Website of the Austrian Social Ministry

People with disabilities

Many people associate accessibility only with the fields of construction and technology. However, accessibility is much more than just building wheelchair ramps.


Accessibility has been achieved when - as far as possible - everyone can access and use buildings and other structures, means of transport, technical devices, information processing systems and other designed areas of modern life in the usual way without particular difficulties and without assistance from others (see the legal definition in Section 6 para. 5 of the Federal Disability Equality Act [Bundesbehindertengleichstellungsgesetz, BGStG]).  

The lack of such conditions excludes certain people.


Accessibility facilitates the unrestricted participation in:

  • Information
  • Education at school and vocational training
  • The entire leisure, consumer and services sector
  • Communications technology and the media
  • Sports and tourism services and facilities.

Eliminating barriers is of the greatest significance for people with disabilities, because freedom from barriers makes an essential contribution towards their equality and inclusion.

Mobility and autonomy

Demographic trends show that society is becoming increasingly older. As greater disability-related restrictions on personal mobility can be expected with increasing age, accessibility will become even more important in the future, because a barrier-free environment can make a considerable contribution towards the maintenance of individual independence and enable people to remain in the home environment they are used to.

Barrier-free Ministry of Social Affairs

In recent years the Ministry of Social Affairs has been converted in stages to make it accessible for everyone. You can read more about this in the menu item ‘Ministry'. The internal link ‘Information on accessibility' in the box at the bottom of the page leads you directly to this page.

Disabled person’s pass

The disabled person's pass is an official photo ID card which exempts the holder from a number of taxes and charges.

The interactive question and answer catalogue Online-Ratgeber Behindertenpass (an online adviser in German) indicates whether you fulfil the conditions.

<0}At the end, it draws up and individual information leaflet on the basis of the details given. The disabled person's pass itself has to be applied for at the Sozialministeriumservice. The result of the online adviser should only to be understood as information and does not guarantee the issue of a disabled person's pass.

Please note: the disabled person's pass is not a parking permit (as defined by Section 29b of the Road Traffic Regulations) which enables you to park in a designated disabled parking space. Since 1 January 2014 parking permits of this kind can also be applied from the Sozialministeriumservice.

Further information is available from our online advisers and the website of Ministry of Social Affairs.

People with disabilities who receive special support

The Employment of People with Disabilities Act (Behinderteneinstellungsgesetz) supports people with disabilities in the world of employment. Austrian citizens with a degree of disability of at least 50% can apply for an official decision (Bescheid) stating that they are disabled persons receiving special support.

Disabled persons receiving special support benefit from numerous advantages:

  • Increased protection against redundancy/dismissal
    Employers have to obtain the agreement of the Disabled Persons Committee before they can make a person redundant 
  • Occupational subsidies
    The range of offers extends from financial benefits via technical working aids to special training courses
  • Additional holidays
    This is permitted insofar as it is provided for in the respective collective agreement, employment regulations or company agreement
  • Income tax allowance
    Tax breaks can be applied for at the local tax office from a degree of disability of 25%.  

Declaratory application for the receipt of special support

In order to use the advantages of special support, first the degree of disability has to be established. This is carried out by a medical officer of the Sozialministeriumservice.

The interactive question and answer catalogue (in German) Online-Ratgeber Feststellungsantrag shows whether you fulfil the conditions for the recognition of status as a disabled person receiving special support. However, as stated above, it does not state whether the application will be granted. At the end, it draws up an individual information leaflet on the basis of the details given.

National Action Plan on Disability 2012-2020

On 24 July 2012 the National Action Plan on Disability 2012-2020 (NAP Disability) was adopted by the Ministerial Council. The NAP Disability is the federation's long-term strategy for the implementation of the UN Convention on Disability Rights and was included in the current government programme (2013-2018).

The NAP Disability contains 250 measures divided up into eight main focuses which have to be realised by 2020.

The Ministry of Social Affairs formulated the measures of the NAP Disability in cooperation with all other ministries as the result of a participative process with civil society - above all with the organisations of people with disabilities - and with the social partners.

The NAP 2012-2020 is available as a PDF in German or English as well as in an easy read version in the downloads area.

Information for people with disabilities

The Ministry of Social Affairs has published a free series of brochures on questions in relation to disabilities.

Particular reference has to be made to a special Overview of the horizontal issue of disability in Austria.

The brochure can be obtained free of charge from the Brochure Service of the Ministry of Social Affairs on the number +43 (1) 711 00-86 2525 or by email from