Conference discusses the experience of persons with a disability in Gozo

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Conference discusses the experience of persons with a disability in GozoA conference organised by the Commission for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), and and the Department of Disability Studies at the University of Malta, was held today in Sannat, where discussions took place on the experience of persons with a disability in Gozo.

The Minister for Gozo Justyne Caruana, Parliamentary Secretary for Persons with Disability and Active Ageing Anthony Agius Decelis, the Bishop of Gozo Mgr. Mario Grech and the Commissioner for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities Mr. Oliver Scicluna, all addressed the conference.

Minister for Gozo Justyne Caruana said that her Ministry is committed to inclusion and for the rights of disabled people, as well as committed to provide all possible support to both disabled people themselves, as well as their families and caregivers.

She mentioned strengthening the services offered by the Ministry for Gozo, the training opportunities and sports programmes available such as Special Olympics Gozo, as well as culture and entertainment accessible to the disabled.

Dr Caruana added that the Ministry is supporting projects to aid accessibility through Project Gozo with roads being rebuilt, and accessible pavements and squares that can be enjoyed by everyone. She also mentioned investment in the administrative buildings located in St. Francis Square so that they are all accessible

The Minister listed other initiatives completed in aid of persons with a disability, and also explained how with a strategy for the regional development of Gozo there will also be a social pillar to guarantee the protection of rights and full inclusion.

Parliamentary Secretary Anthony Agius Decelis emphasised the importance of involving all stakeholders in the sector, including the important role of academia and research.

He went on to say that he believes that research is the foundation to continue building services that are creative, innovative and relevant, in the interest of people with disabilities, families, workers and society at large.

He stated that the services provided by Agenzija Sapport and CRPD Gozo are essential in creating a bridge between the beneficiaries and entities, and enhance access to information and service provision.

Mr Oliver Scicluna stressed the importance that people advise the Commission when experiencing some form of discrimination, otherwise it does not have a clear picture of the reality of the challenges facing the disabled, or be able to act on them.

He urged Gozitan to make more use of the Gozo Office of the Commission by calling 21556002, or by visiting – CRPD Helpdesk, Sannat Primary School, Sannat Road, Sannat.

Photograph: MGOZ/Terry Camilleri

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