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Malta

A. UN Convention status

A1. Ratification or conclusion of the UN Convention

Malta signed the UN Convention on 30 March 2007 and ratified it on 10 October 2012. It came into effect on 9 November 2012.

Links

Update date: Fri, 2017-05-19

A2. Ratification or accession to the Optional Protocol

Malta signed the optional protocol on 30 March 2007 and ratified it on 10 October 2012. It came into effect on 9 November 2012.

Update date: Fri, 2012-12-07

A3. Declarations, Reservations and Objections

Malta made an interpretative statement and a reservation upon signing the UN Convention as follows: 'Interpretative Statement - Malta understands that the phrase 'sexual and reproductive health' in Article 25 (a) of the Convention does not constitute recognition of any new international law obligation, does not create any abortion rights, and cannot be interpreted to constitute support, endorsement, or promotion of abortion. Malta further understands that the use of this phrase is intended exclusively to underline the point that where health services are provided, they are provided without discrimination on the basis of disability. Malta's national legislation, considers the termination of pregnancy through induced abortion as illegal. (b) Pursuant to Article 29a (i) and (iii) of the Convention, while the Government of Malta is fully committed to ensure the effective and full participation of persons with disabilities in political and public life, including the exercise of their right to vote by secret ballot in elections and referenda, and to stand for elections, Malta makes the following reservations: With regard to (a) (i) At this stage, Malta reserves the right to continue to apply its current electoral legislation in so far as voting procedures, facilities and materials are concerned. With regard to (a) (iii) Malta reserves the right to continue to apply its current electoral legislation in so far as assistance in voting procedures is concerned'. In a press release issued on 30 March 2007, the day when the Convention was signed, the Maltese Government expressed the wish that the reservation on Article 29 is lifted by ratification. However, the reserve is currently still in place.

Links

Update date: Fri, 2012-12-07

A4. Comprehensive review

The Maltese government set up an inter-ministerial committee following the signing of the UN Convention to examine existing policy and legislation and to make the necessary changes for such policy and legislation to be in line with the UN Convention. This committee made a comprehensive review of Maltese legislation. The amendments to Maltese legislation that were enacted through the Various Laws (Disability Matters) (Amendment) Act, 2012 were based on the amendments proposed by this committee.

Links

Update date: Fri, 2012-12-07

A5. Focal point

The focal point for the UN Convention is within the Parliamentary Secreteriat for the Rights of Persons with Disability and Active Ageing which is part of the Ministry for the Family and Social Solidarity.

Links

Update date: Thu, 2016-04-21

A6. Coordination mechanism

The focal point within the Parliamentary Secreteriat for the Rights of Persons with Disability and Active Ageing is also the coordination mechanism.

Links

Update date: Thu, 2016-04-21

A7. Independent mechanism

The Commission for the Rights of Persons with Disability has been identified as the entity in charge of the independent monitoring framework. It has set up a Disabled Persons’ Advisory Committee as part of its obligation to involve civil society, especially disabled people and their representative organisations.

Links

Update date: Fri, 2017-05-19

A8. Official reporting

Malta's initial state report was due in November 2014 and it was submitted on the due date.

Links

Update date: Wed, 2017-08-09

A9. Shadow reporting

To date, no shadow report has been prepared. However, the Commission for the Rights of Persons with Disability (Malta), in March 2013, published a report titled 'Working Towards the Implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities'. During the process of drafting the report, a wide consultation was held with major stakeholders, including disabled people's organisations.

Links

Update date: Mon, 2017-07-24

B. General legal framework

B1. Anti-discrimination legislation

The Maltese Constitution declares that every Maltese citizen is equal under the law and is entitled to the same rights. However, there is no specific reference to discrimination against people with disability. In the Constitution, disabled people’s rights are safeguarded in so far as it asserts that disabled people who cannot work are entitled to education and vocational training (Article 17). Comprehensive legislation to create a legal basis for the implementation of these rights was adopted in 2000 with a unanimous vote in favour of the Equal Opportunities (Persons with Disability) Act (Chapter 413) which establishes the principle of anti-discrimination on the basis of disability and prohibits both public and private sector entities from discriminating against disabled people in education, employment, goods and services, physical access, housing and insurance. Through a recent amendment, a new pillar, health, in which discrimination is prohibited, was included. This Act also granted the Commission for the Rights of Persons with Disability (CRPD) legal status to enforce and implement the Act. Disabled women and children are not specifically mentioned in this Act but are included within the whole population of disabled persons.

On 6 May 2014 a private member's bill was presented to the Parliament by the Opposition to amend Articles 32 and 45 of the Constitution to introduce safeguards against discrimination over any form of disability. The amendments would give more strength to the UNCRPD which Malta ratified two years ago. The amendment would also mean that there would be constitutional remedies for those who were discriminated on the basis of disability.

