National standards for residences for persons with disability launched

Parliamentary Secretary Justyne Caruana launches set of 19 standards for residences for people with disability

A set of 19 standards for residences welcoming those with a disability have been launched. Parliamentary Secretary for the rights of persons with a disability, Justyne Caruana launched the new standards at Dar il- Kaptan in Mtarfa earlier today.

“The standards are a result of extensive meetings with various entities and stakeholders, as well as people with a disability and their respective families,” Caruana said, reiterating her belief that people with a disability should be at the centre of anything that concerns them.

Caruana said that the standards were based on basic principles including; dignity, privacy, choice, security, realizing your potential, equality, individuality and diversity.

“This government is geared both to increasing the services provided and to improving the quality of the services,” she added, looking forward to the opening of ten community-based residences for those with a disability in the coming weeks.

Caruana said that the government wanted to move away from a “one size fits all” approach, and that it was striving to provide the services needed by each individual.

“We are moving towards a kind of care that satisfies the needs and provides the necessary service, but also discovers the potential and develops the skills of those with disabilities,” Caruana said, adding that inclusion and integration had become a very important part of care systems.

Caruana added that the standards had already been effectively introduced and applied at Dar il-Kaptan, and that starting from today, they would be applied in all private, public and church care homes.

“These standards are a way of reminding those with a disability of their rights to make informed decisions, be free of interference and their right to be treated with dignity among others.”

Caruana pointed out that the drafts for respite and day care services for those with a disability were also in their final stages.

“These drafts were also created with the same concept as these standards; the concept of listening to the opinions and needs of those with a disability,” Caruana said.

She further explained that enforcement of these standards would be entrusted to the department of social welfare, which was one of the entities involved in the planning of the standards themselves.