The organizations for people with disabilities in Norway work consistently to remove or to diminish existing obstacles. We still have a long way to go to get rid of them. The awareness of accessibility and adaptation is however increased. We will focus on obstacles in 4 main areas, and suggest possible solutions.
Legislation: The legislation in Norway is very clear, The anti-discrimination and accessibility Act of 2008 (equality, equal possibilities and rights, accessibility and adaptation) This law is meant as contribution to decrease barriers for all, emphasizing on people with disabilities, and prevent new barriers from arising.
Despite this law, we have potential of improvements. It is difficult to control that the laws are actually brought into life in all aspects, on all levels. Information about practical accessibility and adaptation must be distributed.
Pedagogical: Teachers, lecturers, students and pedagogical staff in general are often not prepared to include persons who need adaptations. Information about accessibility and adaptations is needed for schools and universities. Adaptation should be part of teacher-students’ curriculum. Awareness and information are key-words. Inclusive education as well.
Attitude: Society in general needs information about inclusion. To know and to see possibilities of inclusion may be both an eye-opener as well as a door-opener. The organizations for disabilities are resources that can be used in this information distribution. They havespecial knowledge and experience from daily-life and how to make possible adaptations.
In non-formal education we experience many of the same obstacles. Information is the key. Non-formal education gives rich possibilities for courses in everything: from languages, to empowering, to mushroom-picking and all kinds of hobby activities. Lack of knowledge on how to adapt and where to find the information may cause obstacles to arrange courses for ALL.
Incentive: To make the big changes for accessibility there is always a question of money, i.e. lack of money. Planning is step 1 and then comes the budget-work. Information to politicians on all levels is crucial. Guidelines with step-by-step-instructions are easy and accessible tools.