Links

Update date: Fri, 2017-05-19

B2. Recognition of legal capacity

The Constitution of Malta establishes certain exceptions where it is deemed justifiable to restrict the civil and political rights of citizens; these include considerations based on the grounds of age, imprisonment and certain mental conditions that might preclude entitlement to these rights. However, the constitution fails to go into detail about the interpretation of these conditions. In addition, the Civil Code (Chapter 16) and the Code of Organisation and Civil Procedure (Chapter 12) provide for the interdiction or incapacitation of persons deemed to have a mental disorder or other condition which renders them incapable of managing their own affairs. In 2012, the Maltese Parliament enacted legislation amending the Civil Code and the Code of Organisation and Civil Procedure to introduce Guardianship Legislation that is aimed at replacing interdiction or incapacitation for persons with disability and persons with mental disorder. This legislation introduces a mechanism that identifies the needs and abilities of disabled persons, recognizing the fact that these may change. It includes the establishment of a Guardianship Board that regulates how guardianship orders are issued and implemented, ensuring that these are proportionate to the support needs of the disabled person. The legislation also obliges the guardian to consult with the person with disability before taking any decision and acts as much as possible according to their wishes. It also includes a mechanism for appeal and for regular review of the guardianship orders. The Guardianship Board was appointed on the 8th August 2014. Mental capacity is also included in the Mental Health Act which was adopted by Parliament in 2012. This Bill states that a person with mental disorder is deemed capable of taking decisions unless certified by a specialist as being incapable of doing so. Those who are certified as having mental incapacity are appointed a responsible carer which, as much as possible, is chosen by the person. Failing this, the Act includes the mechanism for the appointment of a responsible carer who must manifest concern for the person's welfare.

Links

Update date: Wed, 2014-10-29

B3. Accessibility of voting and elections

Since the adoption of the Equal Opportunities Act (2000), the voting process must be accessible to all, including disabled people. Since 2000, polling booths need to be physically accessible and must offer disabled people assistance with voting if required. However, due to Malta’s political history, alternative methods of voting that might enable certain impairment groups to vote in secret, such as online voting, have been opposed by both major political parties on grounds that this may lead to vote rigging or abuse in the system. In practice, physically impaired people who cannot use their hands cannot vote in secret but need to vote only in the presence of electoral officials who make sure no one, except the voter, is in the room. While blind and visually impaired people have been given the option of voting using a tactile template, they may still vote through electoral officials. This system has been deemed progressive in allowing blind people to submit a secret vote. However, the tactile template has been criticised by the Malta Blind Society as it only provides a solution to a small number of blind people. Requests for blind or visually impaired people to vote via a trusted friend were rejected and, in fact, the government made a reservation to Article 29 of the UN Convention stating that: ’Pursuant to Article 29 )a) (i) and (iii) of the Convention, while the Government of Malta is fully committed to ensure the effective and full participation of persons with disabilities in political and public life, including the exercise of their right to vote by secret ballot in elections and referenda, and to stand for elections, Malta makes the following reservations: With regard to (a) (i) At this stage, Malta reserves the right to continue to apply its current electoral legislation in so far as voting procedures, facilities and materials are concerned. With regard to (a) (iii) Malta reserves the right to continue to apply its current electoral legislation in so far as assistance in voting procedures is concerned.’ In this sense, even if physically disabled people and blind people have the right to vote, not all disabled people who belong to these groups have the opportunity to vote in secret. Moreover, the Maltese constitution can preclude the right of people with intellectual impairments to vote at all with Chapter VI (b) stating that: ’If he is interdicted or incapacitated for any mental infirmity or for prodigality by a court in Malta, or is otherwise determined in Malta to be of unsound mind’ (Article VI: {b}). This article has often meant that a number of people declared to have mental or psychiatric conditions may also be denied the right to vote. While the voting status of people with mental health issues may be overturned, the voting right of people with an intellectual impairment is usually permanent. However, plans are underway to periodically revise the medical assessment declaring a person's legal incompetence.

Links

Update date: Fri, 2012-03-23

B4. Official recognition of sign language

However, the Equal Opportunities (Persons with Disability) Act recognizes the right of disabled people to use the services of an interpreter (Part III.7.5.b) and outlaws discrimination against those who use such assistance, as for other forms of personal assistance (Part II.6). The public broadcasting service offers a very limited selection of programming having sign language interpretation. More recently, in 2016, the Maltese Sign Language Act was enacted in the Parliament. This legislation declares Maltese Sign Language as one of the official languages of Malta, together with Maltese and English. In addition, this legislation also provides for the setting up, composition and function of a Sign Language Council.

Links

Update date: Fri, 2017-05-19

B5. National disability strategy and action plan

The National Policy on the Rights of Persons with Disability has been drawn up by the Kumitat Azzjoni lejn Socjeta' Gusta (Action towards a Just Society Committee) in collaboration with the Parliamentary Secretary for the Rights of Persons with Disability and Active Ageing within the Ministry for the Family and Social Solidarity. The Consultative Document was launched on 17 March 2014. The National Policy on the Rights of Persons with Disability was launched in December 2014. In May 2016, a draft of the Malta National Disability Strategy was launched for consultation. The final draft has not yet been launched.

Links

Update date: Fri, 2017-05-19

C. Accessibility

C1. Transport accessibility

Public transport in Malta is provided by buses. Public transports are required to be accessible for all, in line with the Equal Opportunities Act. In fact, a fleet of buses which are low floor and wheelchair accessible started operation in July 2011. Apart from providing physical access, the company contracted to manage the public transport has invested in a series of information campaigns and will provide information about the new routes by telephone, email or through their website. Moreover, drivers and staff working for the company have received in-house training and management has consulted the National Commission for Persons with Disability (KNPD) on the service. However, complaints have been received by KNPD about buses whose ramps do not function and therefore cannot be used by wheelchair users. Public transport is at a reduced fare for all disabled people who are in the possession of a Tal-Linja Concession Card. The Concession Card is obtained by holders of a Special ID card issued by the National Commission Persons with Disability.

