primary special education similar to mainstream primary education in terms of grades. Reforms in secondary special education have mainly involved special vocational education (please see section E4), where it is acknowledged that what applies in respective mainstream settings “in terms of the different sectors, specialisations, classes, workshops, study cycles and curriculum, applies equally for Special Education”, while “partial adjustments of all the above, due to particular circumstances in Special Education, will be specified by ministerial decisions which will be issued following recommendation of the Special Education Directorate of the Ministry of Education” (Law 4186/2013; Art.28, par.2a).

Links

Update date: Tue, 2017-05-16

E2. Mainstream schools

With regards to ensuring accessibility of learning environments, firstly, public school buildings should comply with the accessibility standards specified in the New Building Code for the built environment (2012; 2000). Equally, private primary and secondary schools with a capacity of more than 75 students per teaching hour should comply with accessibility standards (Ministerial Decision FEK 3087/Β/4-12-2013).

Furthermore, the Centres for Assessment and Diagnosis (KEDDY), which are authorized to refer disabled students to mainstream or special education, are responsible for requesting resources for parallel support, aids and equipment, or personalised educational programmes, directly from the Ministry of Education, which approves the funds necessary in each case (Law 3699/2008). Disabled pupils are responsible for securing their own personal assistance. Since 2009, there are also alternative options available for sitting exams for disabled pupils in mainstream education (oral or written examinations).

More recent legislation (L.4283/2016; Art.82) seeks to promote inclusive education for disabled pupils in mainstream schools. More specifically, inclusion classes available for disabled pupils within mainstream schools are strengthened in number and scope, assigned with the role to promote equal opportunities and skills development, differentiated learning, accessible learning material as well as disability awareness in the wider school environment.

Last but not least, Law 4485/2017 (Art.71 par.2) legislated for the first time the right of students with disabilities to enroll to private schools under the same terms and conditions as in primary and secondary public education, forbidding in any case denial of enrolment of disabled students in private schools on any grounds.

Links

Update date: Wed, 2017-09-13

E3. Sign language and Braille in school

Disabled pupils in mainstream education are required to follow the mainstream curriculum, which does not include teaching of Braille or sign language. However, besides parallel support in a mainstream class, there is also the option of attending inclusion classes running as part of a school unit (not always available), where pupils can follow a more personalised educational programme according to their needs (Law 3699/2008).

Links

Update date: Fri, 2012-03-23

E4. Vocational training

Equality Law 3304/2005 (Art 8 par 2) safeguards non-discrimination on the grounds of disability for all kinds and levels of vocational education and training, including apprenticeship schemes. Additionally, a circular of the Ministry of Education in April 2013 included accessibility requirements (according to national Design Guidelines and Standards) among the conditions for renewing licenses of private educational establishments at all levels, including Colleges, Vocational Training Centres and Lifelong Learning Centres, with a capacity of more than 75 students per teaching hour at all levels of educations and across the board of life-long learning.

Vocational training, up to the age of 22, is available as part of secondary special vocational education (nine grades) in more than 60 such units across the county. Recent reforms in secondary education (Law 4186/2013) foresee that students graduating from lower secondary education (first five years) gain vocational rights at level 2b, whilst completion of upper secondary classes (four years) grants vocational rights at level 3. It is worth noting that this is equal to the level of qualification gained at completion of the respective mainstream structures, entailing however two more years of attendance. Apprenticeship schemes are not however as explicitly included in the study cycle as in mainstream education, but rather briefly referred to as “practice through school cooperatives” (Law 4186/2013 Art.28, par.1a).

Alternatively, graduates from special primary education can enroll at the Workshops for Special Vocational Education and Training, which involve six years of study, and vocational rights at 2a level. The last year of study includes work practice over at least two trimesters, while “where this is not possible, then this is supported by the school cooperative” Law 4186/2013 Art.28, par 1c).

Furthermore, active policies for the inclusion of disabled people into mainstream or specialised vocational training are implemented by the Greek Manpower Organisation (OAED) under law 2643/1998. In particular, 10% of all trainee placements in mainstream courses of vocational training are reserved for disabled people, while there are two specialised vocational training centres exclusively for disabled people, in the cities of Athens and Thessaloniki. Around 260 people are trained every year in these centres. Training is offered in secretarial work and use of ICT as well as in craftwork. All vocational training programs under OAED are funded and provide social security insurance. Finally, vocational training programs can be implemented by the voluntary sector, co-funded through EU and national funds particularly since the 4th Community Support Programme 2007-2014.

Links

Update date: Wed, 2017-06-07

E5. Higher education

There is no anti-discrimination legislation specific to third level education. There are however certain measures aimed at enabling access to higher education for disabled candidates.

