Accessibility when traveling
Persons with a disability of 70% or more can benefit from an Austrian disability card which entitles holders to discounts when travelling by train.
There is also the possibility to apply for a European disability card, which is recognised in many European countries on a voluntary basis. The national eligibility criteria and regulations are not affected by the card.
EU disability card
To facilitate travel for people with disabilities between EU countries, the EU is developing a system of mutual recognition of disability status and some related benefits based on an EU disability card.
Currently the disability status is not mutually recognised by the EU Member States. This creates problems for people with disabilities, as their national disability cards may not be recognised in other Member States.
The EU disability card guarantees equal access to benefits for people with disabilities across borders, especially in the areas of culture, leisure, sport and transport. The card is mutually recognised by the EU countries participating in the scheme on a voluntary basis.At the end of 2023 a proposal for an EU wide dissability card will be made. Meanwhile a pilot project was launched in a group of eight EU countries in February 2016:
Austrian Federal Railways ÖBB
Holders of an Austrian disability card travel at half price if their documented disability is 70% or higher. Alternatively, the note “The holder of the pass may claim a fare reduction under the Federal Act on Persons with Disabilities” is also valid. Accompanying persons or assistance dogs travel free if recorded on the card.
It is also possible to book practical help for a trip by telephone or online:
Assistance for a domestic train journey must be notified at least 12 hours before the start of the journey (if the journey begins before 9 a.m., it must be notified by 6 p.m. on the previous day); for journeys abroad, notification is required 48 hours before the start of the journey.
The brochure barrierefrei-wir-für-sie provides more detailed information (German only)
Airlines are generally under an obligation to carry people with reduced mobility or disability. In exceptional cases, an airline may refuse carriage on safety or technical grounds.
Passengers must notify the need for special assistance 48 hours before departure and be on site in good time.
If they fail to do so, the airport operator or airline must still provide the best possible assistance.
Passengers with reduced mobility or disability are, in particular, entitled to
- Provision of free assistance at the airport (on the way to the gate and to the aircraft, when boarding and leaving the aircraft, etc.)
- Assistance with check-in, collection and transport of baggage, as well as with security and customs controls
- Carriage of necessary medical equipment and mobility aids, including electric wheelchairs (provided that these have been notified 48 hours in advance, that there is sufficient space on board and that safety regulations are complied with)
- Carriage of recognised assistance dogs (subject to national rules)
- Consideration of reduced mobility in the allocation of seats (as far as possible)
- Allocation - if possible - of an adjacent seat to an accompanying person for support. On request, this person must be allowed to provide the necessary assistance at the airport and when boarding and leaving the aircraft.
Temporary on-site assistance
Basically there are two possibilities – on the one hand, an artist can generally travel alone and arrange for temporary assistance on site for the time of his/her trip.
Whether assistance abroad can be claimed from social insurance in the artist’s home country and under what conditions must be clarified in advance by contacting the relevant social insurance institution.
If the social insurance institution does not defray the costs, or only a share thereof, the artist may try to claim the full amount or the balance as a cost item from the organiser. If necessary, the costs should be included in the grant application and taken up in the budget!
The second possibility is for the artist to be accompanied by a permanent assistant from their home country. This is certainly ideal in many situations, especially from the angle of familiarity and habitual support.
There are two things to be checked with the assistant's employer before a trip abroad:
· Is the assistant paid during a foreign assignment and what are the payment modalities?
This must be discussed in advance with the assistance organisation and, if necessary, with the social insurance institution.
· What about insurance cover for the assistant?
For business trips abroad, an A1 form for the assistant must be applied for so that the assistant is seconded by the employer. If necessary, the employer must apply for this secondment for the (employed) assistant in question to the regional health insurer (A1 form, application for secondment).