Sources of Funding for Assistive Technologies in Slovenia
In Slovenia basic medical and orthopedic aids as well as assistive technologies (AT) are partially (within compulsory health insurance) funded by the Health Insurance Institute of Slovenia. However some AT’s are not included in that funding. Some are co-financed by disability organisations, by charity clubs and humanitarian organisations or by users themselves. Private individuals may also seek funding from the Lions Club and similar organisations. Some funding and help is also provided by the Ministries.
The employment of people with disabilities in Slovenia operates a quota system, defining that companies should employ one person with disabilities out of twenty people employed. Otherwise penalties have to be paid to the funds for disability organisations.
The Health Insurance Institute of Slovenia provides compulsory health insurance. The Institute's principal task is to effectively collect and distribute public funds, in order to ensure the insured person’s rights arising from the said funds. The Institute provides funding for a list of basic assistive technologies – mainly orthopedic rehabilitation and medical aids. The list does not include some of the important ATs, which provide for independent living of disabled people, like Braille displays, AT software, intelligent electrical wheelchairs or modern communication technologies.
FIHO - Foundation for financing the disability and humanitarian organisations in the Republic of Slovenia
How do you apply to FIHO for funding? Can you explain the process?
There are several disability organisations and associations that support the disabled by providing them information, knowledge and assistive technologies. They are partially financed by the FIHO (see 2), the percentage varies from 36% to 99%, which depends on what the organisation is doing and how many programmes for disabled people it has. Any shortfalls are self-financed (by charging for services and products, organizing charity events etc.) and by other clubs and organisations.
The Directorate for Disabled is a part of the Ministry of Labour, Family and Social Affairs. In December 2005 it announced the Strategy of Accessible Slovenia, where many Assistive Technologies are defined.
The Directorate for Information Society is a part of the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology. The Directorate designs and implements computer networks to some disability organisations, so their members can communicate, educate and work.
Lions Club International – Slovenia
In Slovenia The Lions Club donate some assistive and ICT technologies, such as Braille displays, to enhance education, work or improved quality of life.
Lottery of Slovenia and other gambling federations
All lottery and gambling federations pay a certain percentage of their profit to the FIHO (see 2) in Slovenia. They are the major financial source for the FIHO foundations.
Many people with special needs who cannot get help officially finance their own technologies. Some individuals seek so-financing by sponsors and donators, like clubs, associations etc.