Firstly, disabled graduates from higher secondary education can be admitted without exams at 5% of placements in each university department (Law 3794/2009, article 35, latest modification of Ministerial Decision 2006). Furthermore, Accessibility Units were established across Universities with Law 3549/2007 (article 12) as part of wider reforms in higher education institutions. Accessibility units are intended to support disabled students with information and advice regarding access, assistive technology, career options, or any other aspect that relates to disability and university life, while they are responsible for taking all necessary actions for ensuring the accessibility of the University’s services to disabled students.

More recently, Law 4283/2014 abolished the previously held discretion of universities to decide on which cases an impairment is considered as an obstacle to studying a specific subject (Article 7 Enabling access to higher education for persons with disabilities).

Links

Update date: Tue, 2017-05-16

F. Employment

F1. Non-discrimination in employment

Law 3304/2005 “Equal treatment irrespective of race or nationality, religion, disability, age or sexual orientation”, forbids any direct or indirect discrimination in the field of employment on the grounds of disability (please note anti-discrimination on the grounds of disability is not applied in other fields of the legislation, such as education, social services, access to goods and services across public and private sector, as it applies for race and nationality). Article 8 specifies that discrimination in accessing employment and vocational training is forbidden in any sector or level of hierarchy, including selection criteria, as regards terms and conditions of employment, including pay and dismissal, and as concerns the participation of employees in trade unions or any other association. Article 8, par. 4 excludes however the application of this legislation in armed and security forces, while Article 9, par. 1 does not consider as discrimination when the nature of the tasks do not allow for the employment of disabled people. Article 10, concerning reasonable adjustments for disabled people, states the obligation of employers to take all necessary measures so that disabled employees can access their workplace and fulfil their tasks, so long as employers are not disproportionately encumbered.

Links

Update date: Fri, 2012-03-23

F2. Public employment services

There is a specialised service for “Special Social Groups” running within the Greek Manpower Organisation (OAED) which is responsible for the promotion, design and implementation of programmes and actions targeted at the inclusion of disabled people in the labour market (established under law 2643/1998). In particular, the service provides psychosocial support and career orientation advice and encourages disabled people to enter mainstream programmes of employment and vocational training.

Links

Update date: Thu, 2014-05-01

F3. Workplace adaptations

There is no established mechanism for providing ongoing funding support for workplace adaptations.
The last available funding scheme for workplace adaptations was through a three-year program (2010-2012) managed by the Greek Manpower Organisation (OAED) through ESF funds, covering up to 90% of the costs, with maximum cost of EUR 2,500 for each adjustment (e.g. ramps, accessible toilets, accessible work-tables, etc.) available for 50 workplaces.

Links

Update date: Fri, 2017-07-21

F4. Financial incentives

Active labour policies (mainly funded through the ESF) managed by the Greek Manpower Organisation (OAED) are the main funding mechanism for promoting the employment of disabled people in the open labour market. Funding is channelled for public work schemes, self-employment as well as work experience acquisition for younger people in the private sector, covering basic salary and social security contributions under specified terms and conditions. Encouraging social economy initiatives, through funding and start up consultation services, also forms a critical part of the current national employment strategy for 'vulnerable social groups'.

Up-to-date employment strategies for disability are included in the Partnership Agreement for the Programming Period 2014-2020, whilst current and upcoming calls targeted at 'vulnerable social groups' are published in the framework of the Operational Programme Human Resources Development, under the auspices of the Ministry of Work, Social Security and Welfare.

Furthermore, the renewed legislative framework for the employment of disabled people in the public sector (Law 4440/2016, Article 25) set the mandatory employment quota scheme for those assessed with 50% impairment level at 10%, whilst including 5% quota for parents, spouses or siblings of a person with impairment level at least 67%, in all regular or contracted staff vacancies procured and managed by the independent recruiting council for the public sector (ASEP). This recruitment process is particularly maintained in the EU/National funded schemes of employment.

Finally, a positive development supporting employment of disabled people involves Art. 13 of Law 4331/2015 which secures continuity of disability welfare benefits provision whilst participating in ALP programs, including Social Entrepreneurship and Vocational Training schemes.

Links

Update date: Mon, 2018-08-27

G. Statistics and data collection

G1. Official research

The National Disability Observatory run under the National Co-federation of Disabled People, is assigned with the role and responsibility for producing research evidence on disability nationally. The revised Disability Rights Framework (Law 4488/2017) established the Disability Observatory as an institutional partner of the National Statistical Service and other research agencies, in meeting the task for monitoring and evaluating disability equality indicators. The National Disability Observatory published national statistical evidence with regards to disability in 2017 and in 2018, covering the thematic sectors of employment, education and risk of poverty indicators.

