Inclusion Finland KVTL

We support persons with intellectual disability, and their families. We defend their rights and social equality. All our work leans on the UNCRPD.

Who We Are

Inclusion Finland KVTL

We are a civic organization for people with intellectual disability and the loved ones of such people. Our task is to facilitate their life now and fight together with them for a better future. We are the voice for the intellectually disabled in Finland.

Our activities are directed at

  • everyone who needs support in understanding, learning and everyday life,
  • people living with a rare or genetic disability or illness,
  • severely disabled people who need the help of a functional aid or another person,
  • and the loved ones of such people.

Peer support and influence are the core of our activities. We are over 16,000 all over Finland. Our member associations work as the bond between people with intellectual disability – children, the young, and adults – and their loved ones, and also protect their rights.

We provide our members with information on the rights, services and social security of disabled people and their families. We organize and coordinate national and local events. In addition to active online communications, we produce two high-quality member magazines, the standard-language Tukiviesti and the plain-language Leija. Our umbrella of activities covers many social media networks.

We do not act as a service producer. Instead, we are a human rights and civic organization – the largest operator in this field in Finland.

As the biggest civic organization focusing on intellectual disability, our members are the voice of our organization. We listen to them and work on things they consider important.

Our network

Our network includes over 150 local associations, through which we can reach people all over Finland. The activities of the local associations are mainly based on volunteer efforts. Only a few member associations also work as service producers. The foundations for our work are our members’ experiences and a staff of over 50 professionals.

Our member associations also include national associations for rare intellectual disability groups, and the We For Ourselves association, which is organized by the intellectually disabled themselves. We For Ourselves is an active movement of the intellectually disabled, consisting of over 1,000 members. The association is organized as an independent member association in Inclusion Finland.

We are a member of Inclusion Europe and Inclusion International. We are also a member of EURORDIS and we are also included in the European ERN-Inthaca knowledge network for rare diseases.

We have established two leading service producers that provide services for the disabled in Finland: the Service Foundation for People with an Intellectual Disability, and the Aspa Foundation.

The Norio Centre of Rare Diseases was integrated as part of our operations in 2019. Norio provides services for children and adults with rare and genetic diseases, as well as for their families and professionals working with them.

Our aim

Our aim is

  • to safeguard the inclusion and fundamental and human rights of people with intellectual disabilities,
  • to provide the necessary support for their families.

The foundation of our work lies in the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, ratified by Finland on 10 June 2016. The convention guarantees that everyone has the equal right

  • to inclusion in all aspects of life, at all stages of life – in school, in further studies, in working life, in housing, and in relationships,
  • to make their own decisions and to be heard in matters concerning them,
  • the right to knowledge and self-expression, and the right to receive the necessary support for communication,
  • the right to individual services according to their needs.

Equality is not readily existent in the world; it requires action. We are building a world that is shared by all, where everyone belongs.

Everyone needs the support of another

Intellectual disability means difficulties in learning and understanding. The disabilities range from mild to severe.

As the field of medicine has progressed, diagnostic science has become more diverse and exact. Other concepts have emerged in place of and alongside intellectual disability. We do not define our target group through a diagnosis. Our activities are intended for everyone who needs support in understanding, learning, and everyday life. It is estimated that there are ca. 40,000 to 50,000 such persons in Finland.

For us all, the important things in life are very similar regardless of disability. Everyone wants to find their own thing, study, work, engage in activities, make friends, and love.

Everyone also needs the support of another person – some more, some less.

Current themes

  • the right to self-determination and supported decision-making
  • inclusion, agency and citizenship
  • housing, housing services, de-institutionalization and preventing new institutions
  • school inclusion
  • reforming the legislation on services for persons with disabilities
  • implementing the UN disability convention
  • supporting families
  • savings and financial austerity

Inclusion Finland KVTL in a nutshell

  • Established in 1961.
  • Members include ca. 175 associations with over 16,000 individual members.
  • We promote the inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities in all aspect of life, such as housing, education, working life, and free time.
  • We influence legislation, decision-makers, experts, and general attitudes.
  • We give advice on legal matters regarding services and support.
  • We organize meetings, training, courses, and events for people with intellectual disabilities, their loved ones, and people working in the field.
  • We publish guides and brochures both in print and online.
  • We develop volunteer work and peer activities.
  • We organize functional aid training and offer the opportunity to test aids without diagnostical borders.
  • We give out grants supporting inclusion for individual persons and groups.


Contact us

Contact information:

Inclusion Finland KVTL
Pinninkatu 51
FI-33100 Tampere

Tel. +358 20 771 8200

Risto Burman, Director: +358 50 5569 900  /

Merja Määttänen, Communications Manager: +358 40 6531 159 /

Jutta Keski-Korhonen, Influence Manager: +358 50 3775 040 /

Norio Centre of Rare Diseases: +358 44 5765 439 /

Yhdenvertainen kaveritoiminta / Inclusive Volunteering Program, Pia Björkman, +358 50 528 8381/

Malike: +358 40 4839 327 /

The Norio Centre of Rare Diseases: +358 44 5765 439 / 

Join us

Are you in Finland? Come and join us.

You can find our membership application here:

Would you like to know more about membership? Call us at +358 50 123 4567



Video: Inclusion Finland KVTL in nutshell (1:28 min)