24. The overriding objective of policies for persons with disabilities is to achieve full participation and equality. To achieve this objective, Norway has provisions governing universal design set out in the Anti-Discrimination and Accessibility Act and in several other central laws. Universal design is one of the stated objectives of the Planning and Building Act, prescribing the general objectives for planning and building matters. The division of responsibilities in planning and building policy implies that the state prescribes the general objectives and the legal framework for policymaking. Through the Act, it sets the framework for both land use and socio-economic planning and for building and installation design. In regional planning policies, the municipalities may set functional requirements, including universal design, for outdoor areas and the utilisation of housing stock. The regulations pertaining to the Act set requirements for universal design of new buildings for use by the public, work buildings, installations, and outdoor areas. The Act also prescribes accessibility requirements for new dwellings. Overall responsibility for planning, housing and building policy is assigned to the Ministry of Local Government and Modernisation. The Norwegian Building Authority is the central authority for building matters regulated in the Planning and Building Act, while the municipalities act as local planning and building authorities. The Norwegian State Housing Bank is the central government agency for implementing housing policy, granting basic loans and subsidies to promote building quality. Funding for research, information and competence development are other key policy instruments. The collective and economic policy instruments provided under the Act are applied to ensure that persons with disabilities can use new buildings and installations on an equal basis with others, and that accessibility is a key consideration in general renovation, change of use, and rehabilitation of dwellings.
25. The general rule is that information and technology (ICT) systems for websites and self-service machines must be universally designed. Both private and public undertakings, clubs and organisations must comply with the Regulations for Universal Design of Information and Communication Technology Solutions. The legal basis for the regulations is the Anti-Discrimination and Accessibility Act. See Article 9 for more details.
26. The Health and Care Services Act stipulates that each municipality must ensure that its inhabitants are offered the health and care services they need. This responsibility covers all patient and user groups, including persons with somatic or psychiatric disorders, injuries or disorders, substance abuse issues, social difficulties or disabilities.
27. The provision is in accordance with the Patients’ Rights Act, which entitles patients and users to receive necessary health and care services from the municipalities. A typical feature of most of Norway's health and care legislation is that the provisions are independent of both social arena and diagnosis. A concrete assessment is therefore needed to determine whether individuals receive appropriate and adequate services that are adapted to their needs and capabilities and that safeguard their integrity and dignity.
28. A measure that exemplifies the intention of the Convention is user-controlled personal assistance (UPA). On 1 January 2015, UPA was made a statutory right for the individual. Under the Patients’ Rights Act, persons aged below 67 with a substantial, long-term need for assistance are entitled to receive certain services provided under the Health and Care Services Act, organised as UPA. The UPA programme improves everyday life for individuals with extensive needs for assistance and for their relatives. See Article 19 for more details.
29. Under the Dental Health Services Act, persons with intellectual disabilities and groups of people with long-term illnesses and disabilities receiving care services from the municipality are entitled to receive regular and assertive community dental health care services from the county municipalities. This service is provided free of charge.
Financial support schemes
30. The most important social insurance schemes in Norway are those for national insurance, child benefit, and cash benefit for parents of infants. Norway has a national and universal national insurance scheme. Please refer to Common Core Document – Norway, section 1.A.V Social and cultural features for further discussion of the non-discriminatory nature of the national insurance scheme.
31. The National Insurance Act affords rights to a range of benefits, the most relevant of which for persons with disabilities are: sickness benefit, work assessment allowance, disability benefit, basic benefit, attendance benefit, assistive measures, etc. in connection with personal illness, injury or congenital defect. Working parents can receive benefits in the case of a sick child, etc. and in the form of care allowance, attendance allowance, and training allowance. A summary of the Norwegian national insurance scheme has been prepared by the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs. This summary provides an account of the various types of benefits offered under the scheme. Please refer to this summary for more information about the national insurance scheme benefits most relevant for persons with disabilities. See:
32. The expenses of the national insurance scheme in 2014 amounted to NOK 384 billion. This amount constitutes approximately 35.3 per cent of the combined state and national insurance budgets and 12.4 per cent of the gross domestic product. National insurance benefits are administrated by the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration (NAV).