Some new taxi companies are also providing wheelchair-accessible taxis. While this service may offer more choices to disabled people, the service is too costly for many disabled people to use for their daily travel needs. There are also a number of private companies offering wheelchair accessible vans and one of these companies has been contracted by government to offer subsidised travel for disabled people to fulfil their travel requirements to access work or education. However, beyond office hours the service can be very costly. In addition, since demand exceeds supply, when it comes to the subsidised accessible transport service, there are long waiting lists of disabled people wanting to use the service.

A ferry service also operates between Malta and its sister island Gozo. The service is accessible and the staff have received disability equality training organized by KNPD. Disabled people can travel free of charge if they are in possession of a special ID card issued by KNPD.

Links

Update date: Mon, 2016-05-02

C2. Built environment accessibility

The Equal Opportunities Act established that all public and private buildings that are for the use of the public have to be accessible to all. This also includes outdoor property, such as gardens and pavements. Planning applications for buildings open to the public that are submitted to the Malta Environment and Planning Authority are vetted by KNPD to establish their conformity with the Accessibility for All in the Built Environment Standards (SM 3800:20XX). Permits for building are dependent, among other things, on clearance from KNPD regarding accessibility. Developers can apply for exemptions for valid financial or technical reasons. These applications are assessed by KNPD.

Links

Update date: Thu, 2016-04-21

C3. ICT and Web accessibility

In Malta, ICT solutions and websites in particular must conform to international ICT accessibility standards. Government websites and commercial websites are audited and certified by the Foundation for Information Technology Accessibility (FITA), which also assists service providers in ensuring that their ICT products are accessible to disabled persons in Malta and Gozo (Malta's sister island). FITA also provides consultancy services and training on the effective use and procurement of accessible ICT solutions. FITA also provides courses in the use of ICT for disabled people, especially people with visual impairment in the use of screen-reader software, and courses for people with intellectual disability. FITA recently launched the Maltese Speech Engine which now provides increased accessibility for persons with visual impairment as they can also read computer-based texts in Maltese. Malta has not signed and/or ratified the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled.

Links

Update date: Thu, 2016-04-21

D. Independent living

D1. Choice of living arrangements

Disabled people in Malta are free to choose where they want to live although these choices are often predicated on other factors, such as availability of community support services. It is often assumed that disabled people will live with their family and move to a residential setting if a place becomes available. It is often service providers and parents who decide on the living choices of the disabled person. The Housing Authority (HA) assists disabled people to make changes to their homes so that they are more accessible, although the options can be limited. In Malta, there are no large-scale institutions although an institutional approach can occur even in small community-based residential institutions. Research has shown that individuals may be institutionalised in places such as Mount Carmel (a mental health institution) or St Vincent De Paule (an old people's home) or in community group homes that do not offer scope for choice and self-determination.

Links

Update date: Thu, 2014-05-01

D2. De-institutionalisation

Aġenzija Sapport, the state agency that provides home-based as well as residential services, has moved disabled people from institutions, especially the mental hospital. The home-based services are aimed at preventing institutionalization, especially those with high support needs.The Dar tal-Providenza is the largest institution of around 100 persons. Although some changes are being carried out, with residents now encouraged to develop autonomy, it still remains a large institution located away from the community. More significantly, it has opened a community-based home for three disabled people.

Id-Dar tal-Providenza was the first residence catering for disabled people in Malta and is run and maintained by the Roman Catholic Church. Over the years, a number of NGOs have run group homes within the community.

In 2011, the National Commission Persons with Disability (KNPD) published a policy document on independent supported living. As a result, an Independent Living Fund was set up by government, which is aimed at providing disabled people, especially those with the highest support needs, with the services they need to continue living in the community. There is no legislation that entitles disabled people to community-based living or to choice regarding living arrangements.

Links

Update date: Fri, 2012-12-07

D3. Quality of social services

There is no specific legal mechanism to receive complaints and reports related to the services of residential or institutional care. While the state agency Agenzija Sapport performs an internal assessment of complaints and service quality, there is serious lack of regulation in residential services offered to disabled people. The National Commission of Persons with Disability (KNPD) is empowered, through the Equal Opportunities Act, to investigate cases of complaints related to services for disabled people. Work is currently underway to develop monitoring standards for these services, starting with the residential services. The Draft National Standards for Long-Term Residential Homes for Persons with Disabilities (see Additional links below) were presented for public consultation in May 2014. This work is being carried out by the Department for Social Welfare Standards, which will be responsible for developing and enforcing these standards, in collaboration with KNPD and key stakeholders. The National Standards for Residential Services for Persons with Disability were published in September 2015.

