Disability Rights will be a AD's priority
Alternattiva Demokratika held a discussion with entities working with and for people with disability at Dar l-Ewropa in Valletta.
Michael Briguglio, AD Chairperson, said that "As a party which believes in equality, social justice and social inclusion. The party feels privileged to have learned so much from persons and organisations working in the field of disability. AD is not yet in parliament, but we have already ensured that persons with disability feature prominently in Malta’s political discourse. In parliament, we will ensure the implementation of policies related to the rights of such persons.”
Dr. Claire Azzopardi Lane, AD spokesperson for Disability Issues and Sports, said that "Amongst AD’s proposals is that of universal access. AD refers to structural access to public and commercial spaces and to access to people who are part of the Deaf community, where the state should ensure that sign language interpretation is mainstreamed in the public sector and on the media. Access and independence for people who are blind and visually impaired is also being recommended through further investment into the training and use of guide dogs, and the recognition for access to these dogs in public and private spaces.”
AD is proposing an overhaul in the current Social Security Act that oversees the allocation of the disability pension, which amounts to 55% of the minimum wage. AD believes that this should be reviewed so as to encompass those who are currently left out of the system, as well as increased to permit a decent quality of life, irrespective of whether one can enter employment. AD believes that social assistance for carers should be extended to parents or official guardians of people with disability as is the social assistance available for people who care for their elderly parents at home.
“AD sees the need for different forms of living opportunities for people with disability. AD proposes the service of personal assistants to support people with disability living independently or in the family home. AD sees the need of an increase in the number of houses in the community that accommodate and support small groups of people with disability. AD is also in favour of the development of supported independent living for those people with disability who wish to live autonomously, cohabit, marry, and /or raise a family in the community.”
Alternattiva Demokratika also supports people living with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME) and Fibromyalgia (FB) and proposes “that funds are allocated for the education of medical professionals who require specialised training for diagnosing and treating people with ME and FB. Such persons should also get the same support and access in cross-border care as is given to persons with other conditions for which diagnoses and treatment is not available locally.”
Other proposals discussed in the seminar included those which focus on employment, quality education and medication.