From Iceland — Parents In Selfoss Say System Harms Disabled People

Parents In Selfoss Say System Harms Disabled People

Published July 5, 2022

Photo by
Magnús Hlynur Hreiðarsson/Visir

Parents of Anna Bára say as soon as their daughter turned 18, the system no longer provided necessary support for their daughter, reports Visir.

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Now that Anna Bára is of legal age, her parents were completely cut out of her case and must receive a written mandate from their daughter that they can continue to handle her affairs. However, Anna Bára cannot write or speak.

According to the law, Anna Bára is completely independent and should be able to care for all of her affairs alone. However, her severe disabilities require that she needs assistance with all activities of daily life.

“The rules around it for someone like 18-year-old Anna Bára are just so complicated that no one really understands and no one can really guide you through it,” says Anna Bára’s mother, Kristín Traustadóttir. “You bump into walls everywhere, as if you are the first and only person in this situation.”

Kristín and Anna Bára’s father, Magnús Gíslason, recently set up a bank account for Anna Bára so her disability benefits could be deposited into the account. Even though the payments are coming in, they cannot access the money.

Kristín and Magnús must take a course on personal advocacy for disability rights in Seltjarnarnes. However, the course has not been held and may never be held due to privacy laws.

“Then we were supposed to bring a written mandate to them from Anna Bára, in which she declares that we are qualified to take care of her affairs while this course is not being held,” says Kristín.

However, Anna Bára cannot sign any such mandate due to her disability, therefore, leaving the bank account stagnant.

“The rights of the individual are being taken care of so badly that they are just trampled on in the process,” says Kristín.

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