Links

Update date: Thu, 2016-04-21

D4. Provision of assistive devices at home

The Assistive Apparatus Fund run and maintained by the National Commission of Persons with Disability (KNPD) offers disabled people the opportunity to benefit from financial assistance and tax refund on assistive equipment. In the coming months this fund will be moving to the state agency Agenzija Sapport in order for the National Commission Persons with Disability to become a national authority in line with the UNCRPD and not continue to be a service provider. The Community Chest Fund (CCF), a fund that operates under the patronage of the President of Malta, also assists disabled people in covering parts of the expenses for the purchase of assistive apparatus, including wheelchairs, screen readers, hearing aids and walking aids. Disabled people may benefit from financial assistance depending on their particular circumstances and the degree of need. In addition, the opening of the Sonia Tanti Independent Living Centre in 2011 now enables disabled people to receive advice and assessments regarding the assistive equipment that best suits their needs. It also provides a customized wheelchair service and driving assessment and driving lessons on modified vehicles. There is no specific legislation in this regard.

Links

Update date: Thu, 2016-04-21

D5. Availability of personal assistance schemes

There is no official law or policy regarding the provision of personal assistance. However, the state has adopted a strategy to implement personal assistance services that provide disabled people with support rather than care, so that they would be able to achieve full independence to their maximum potential, to continue living within the community and to receive support as and when required through the establishment of the state agency Sapport. The state agency Agenzija Sapport was set up specifically to provide personal assistance services and improve on the choices and quality of life of disabled people by encouraging their independence and self-determination. The service is based on a social model view of disability and emphasises the principle of person-centred planning that takes into account the particular situation of each client. Assistance is provided on a case-by-case basis depending on need and other considerations. Given the high demand for such services and the limited human resources, there are long waiting lists of people requesting the service. Consequently, the government also provides disabled people with help in employing foreign personal assistants.

Links

Update date: Fri, 2012-12-07

D6. Income maintenance

A non-contributory disability pension is awarded to disabled people over the age of 14 or 16 (people with a visual impairment are entitled to the pension when they reach 14 years of age). The disability pension, which is roughly equivalent to 55% of the national minimum wage, does not provide sufficient financial assistance to live independently. The disability pension assumes that the person cannot work; but according to a Budget 2015 measure a recent concession was made to allow disabled people to work and still to receive a disability pension.
More recently, there has also been the introduction of different categories of disability pension.
Currently, there are four categories of disability pensions:

  1. Assistance for the Visually Impaired (BLD): This is awarded to persons aged 14 years and over who are completely or partially visually impaired. These persons can also be engaged in gainful occupation.
  2. Disability Assistance (DA): This assistance will be given to persons over 16 years of age suffering from total paralysis or permanent total severe malfunction or permanent total disease whether through amputation or otherwise of one of the upper or lower limb. Persons eligible for this Assistance can also be engaged in a gainful occupation.
  3. Severe Disability Assistance (SDA): This assistance is awarded to persons with a disability aged 16 years and over that can be engaged in a gainful occupation. Applicants are not filtered according to their owned capital. However, any other income that is not part of the applicant’s main employment must not exceed the minimum wage. If this income does exceed the minimum wage, the difference by which this is exceeded is deducted from the awarded rate.
  4. Increased Severe Disability Assistance (ISDA): This is an assistance awarded to those persons aged 16 years and over that are rated 0-4 on the Barthel Index and are absolutely unable to work. The Multi Disciplinary Board decides whether the case falls within the medical parameters and following the assessment of the Barthel Index. By time this assistance will be gradually increased to meet the minimum wage.

Links

Update date: Mon, 2017-07-24

D7. Additional costs

Besides the disability pension, disabled people are not given additional income but they are entitled to free or discounted use of particular goods and services available to the public, including free use of the Gozo Channel ferry service and educational and historical sites; provided they are in possession of a Special identity (ID) card issued by the National Commission Persons with Disability (KNPD). In addition, all disabled persons in possession of a Special identity card issued by the National Commission of Persons with Disability are also entitled to a reduced fare for the use of public transport. The Special ID Card also aims to provide disabled people with certain benefits such as reduced costs on the purchase of goods or services to increase their participation and inclusion in mainstream society. There are also a number of financial benefits provided to parents or carers of disabled people to compensate for additional costs associated with impairment, such as the disabled child allowance and the carer’s pension. Disabled people who have worked and thus paid national insurance contributions and can no longer work are entitled to the invalidity benefit, which is means tested. This benefit is usually given to workers who have developed a disability, because of accident or illness, in their adulthood. According to a recent measure from Budget 2015, disabled people who receive the disability pension can also work without there being a reduction in the disability pension. In addition, disabled persons can also apply for a duty tax refund when purchasing a car for their own use as well as a refund for the Road Tax on the same car.

Links

Update date: Thu, 2016-04-21

D8. Retirement income

The Social Security Act (Cap 318) establishes that the disability pension is a non-contributory pension awarded to individuals registered with the Department of Social Security as disabled persons and assumes that the 'disability' Is long term and that disabled people cannot work throughout their lives. In case a disabled person has worked and paid national insurance contributions, the disabled person is entitled to a contributory old age pension but forfeits the right to continue receiving the disability pension. People on invalidity benefit are entitled to a retirement pension.

