Current best practices

AuthorLopes, Dulce; Vicente, Joana
In the field of education, pupils with disabilities follow special programmes in basic and
secondary-level schools that support mainstream education. In higher education, faculties
have an admissions quota of 2 % of their total intake reserved for students with disabilities.
People with disabilities are exempt from any fees in the national public health service
(Serviço Nacional de Saúde SNS), as long as they can provide proof of their disability.
People with disabilities are entitled to buy certain special means of transport (cars,
wheelchairs) at reduced rates of tax. The Institute for Employment and Vocational Training
may sponsor the adaptation of cars for people with disabilities if they can prove that they
need a car to carry out their work.
Generic NGOPDs (NGOs that represent people with disabilities in general) are entitled to
financial support through the INR.105 The INR is a public institution, and funding therefore
comes from the state budget according to the criteria for equality and equity set out in
cooperation protocols adopted by the NGOPDs and the INR. After approval, the criteria are
published on the INR website, and funding is subsequently awarded.
As far as minority ethnic groups are concerned, immigrants, especially newcomers, face
competitive disadvantages or specific vulnerabilities that require effective positive action
measures in order to achieve equality. To achieve such objectives, programmes and actions
that allow immigrants to be properly received are being developed, such as the National
Immigrant Support System, with initiatives such as the national immigrant support
centres. These support centres combine the presence of the public bodies with which
immigrants have to engage with a diversified set of support offices (dealing with family
reunification, employment, legal support, and so on), which speeds up their access to
fundamental rights.
Although instances of administrative and judicial vindication of discrimination claims are
still scarce in Portugal, the tide seems to be turning. In some areas, such as harassment
in the spheres of employment and housing, the change has been quite evident. This points
to an increasing awareness of equality and non-discrimination rights, and to greater
knowledge and functioning of the legal system in this area.
105 See Decree-Law 31/2012, approving the structure of the National Institute for Rehabilitation (Lei orgânica
do Instituto Nacional para a Reabilitação), 9 February 2012, repealing DecreeLaw 217/2007 of 29 May
2007, available at:

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