Helsinki wants to be an accessible city, which is suitable for all people who live and function there. An accessible and safe environment promotes the well-being of the residents and the functionality of the entire society. In Helsinki, the aim of the accessibility efforts is that every city resident finds it easy to move around in Helsinki and do their things, regardless of age or ability to function.
The City of Helsinki's accessibility principles apply to the entire city and its divisions. The accessibility principles form a framework for the divisions' own accessibility implementation programmes and the interaction between the divisions. The actual measures and their implementation schedules are defined in the divisions' own implementation programmes and implementation plans. The City of Helsinki has also compiled instructions for accessible construction. The directives include criteria through which the accessibility of the outdoor location is estimated, as well as directive cards used for applying the criteria objectively in different situations.
In Helsinki, there is also an elevator project, which helps owners, shareholders, inhabitants, property managers and board members with questions concerning the planning and construction of retrofitted elevators. The advice is provided free of charge. For the construction of an elevator, it is possible to apply for funding from the Housing Finance and Development Centre of Finland (ARA) and the City of Helsinki.
Accessibility means not only the physical environment, but also the accessibility of information. The endless possibilities to get information on the internet constitute an open window to the outside world for the visually impaired and other seriously disabled persons. An increasing part of the public administration services are provided digitally. It is thus important to pay attention to the accessibility, user friendliness and clarity of the web services.