Services for Persons with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities in Italy

  • Fabrizio FeaEmail author


Services for persons with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) have evolved in Italy as legislation has increased understanding and appreciation of the rights of people with IDD in society. However, discrimination remains in areas such as employment and even education. Historically, persons with IDD were treated the same way as those with mental health problems and sheltered away in institutions or so-called ‘lunatic asylums’ and oftentimes abandoned and abused, but today there is now a clear distinction between persons with IDD and persons with mental illness. These same people were believed to be, in Italy’s history, a castigation from Heaven as a result of the sins of their parents. Finally, in early 1978, reforms of the whole National Health Service system was launched, and the IDD field in Italy was totally changed. One of the most important results of these reforms, which are outlined in Italian law (Act 180/1978) was the closing of the institutions that had, for a long time, be the inevitable home for Italians with IDD. Today, Italians with IDD and the groups that represent them, struggle for the realization of rights guaranteed them in law. In this chapter, an overview of the situation of people with IDD in Italy will be given, together with the services that are available to them.


Developmental Disability Union Wage Italian Constitution Local Health Unit Legislative Decree 
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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Rehabilitation Centre for Persons with DisabilitesAssociazione Scuola Viva OnlusRomeItaly

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