Links

Update date: Fri, 2012-12-07

E. Education

E1. Special schools

Since the adoption of an Inclusive Education Policy in 1994 most disabled children in Malta now attend mainstream schools. They are provided with an individual education programme (IEP) and the support of a Learning Support Assistant (LSA), formerly known as ’facilitators’. These developments have led to various questions about the success of inclusion and also raised questions about the role of special schools, given the increase of disabled children within the mainstream. Consequently, this prompted a review of the entire inclusive and education system, which was carried out by a number of experts in the field and through consultation with parents, NGOs and disabled people. A report containing a number of recommendations aimed to address the current problems with the system was issued in 2005. One of the recommendations was that special schools be changed into education resource centres providing services and assistance to disabled children during their mainstream education that cannot be provided in schools, thus prompting a revision of the functions of special schools. This reform was enacted in 2010. Some children attend an education resource centre, rather than a mainstream school. Parents retain the right to choose whether to send their child to an education resource centre or a mainstream school.

Links

Update date: Fri, 2012-12-07

E2. Mainstream schools

With the implementation of an Inclusive Education Policy in 1994, disabled children attend mainstream schooling. They are assessed by the Statementing Moderating Panel and provided with support according to their individual educational needs. Parents can appeal the decision of the Panel. Children who are statemented are provided with an Individual Educational Plan (IEP) that defines long-term goals and short-term action to realize their full potential. The IEP is implemented with the support of Learning Support Assistant (LSA) who support disabled children in the classroom. The costs of employing LSAs is carried by the government in state, religious and independent schools. In addition, with the reform of special schools in 2010, the newly-created education resource centres now to provide specialised support and resources to disabled children attending mainstream schooling. The Equal Opportunities Act safeguards the rights of disabled children against discrimination in education.

Links

Update date: Fri, 2012-12-07

E3. Sign language and Braille in school

The rights of disabled children against discrimination are safeguarded by the Equal Opportunities Act. Legislation does not make specific reference to the right to learn sign language or Braille. Maltese sign language interpreters are provided for Deaf children whose parents request the service. However, there are limitations in the quantity of hours provided because of restricted resources. Blind children are taught Braille.

Update date: Fri, 2012-12-07

E4. Vocational training

The right to education can be found in the Equal Opportunities Act and both private and public educational institutions providing vocational training must take into account the requirements of disabled people. The right of disabled people to vocational training and education is also found in the Constitution of Malta. The main provider of vocational training is the state-funded Malta College of Art, Science and Technology (MCAST), which implements an inclusive policy. Physical accessibility on its campus has increased and the new campus that is being built has been planned in conformity with the Access for All Design Guidelines. The Learning Support Unit provides support for students with learning difficulties and the Pathway to Independence course provides vocational education training for students with intellectual disability. In 2012, the Institute of Tourism Studies launched a corresponding course focusing on Key Skills in the Hospitality Sector. Short courses organized by the Employment and Training Corporation are also available for disabled people. In order to improve the prospects of disabled people developing their educational skills beyond compulsory schooling, the National Commission Persons with Disability (KNPD) is currently working on an initiative in collaboration with the Students Services Department (Directorate for Educational Services) to produce a website, to be placed in the Department of Educational Services (DES) Internet portal, and a complementary booklet that provides information for disabled students about opportunities for post-secondary education and vocational training. The resources will offer disabled students with existing educational institutions and comprehensive information about services and benefits that they can make use of in the course of their education. All material will be provided in accessible formats.

Links

Update date: Fri, 2012-12-07

E5. Higher education

The University of Malta is the only university in Malta. Following the adoption of the Equal Opportunities Act, the university needed to undergo changes to offer disabled students equal treatment to other students. These included the increase in the quality of access to certain areas of campus and the establishment of an Access Disability Support Unit (ADSU). Changes in examination arrangements to cater for the requirements of disabled people completing their exams to qualify to enter university were also issued. In addition, disabled people who wish to continue with their education and require funding may apply for financial assistance through the National Commission Persons with Disability (KNPD) PEKTUR program which offers financial assistance to disabled people wishing to continue with their studies relating to the field of disability. In order to improve the prospects of disabled people developing their educational skills beyond compulsory schooling, KNPD is currently working on an initiative in collaboration with the Students Services Department (Directorate for Educational Services) within the entity responsible for education beyond the schooling age (KK16+). The aim of this initiative is to produce a website, to be placed in the Department of Educational Services (DES) Internet portal, and a complementary booklet that provides information for disabled students about opportunities for post-secondary education and vocational training. The resources will offer disabled students with existing educational institutions and comprehensive information about services and benefits that they can make use of in the course of their education. All material will be provided in accessible formats.