Links

Update date: Thu, 2018-11-29

G2. Census data

The most recent census was carried out in May 2011. Identification of disability was not included in the survey questionnaire.

Links

Update date: Thu, 2014-05-01

G3. Labour Force Survey

Regular national labour force surveys do not include disability variables.
Disability was first included in the European LFS 2002, and is in fact the only available statistics regarding the employment rate of disabled people in Greece. The results showed that 18.2% of the population surveyed was disabled or had a health problem, half of whom were 65 or older. 84% of this group was economically inactive in comparison with 58% of the general population, and unemployment rates (8.9%) were lower for disabled people in comparison with the general population (9.6%).
The Labour Force Survey from the National Statistical Service 2011 focused on the limitations that disabled people face in accessing employment, showing that 40.9% of those people who reported a health problem or activity limitation, faced restrictions in terms of length of working hours, 41.4% in the type of work they can perform, and 20.1% with respect to getting to and from work.

Links

Update date: Mon, 2018-08-27

G4. Disability equality indicators

The disability equality indicators included in the National Disability Observatory reports (2017/2018) are aligned with the EU 2020 Strategy sector indicators, namely: employment rate, unemployment rate, economic activity, early school leaving rate, completion of tertiary or equivalent education, people living in households with very low work intensity, risk of poverty after social transfers, severely materially deprived persons, and population at risk of poverty or exclusion.

Links

Update date: Thu, 2018-11-29

H. Awareness and external action

H1. Awareness raising programs

There is no single state agent responsible for raising awareness on disability issues Rather, raising awareness activities have been usually part of EU/National co-funded projects (under the capacity of various Ministries) usually implemented by the voluntary/ non-profit sector. One state initiative, the International Conference on Mass Media and Disability and the Emotion Pictures Festival, was implemented annually in the period 2006-2009 by the General Secretariat of Communication and Information (the Ministry of Press), having produced material on disability awareness, however it was stopped due to lack of funding. Finally, representative disability organisations, such as the National Confederation of Disabled People (ESAMEA) are active in raising awareness regarding disability issues through publications, press releases, seminars/ conferences and direct communication with the state as official social partners for disability issues.

Links

Update date: Thu, 2014-05-01

H2. Training for teachers

Special education studies are distinct from mainstream education teacher training, however, modules in special education are usually available as optional modules in undergraduate teacher training courses. Please note that each university designs the curriculums of its own courses and it is therefore not possible to generalise. It should also be noted that disability equality training is not developed in the country in an organized form or on an academic level so as to form part of initial study courses.

Links

Update date: Fri, 2012-03-23

H3. Training for lawyers

Disability awareness/ equality issues are not part of the initial professional training for lawyers. For instance, the curriculum of the School of Law of the University of Athens, includes distinct modules for women’s and immigrants’ rights (as optional training), but not for disability. Please note that each university designs the curriculums of its own courses and it is therefore not possible to generalize. It should also be noted that disability equality training is not developed in the country in an organized form or on an academic level so as to form part of initial study courses.

Links

Update date: Thu, 2014-05-01

H4. Training for doctors

Disability awareness/ equality issues do not generally form part of the initial medical training, which is conventionally based on medical subjects. Nevertheless, medical responsibility and ethics form part of the curriculum of medical schools in higher education, although it is not clear whether disability forms a specific focus. Please note that each university designs the curriculums of its own courses and it is therefore not possible to generalise.  It should be noted however that disability equality training is not developed in the country in an organised form or on an academic level so as to form part of initial study courses.

An example of good practice can be found with the National School of Public Health's module on Health Law and Bioethics with particular emphasis on patients’ rights and a specific section on mental health. Also, the Medical Code of Practice developed by medical and teaching staff at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki  foresees prohibition of discrimination on the grounds of disability (Chapter 3.1), the need to demonstrate awareness and acceptance of difference (including disability) (Chapter 1.6), as well as social responsibility by supporting the needs of patients, communities and social groups under their responsibility.

Links

Update date: Fri, 2015-02-27

H5. Training for engineers

Disability awareness/ equality issues as distinct training are not part of the initial training for engineers. Please note that each university designs the curriculums of its own courses and it is therefore not possible to generalise. For instance, one mainstream module on the accessibility of user-interfaces is offered as part of initial training at the School of Cultural Technology and Communications at the Aegean University. It is also possible for instance that the issue of accessibility is studied as part of dissertation thesis on graduate or postgraduate level. It should be noted however that disability equality training as such is not developed in the country in an organised form or on an academic level so as to form part of initial study courses.

Links

Update date: Fri, 2012-03-23

H6. International development aid

There is no available information or policy regarding disability mainstreaming across development aid projects.

Links

Update date: Fri, 2012-03-23

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