Finland, where accessibility is a value

Christmas is coming and, for children (even those who are still children inside!), it’s approaching the time to write the fateful letter to Santa Claus and, maybe, send it directly at home, in Rovaniemi, in the charming Finland. Why don’t you take the chance (if you’re not afraid by cold, obviously) and “deliver” it in person?

Shouldn’t you believe anymore in Santa Claus or being interested in taking pictures of elves and reindeers, you still have excellent reasons to visit this evocative country. One for all of them? The northern lights, which are typical of the Finnish winter, particularly in the North of the country. But also lakes, sleigh tours, national parks…

Finland - northern lights

I think I hear you: “Great, but… with all that cold, will Finland be accessible also to who has reduced mobility?”. Well, the answer is yes! Indeed, doing some search, I discovered that Finland is one of the most accessibility-oriented countries in the world. This because, as in all the Northern Europe countries, people with a disability are fully included into the community, to the extent that, for instance, there’s no “protectionist” law for disabled people at work: simply because there’s no need to have one, since Finland is among the countries with the highest employment rates for disabled people!

Since the ‘70s, well in advance compared with many other countries, Finland has been applying policies to create services which could be accessible to all users, regardless of age, disability and anything else.

Finland - Helsinki Cathedral

Helsinki Cathedral

Helsinki, Turku, Tampere and all the other main cities in Finland have public transport networks that are almost fully autonomously accessible for who has a disability: the subway lines are 100% accessible, urban buses are for the majority and also trams are becoming increasingly “for all”. There are also many cabs allowing access to people on wheelchair, without requiring the transfer from the wheelchair to the seat. But pay attention: these services almost free (they cost as much as the public transport ticket) for disabled residents, while they cost a little bit more for tourists (but the amount is, all in all, affordable).

Public buildings, museum, malls: everything is designed and built to ensure accessibility and usability to everyone. And there’s even more: monuments and historical interest sites have also been, gradually, adapted, equipped with ramps and other expedients that make them totally usable from everyone, both tourists and not.

Finland - lake

Do you love the environment and, rather than in the cities, you’d be interested in exploring the savage and uncontaminated landscapes of Finland? Good news about it as well: many national parks and environmental attractions are equipped with boardwalks and ramps (that are useful both for disabled people and for children in the stroller); there are a lot of shelters equipped also for disabled people along the excursions routes, as well as sites enabling also sport lovers with any disability to safely enjoy their passion.

Are you ready to discover this amazing country? Cover yourself properly and enjoy your trip! 🙂

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