Links

Update date: Fri, 2012-12-07

F. Employment

F1. Non-discrimination in employment

The Maltese Constitution (1964) establishes the principle that every Maltese citizen has the right to work but does not specifically refer to disabled people in this regard. However, it does assert the right of disabled citizens who cannot work to access vocational education and training. The Disabled Persons (Employment) Act (Chapter 210) is the first attempt to fulfil the principle of equality in work for disabled people. This law introduced the Disabled Persons Register and a quota of 2% disabled employees (and a minimum of 1 disabled employee) for companies who employ more than 20 employees. The Act also establishes the concept of reserved jobs to be allocated for disabled people. Recent amendments to this legislation include fines for companies who do not abide by the regulations of this act. The money collected from the fines will go towards the Lino Spiteri Foundation – a foundation, established in May 2015, set up in order to improve the inclusion of disabled individuals into gainful employment. The Conditions of the Employment (Regulation) Act (Cap 135) protects the right to compensation of persons who are injured or acquire a disease during the course of their working life, which prevents them from continuing to work. The amount of compensation they receive is adjusted according to the Social Security Act (Cap 147). The Social Security Act provides disabled people who are in receipt of the non-contributory disability pension to perform part-time work as long as their total extra income does not exceed the minimum wage. In that case, the amount of the disability pension is reduced on a pro-rata basis. The Employment and Industrial Relations Act (Cap 452) and the Equal Opportunities Act (Cap. 413) transpose the European Employment Directive and safeguard the rights of disabled persons in employment. In 2010, the National Commission of Persons with Disability (KNPD) published a Policy of the Employment of Disabled People following consultations with stakeholders in the employment sector, support agencies, NGOs active in the disability sector, parents and disabled people. The policy proposed a number of recommendations, including better employment assessment services, the introduction of more incentives for employers and to disabled people seeking self-employment and the restructuring of day care facilities. It also recommends removing the concept of jobs that are reserved for disabled people and ensuring instead that all jobs are accessible for disabled people who have the necessary skills to carry them out.

Links

Update date: Thu, 2016-04-21

F2. Public employment services

The state agency offering employment and training opportunities is the Employment Training Corporation (ETC). The ETC is bound by law to include disabled people in its programmes and operates a Supported Employment Unit aiming to assist registered disabled unemployed people in finding work and receiving suitable training that is tailored to their individual needs and skills. In addition to providing training to disabled people alongside other trainees, the ETC also works to reach out to employers for possible work opportunities and practice. Programmes that are aimed to prepare disabled people for work include the Bridging the Gap scheme and the Employment Aid Programme, aimed at securing disabled people's employment and providing them with work exposure and on-site training. In addition, a recent programme for people with intellectual disability was launched. The programme titled Sheltered Employment Training aims to provide free sheltered employment training with the result of improving disabled person’s employability.

Links

Update date: Thu, 2016-04-21

F3. Workplace adaptations

One of the recommendations made within the National Commission Persons with Disability's Employment Policy for Disabled People was to provide financial incentives to employers to make necessary adaptations to their work places and in the acquisition of assistive equipment if necessary. The Workplace Accessibility Scheme was set up in 2010 to provide tax deductions to employers who employ disabled people and need to make modifications within their place of work. To date, no employer has applied for this scheme.

Links

Update date: Fri, 2012-12-07

F4. Financial incentives

The government agency responsible for employment and training Jobsplus offers support to disabled people seeking employment through such schemes as the Bridging the Gap scheme, which offers disabled people the opportunity of entering the labour market through supported employment measures. Through this scheme, disabled people can gain experience on the job, have more employment opportunities and receive a weekly wage (80% of the minimum wage). With the Employment Aid Scheme, employers can choose to interview the client, assess the progress of the employee and are not bound to pay national insurance, wages or sick leave benefits for the first 156 weeks of employment. The Employment Aid Scheme is being funded by the ESF and employers can benefit from the support of Jobsplus officials during this scheme. As from January 2014, the employers of persons in receipt of the Severe Disability Assistance, Disability Assistance and Assistance for the Visually Impaired are exempt from paying Social Security contributions for the first 156 days of employment.

Links

Update date: Mon, 2017-07-24

G. Statistics and data collection

G1. Official research

There is no official centre responsible for gathering data or statistical information about disability equality. The National Statistics Office (NSO) collects data about Malta's population and also implements research devised by Eurostat.

Links

Update date: Fri, 2012-12-07

G2. Census data

The Census in 2005 included a question asking respondents whether there were disabled people as part of the household and to identify the impairment group. The results provided a wealth of data on the living conditions of disabled people as no undertaking has been carried out before on a nationwide scale. A question on disability allowed for the analysis pertaining to demographics, living conditions, educational status, level and quality of employment, involvement in sports and access to the Internet. The data was pivotal in getting a better idea of the quality of life of disabled people and formed the basis of a report entitled The Quality of Life of Disabled People: Some Answers from the Census 2005, which was published in 2009. It must be noted that the 2005 Census was the first one which included reference to disability status which made it possible to get a better idea of the quality of disabled people's lives at a nationwide level. The last Census was held in 2011 and statistics on persons with disability from the 2011 Census are available from the KNPD website (see link below). A full report has not yet been made available.

Links

Update date: Fri, 2015-02-27

G3. Labour Force Survey

The National Statistics Office (NSO) collects data and statistics on the Maltese population and conducts a number of thematic studies exploring data related to age, gender, educational status, employment situation and economic growth, including those developed by Eurostat. Disabled people are also included in some of the studies conducted by NSO. Included in the data collected that makes reference to disabled people as part of the sample relate to the number of registered unemployed and employed disabled people (published every quarter) and reports on people having a long standing illness or disability (the most recent published in 2003). The 2011 Labour Force Survey included an ad hoc module is to provide information on the situation of people having any health condition/disease or activity difficulty in the labour market. All the reports issued by the NSO are publicly available on their web page and can be downloaded free of charge.

