People With Disabilities

Overview of the facilities, organisations and support available for people with mobility, sight or hearing impairments in Spain...

Information for people with disabilities and application forms for the Disabled Person's Card are available from the local Town Hall (ayuntamiento).
Note:  You must be a Spanish resident to qualify for the card.

Most larger towns have suppliers of mobility aids and other equipment for the disabled, which can be bought or rented: wheelchairs (silla de ruedas), mini-lifts, mobility scooters, walkers and general orthopaedic equipment. Ask at an English-speaking pharmacy or look in the Páginas Amarillas (Spanish yellow pages) under the heading "discapacitado" or "minusválido".

Town Halls do make sure that most beaches have areas adapted for the disabled. Some beaches are equipped with wheelchair accessible board walks and toilets.

Spanish Associations for the Disabled and Mobility Reduced

  • Organización Nacional de Discapacitados (National Organisation for the Disabled)
  • APSA: Asociaciones de Discapacitados (Disabled Association)
  • COCEMFE: Association for the disabled for their integration in the work place
  • ONCE Spanish organisation for the blind (website in English)
  • CERMI - Spanish Committee of Representatives of Persons with Disabilities. Umbrella organisation representing the interests of people with disabilities in Spain

Spanish International Airports

The European Parliament passed a regulation which will facilitate air flights for people with reduced mobility, aimed to be put into practice in 2008. Under EU regulations people with reduced mobility are entitled to free, special assistance when needed in airplanes, airports, baggage check in and with flight connections.

Responsibility has been passed to the airports to accommodate the needs of the disabled traveller. Air companies will still be at liberty to provide services to people with reduced mobility.

Vehicles adapted with ramps are available from local companies for transport to and from international airports.

nidirect provides further information about airport and airline services for people with disabilities within the EU.

Parking

Cars parked in disabled spaces must display the disabled sticker or blue badge in the window. A Spanish resident may request a disabled sticker and information on applying for a blue badge from their local Town Hall.

The blue badge is a standardised European Community disabled person's parking permit, which provides parking entitlements to badge holders in all complying European countries: a blue badge from one country is valid in another. A person coming to Spain from another EU country can apply in their home country for this universal badge, which allows the use of reserved parking under the following regulations:

  • Disabled spaces in car parks reserved for disabled people are marked with a wheelchair symbol
  • Do not park if the space is marked with a vehicle registration number
  • Some car parks allow vehicles displaying a disabled parking sign to park free of charge
  • There are no concessions for disabled drivers on roadside parking

Drivers with a blue badge from another European country may display this Spanish translation beside a badge written in another language (text from the UK Automobile Association):

Tarjeta de aparcamiento para minusválidos.

La persona que muestra esta

tarjeta de aparcamiento es un

visitante minusválido procedente de

otro pais europeo, y tiene derecho a

los mismos privilegios de

aparcamiento que un minusválido

residente en su pais.

Modelo de la Comunidad Europea

Other Spanish Organisations

  • Help for people affected by Alzheimer Tel: 913 440 394
  • Pensions and Complaints for Disabled Tel: 914 206 900
  • Action Plan and Programs for Incapacitated People Tel: 915 612 472
  • Prevention and Attention to People affected by Physical Disabilities Tel: 915 613 839
  • Services for Disabled Tel: 915 803 672
  • Spanish Deaf Federation Tel: 913 565 832

Other associations

Calibre Audio Books: UK charity Calibre supplies audio books in English on cassette or disk to visually impaired and disabled people. The free service is available to members (registration can be made via the website). Free postal service is available to anywhere in Europe.

Article includes contribution by Anette Kelf of Jacks Lifts Tel: 965 831 021 / e-mail Copyright © 2006 All Rights Reserved