Groundbreaking policy on disabled persons’ rights launched

Policy on the rights of disabled persons launched by junior minister Franco Mercieca.

Parliamentary secretary Franco Mercieca
Parliamentary secretary Franco Mercieca

For the first time ever, a policy on the rights of persons with disabilities will touch on the sexuality and parenthood of the disabled.

The draft policy addresses other aspects in disabled persons’s life, from employment to accessibility and education to sports, arts and leisure.

Launching the consultative document on the national policy on the rights of persons with disability, junior minister Franco Mercieca said the “all-encompassing” document was aimed at improving the quality of life of persons with disability and their families.

“The policy seeks to address various themes with the ultimate goal not only of improving the quality of life of persons with disability and their families, but also of ensuring that they are treated at par with non-disabled persons,” Mercieca said.

Pointing out that disability was not “homogeneous”, Mercieca said the draft policy aimed at outlining the guiding principles that allow disabled persons “enjoy privacy and relationships and are able to participate in the life of the community and manage therir own needs as much as possible.”

Addressing a news conference at the premises of Middle Sea Insurance in Floriana, Mercieca said that equality is the underlining concept of the policy.

The junior minister pointed out that the insurance company in Floriana which employs 10 persons with a disability and a job coach was the “best example of supportive employment.”

The public consultation process will take six weeks and will then be followed by a seminar.