Links

Update date: Fri, 2012-12-07

G4. Disability equality indicators

There is no official data regarding disability equality indicators. The study that best establishes such indicators is the one entitled 'The quality of life of disabled people: Some answers from Census 2005'. This study covers demographics, living conditions, educational status, level and quality of employment, involvement in sports and access to the Internet. For each indicator in turn, data was further examined to analyse whether findings varied between disabled and non-disabled people; between disabled men and women; according to age; according to where disabled people lived; by type of impairment.

Links

Update date: Thu, 2016-06-09

H. Awareness and external action

H1. Awareness raising programs

One of the roles of the National Commission Persons with Disability (KNPD) as established in the Equal Opportunities Act is to raise awareness about disability issues. KNPD organizes a year long awareness raising programme culminating in Disabled Persons' Week from the 3-10 December. There have been activities highlighting parallels in the experiences of disabled people and people from ethnic minorities as well as activities focusing on women with disability. All statistics published by KNPD is disaggregated by gender. Moreover, KNPD has also issued a number of educational publications aimed at creating awareness about disability issues and rights. Included in these publications there are storybooks aimed at children about the lives of young disabled characters having different impairments each, a booklet aimed at business staff explaining how people operating in business should engage with disabled people and fact sheets explaining the social model view of disability. All publications are available to download on KNPD's site.

Links

Update date: Fri, 2012-12-07

H2. Training for teachers

Teachers are required to attend lectures on disability issues when reading for a B Ed in Primary or Secondary education. These lectures have been delivered by the National Commission of Persons with Disability (KNPD) since 1994 and they involve the participation of disabled people themselves. The lectures aim to make teachers aware of the social model and the rights of disabled people. In 2012, the University of Malta set up a Disability Studies Unit (DSU) that now gives lectures for students and teachers. In 2015, the Unit was promoted to a Department. KNPD retains its Disability Equality Training programme for inservice teachers and school children among others.

Links

Update date: Thu, 2016-04-21

H3. Training for lawyers

The Department of Disability Studies is now delivering an optional study unit for law students focusing on anti-discrimination and other legislation for disabled people, especially the CRPD and the Equal Opportunities Act.

Links

Update date: Thu, 2016-04-21

H4. Training for doctors

Medical students are provided with one Disability Equality Training (DET) sessions throughout their course. Other trainee health care professionals can follow an optional Disability Issues course as part of their University course. These are conducted with the participation of disabled people and aim to make those working in the medical field and health care professionals of the importance of going beyond simply perceiving disabled people in medical terms but of treating them as whole persons. They are also made aware of the social model of disability and provided with tips on how to relate to disabled people.

Update date: Fri, 2012-12-07

H5. Training for engineers

At present, engineers and designers do not receive any DET/DAT training sessions. Architectural students have a course in accessible design.

Update date: Fri, 2012-12-07

H6. International development aid

Maltadoes not to make reference to disability mainstreaming nor specifically identify this issue in official policies or programmes of international development aid or make reference to the principles of accessibility or non-discrimination.

Links

Update date: Fri, 2012-12-07

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                    [slug] => portugal
                    [title] => Portugal
                    [alias] => 
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                    [state] => 1
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                    [checked_out] => 0
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                )

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                    [id] => 28
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                    [level] => 2
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                    [alias] => 
                    [access] => 0
                    [path] => 
                    [ordering] => 27
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            [25] => stdClass Object
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                    [id] => 29
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                    [level] => 2
                    [slug] => slovakia
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                    [access] => 0
                    [path] => 
                    [ordering] => 28
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                    [id] => 30
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                    [slug] => slovenia
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                    [access] => 0
                    [path] => 
                    [ordering] => 29
                    [state] => 1
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            [27] => stdClass Object
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                    [id] => 31
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                    [level] => 2
                    [slug] => spain
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                    [access] => 0
                    [path] => 
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                    [id] => 32
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                    [level] => 2
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                    [alias] => 
                    [access] => 0
                    [path] => 
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                    [id] => 33
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                    [level] => 2
                    [slug] => united-kingdom
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                    [alias] => 
                    [access] => 0
                    [path] => 
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            [30] => stdClass Object
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                    [level] => 1
                    [slug] => candidate-acceding-countries
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                    [access] => 0
                    [path] => 
                    [ordering] => 3
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                    [level] => 2
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                    [alias] => 
                    [access] => 0
                    [path] => 
                    [ordering] => 33
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            [32] => stdClass Object
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                    [access] => 0
                    [path] => 
                    [ordering] => 35
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                    [checked_out] => 0
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            [33] => stdClass Object
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                    [alias] => 
                    [access] => 0
                    [path] => 
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                )

            [34] => stdClass Object
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                    [level] => 2
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                    [alias] => 
                    [access] => 0
                    [path] => 
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                    [level] => 1
                    [slug] => other-european-countries
                    [title] => Other European countries
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                    [access] => 0
                    [path] => 
                    [ordering] => 4
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                    [id] => 35
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                    [level] => 2
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                    [alias] => 
                    [access] => 0
                    [path] => 
                    [ordering] => 34
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                    [level] => 2
                    [slug] => liechtenstein
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                    [access] => 0
                    [path] => 
                    [ordering] => 38
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                    [level] => 2
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                    [access] => 0
                    [path] => 
                    [ordering] => 39
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        )

