Council on Disability

Helsinki aims to be the most functional city in the world, but is this true for residents who have different disabilities, such as functional impairments or reduced mobility?

The Council on Disability promotes the equality and participation of disabled and chronically ill residents, and works on matters that affect the disabled people’s

  • health and well-being
  • inclusion and ability to participate in decision-making
  • living environment and housing
  • mobility and services.

This body is intended for cooperation and advocating, and it includes disabled persons, the organisations for disabled people that represent their next of kin, Helsinki city officials and specialists from different administrative divisions.

The secretary of the Council on Disability is the city’s disability ombudsman, Tiina Lappalainen.

Realising the rights of disabled residents

The city of Helsinki uses its services to provide equal participation, basic rights and fundamental freedoms for residents with different disabilities, respecting their human dignity.

In order to achieve true equality and participation, the city may employ reasonable accommodation and positive action to provide city services for people with different disabilities.

The city’s disability ombudsman and the Council on Disability monitor the realisation of the rights and services of disabled people in the city’s decision-making and the everyday lives of disabled people.

Members (2021-2023)

Taru Reinikainen, taru.reinikainen(a),
Helsingin Kuuloyhdistys ry

Visually impaired
Veera Florica-Rajala, veera.f.rajala(a),
Helsinki and Uusimaa Association for Visually Impaired

Physically disabled
Markku Poikela, markku(a),
Helsingin Invalidien Yhdistys ry

Developmentally disabled
Sari Sepponen, sari.h.sepponen(a),
Kehitysvammatuki 57 ry

People with neurologic diseases
Ari Österberg, ari.osterberg(a),
Helsingin ja Uudenmaan neuroyhdistys ry

People with chronic diseases / per disease (2 representatives)
Sirpa Halmela, sirpa.halmela(a),
Pääkaupunkiseudun Hengitys ry

Mikko Remes,
Helsingin Reumayhdistys ry

Mental health sector
Päivi Seila, seilapivi(a),
Mielenterveysyhdistys HELMI ry

Disabled children
Marco Guarino, marko.guarino(a),
Vamlas Foundation

Others and general organisations
Susanna Haapala, susanna(a),
The Treshold Association

Members of City Councillors

Chairperson Sirpa Puhakka, Left Alliance, sirpa.puhakka(a),
045 7731 3000.

Jari Mönkkönen, The National Coalition party, jari.monkkonen(a)

Kristiina Karhos, The Greens, kristiina.karhos(a)

Katja Bärblom, Social Democratic Party, katja(a)

Marko Joensuu PS, marko.joensuu65(a)

Professionals nominated by City divisions

Education division
Pedagogical specialist Hanne Savunen, hanne.savunen(a), 09 310 22432.

Urban environment division
Project director Pirjo Tujula, pirjo.tujula(a), 09 3103 8410.

Culture and leisure division
Development planner Tiina Larva, tiina.larva(a), 09 3108 5918.

Social and healthcare division
Project manager  Tuomo Ratinen, tuomo.ratinen(a), 09 3104 3155.

Helsinki Executive Office
Riikka Henriksson, riikka.henriksson(a), 09 3102 5543.

Secretary of the Disability Council

Disability ombudsman for City of Helsinki Tiina Lappalainen
tiina.lappalainen(a), vammaisasiamies(a),
Tel. +358(0)9 31036086