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Federação Portuguesa de Centros de Formação Profissional e Emprego de Pessoas com Deficiênca.
Lisbon, Portugal.
João Carlos Cabrita.
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This publication is dealing with the report of Portugal on experiences of user participation in R&D oriented work.

Introduction

The rehabilitation and integration of the disabled act was published on May 2, 1989 with a view to ensuring the exercising of those rights set out in the Portuguese Constitution (article 71). This law defines the basic principles underlying rehabilitation policy, specifically vocational rehabilitation, and makes an appeal for the adoption of measures designed to enhance the capabilities of job training structures and expand specific vocational rehabilitation structures.

The State serves as the main guarantee of putting rehabilitation policy into effect in conjunction with families and government organisations. It falls to the State to coordinate any measures taken to this end.

In this law, special attention is given to action taken by private institutions and cooperatives for the disabled as partners with a vested interest in the aims of rehabilitation policy. However, it also quite clearly sets out the principle whereby any initiatives of this type taken by these institutions are to be subordinated to the measures defined by the State in this area as a means of safeguarding the interests of the disabled.

The National Secretariat for the Rehabilitation and Integration of the Disabled (SNRIPD) is a body endowed with administrative autonomy and its own assets under the supervision of the Ministry for Labour and Welfare. The SNRIPD is designed to see to the planning, coordination and development and implementation of national policy on the rehabilitation, insertion and integration of the disabled.
An interesting initiative in the field of vocational and social integration, unprecedented in Portugal and Europe, was the creation of a group of companies run by the disabled (called Social Companies) to provide services to the community. This group, comprising 5 shops (café, cobblers, stationers, physiotherapy centre, laundry) which are all rund by people suffering from mental and motor disabilities, is located in Alcaide, Cascais. The project received support from Cascais Council, the ERDF, the community programmes Horizon, Creatif and Integrar and from some anonymous businessmen.

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