Rut Nordlund-Spiby

Rut Nordlund-Spiby.

Official title: Specialist
Tel. +358 29 524 7082
E-mail: [email protected]


  • Social Work and Social Policy
  • Rights and services of persons with disabilities 
  • Social inclusion, participation and right of self-determination
  • Children, adolescents and family
  • Early Childhood Education and Pedagogy
  • Neurospectrum and neurodiversity

Primary duties

  • Specialist and web editor for the Swedish Handbook on Disability Services, THL


  • Licensed Social Worker, Valvira National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health
  • 2012, M.Soc.Sc. Master's degree in Social Work, University of Helsinki 
  • 2007, Vocational Teacher, Pedagogy, Åbo Akademi University
  • 1990, Social Worker, Bachelor's degree in Social Sciences, The Swedish School of Social Science, University of Helsinki
  • 1982, Preschool teacher, Early Childhood Education and Teaching, Pietarsaari 

Professional background

  • 2016–, Specialist and web editor for the Swedish Handbook on Disability Services, The Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) 
  • 2014–2016, Degree Programme Director, Senior Lecturer, Social Services, Arcada University of Applied Sciences, Helsinki
  • 2007–2014, Lecturer, Social Services, Department of Health and Welfare, Arcada University of Applied Sciences, Helsinki
  • 2003–2007, Teacher, Social Services, Practicum upper secondary vocational institution, Helsinki
  • 2000–2003, Early childhood education and day care planning officer for children with disabilities, City of Espoo
  • 1993–2000, Social Worker, the outpatient clinic for adolescents, Folkhälsan, Helsinki
  • 1989–1993, Social Worker, rehabilitation clinic for children with disabilities, Folkhälsan, Helsinki

Language skills

  • Swedish (native)
  • English (excellent)
  • Finnish (good)
  • Norwegian (good)
  • Danish (fair)
  • German (fair)

Ongoing project

Previous projects

  • 2016–2020, the Client Participation project VamO, The Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) 
    The long-term objectives in the project were to ensure that processes are good, services for the disabled adequate and that equality had been reached nationwide. The aim was to visualize the nature of the involvement of clients and the expertise needed in social work in disability services. Practices, methods and guidelines were developed for national use to ensure the clients’ participation.
  • 2013–2016, project coordinator, Quality of Life Project, Arcada University of Applied Sciences, Helsinki. 
    A Nordic interdisciplinary collaboration with universities in Norway and Denmark. Objective: to investigate and make visible how to create opportunities for quality of life in everyday life for people with disabilities of different ages (children, young people, adults and elderly).  
  • 2015–2016, supervising teacher, PAD-project (Positive Attitude Development), Arcada University of Applied Sciences, Helsinki.
    Our aim was to promote youth employability and access to labour market by decreasing social exclusion and stigma against mental unhealth. This project was a joint project between Arcada and Tallinn University. 

Publications and research

Book contributions

  • Sanna Ahola, Rut Nordlund-Spiby & Saila Lind (2021) Children and young people with disabilities. Within: Korpilahti Ulla (eds.) Non-Violent Childhoods: Action Plan for the Prevention of Violence against Children 2020–2025. Helsinki: Publications of the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health 2020:34, 452-458
  • Brantberg Bettina, Nordlund-Spiby Rut, Sigfrids Ingman, Silius-Ahonen Ellinor (2015) Dialogen som verktyg i basgruppen: handledarens roll som stöd för dialogen. Within: Silius-Ahonen Ellinor (ed.) Bildningsaspekter i högre utbildning – med fokus på professionsutbildning. Helsinki: Arcada, 120–132

Project reports

Working group reports

Conference presentations, Oral presentations

  • Nordlund-Spiby Rut & Hömppi Päivi. (2024). Framtidsutsikter för det sociala arbetet och servicen för personer med funktionsnedsättning i välfärdsområdena (in Swedish). Oral presentation: National Social Work Research Conference in Tampere University 15.–16.2.2024. 
  • Nordlund-Spiby Rut & Karlsson Linn (2023) (in Swedish). Ska det heta servicestig, servicekedja eller serviceväg? Så arbetar ett expertteam kring termer på svenska i Finland. Konferensen Nordterm 2023 in Stockholm 14.-15.6.2023. 
  • Ahola Sanna, Kangas-Aramo Marika, Nordlund-Spiby Rut, Nurmi-Koikkalainen Päivi, Nygård Martina, Sainio Päivi (2019). Online Handbook on Disability Services: Strengthening Participation in Social Work Processes. Copenhagen, Denmark: NNDR Nordic Network on Disability Research, May 8.-10, 2019. Presenter: Nordlund-Spiby, Rut

Conference presentations, Poster presentations

  • Hömppi Päivi & Nordlund-Spiby Rut (2023) Finnish Disability Services in Amendment. Posterpresentation NNDR 16th Research Conference, Nordic Network on Disability Research 10-12.5.2023 in Reykjavik, Iceland.
  • Nordlund-Spiby, Rut (2017). Students of Today Are Professionals of Tomorrow. Poster presentation. Glasgow, Scotland: EFRR 14th Congress of the European Forum for Research in Rehabilitation, May 24, 2017. Presenters: Nordlund-Spiby Rut & Koivu Saija
  • Nordlund-Spiby, Rut (2015). Quality of life with focus on participation and social inclusion for persons with disabilities. Poster presentation.  Helsinki, Finland: EFRR 13 th Congress of European Forum for Research in Rehabilitation, May 6, 2015. Presenters: Nordlund-Spiby Rut & Jeglinsky Ira

Blog texts (in Swedish and Finnish)

More information online