Institutional barriers are laws, policies, guidelines, or procedures that systematically disadvantage certain groups of people. They are often the result of a lack of awareness of people involved in writing legislation and policies or the lack of awareness and experience of those who lead and facilitate procedures.
A legislation that do not recognise persons with mental health conditions or intellectual disabilities with legal capacity.
A vocational training center whose policy states that the institution will only enroll candidates who are psychologically, intellectually and physically fit to work.
A bank whose policy states that a clients signature has to match that of their identity cards, creating barriers for older persons, persons with chronic illnesses, or persons with physical and mental disabilities.
A registration procedure for a financial aid scheme for disaster victims is too complex to understand for persons with mental health conditions or intellectual disabilities.
To overcome institutional barriers:
Analyse policies and procedures together with persons with disabilities and other at-risk groups to identify barriers.
Adjust your own organisation's policies and procedures to remove institutional barriers and create conditions which are conducive to the inclusion of women and men with disabilities and other diverse backgrounds.
Engage policy makers/decision makers to highlight institutional barriers in the laws, policies and procedures they can shape. Involve representative groups in your advocacy work.
Provide specific support or reasonable accommodation to individuals in the community to ensure they can access services and participate equally despite institutional barriers.