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                    [access] => 0
                    [path] => 
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                    [checked_out_time] => 2016-07-01 12:00:00
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                    [level] => 2
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                    [access] => 0
                    [path] => 
                    [ordering] => 2
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                    [checked_out] => 0
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                    [level] => 2
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                    [access] => 0
                    [path] => 
                    [ordering] => 3
                    [state] => 1
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                    [checked_out] => 0
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            [3] => stdClass Object
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                    [level] => 2
                    [slug] => a3-declarations-reservations-and-objections
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                    [access] => 0
                    [path] => 
                    [ordering] => 4
                    [state] => 1
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                    [checked_out] => 0
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                    [level] => 2
                    [slug] => a4-comprehensive-review
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                    [access] => 0
                    [path] => 
                    [ordering] => 5
                    [state] => 1
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                    [checked_out] => 0
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                    [level] => 2
                    [slug] => a5-focal-point
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                    [access] => 0
                    [path] => 
                    [ordering] => 6
                    [state] => 1
                    [published] => 1
                    [checked_out] => 0
                    [checked_out_time] => 0000-00-00 00:00:00
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                    [level] => 2
                    [slug] => a6-coordination-mechanism
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                    [access] => 0
                    [path] => 
                    [ordering] => 7
                    [state] => 1
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                    [checked_out] => 0
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            [7] => stdClass Object
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                    [level] => 2
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                    [access] => 0
                    [path] => 
                    [ordering] => 8
                    [state] => 1
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                    [checked_out] => 0
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            [8] => stdClass Object
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                    [id] => 10
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                    [level] => 2
                    [slug] => a8-official-reporting
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                    [access] => 0
                    [path] => 
                    [ordering] => 9
                    [state] => 1
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                    [checked_out] => 0
                    [checked_out_time] => 2016-07-01 12:00:00
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                )

            [9] => stdClass Object
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                    [rgt] => 19
                    [level] => 2
                    [slug] => a9-shadow-reporting
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                    [access] => 0
                    [path] => 
                    [ordering] => 10
                    [state] => 1
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                    [checked_out] => 0
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            [10] => stdClass Object
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                    [rgt] => 32
                    [level] => 1
                    [slug] => b-general-legal-framework
                    [title] => B. General legal framework
                    [alias] => 
                    [access] => 0
                    [path] => 
                    [ordering] => 11
                    [state] => 1
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                    [checked_out] => 0
                    [checked_out_time] => 2016-07-01 12:00:00
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            [11] => stdClass Object
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                    [rgt] => 23
                    [level] => 2
                    [slug] => b1-anti-discrimination-legislation
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                    [access] => 0
                    [path] => 
                    [ordering] => 12
                    [state] => 1
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                    [checked_out] => 0
                    [checked_out_time] => 2016-07-01 12:00:00
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            [12] => stdClass Object
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                    [lft] => 24
                    [rgt] => 25
                    [level] => 2
                    [slug] => b2-recognition-of-legal-capacity
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                    [alias] => 
                    [access] => 0
                    [path] => 
                    [ordering] => 13
                    [state] => 1
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                    [checked_out] => 0
                    [checked_out_time] => 2016-07-01 12:00:00
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            [13] => stdClass Object
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                    [id] => 15
                    [parent_id] => 12
                    [lft] => 26
                    [rgt] => 27
                    [level] => 2
                    [slug] => b3-accessibility-of-voting-and-elections
                    [title] => B3. Accessibility of voting and elections
                    [alias] => 
                    [access] => 0
                    [path] => 
                    [ordering] => 14
                    [state] => 1
                    [published] => 1
                    [checked_out] => 0
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                )

            [14] => stdClass Object
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                    [id] => 16
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                    [lft] => 28
                    [rgt] => 29
                    [level] => 2
                    [slug] => b4-official-recognition-of-sign-language
                    [title] => B4. Official recognition of sign language
                    [alias] => 
                    [access] => 0
                    [path] => 
                    [ordering] => 15
                    [state] => 1
                    [published] => 1
                    [checked_out] => 0
                    [checked_out_time] => 2016-07-01 12:00:00
                    [created_by] => 548
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                )

            [15] => stdClass Object
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                    [lft] => 30
                    [rgt] => 31
                    [level] => 2
                    [slug] => b5-national-disability-strategy-and-action-plan
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                    [alias] => 
                    [access] => 0
                    [path] => 
                    [ordering] => 16
                    [state] => 1
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                    [checked_out] => 0
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            [16] => stdClass Object
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                    [id] => 18
                    [parent_id] => 1
                    [lft] => 33
                    [rgt] => 40
                    [level] => 1
                    [slug] => c-accessibility
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                    [access] => 0
                    [path] => 
                    [ordering] => 17
                    [state] => 1
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                    [checked_out] => 0
                    [checked_out_time] => 2016-07-01 12:00:00
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            [17] => stdClass Object
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                    [lft] => 34
                    [rgt] => 35
                    [level] => 2
                    [slug] => c1-transport-accessibility
                    [title] => C1. Transport accessibility
                    [alias] => 
                    [access] => 0
                    [path] => 
                    [ordering] => 18
                    [state] => 1
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                    [checked_out_time] => 2016-07-01 12:00:00
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            [18] => stdClass Object
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                    [id] => 20
                    [parent_id] => 18
                    [lft] => 36
                    [rgt] => 37
                    [level] => 2
                    [slug] => c2-built-environment-accessibility
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                    [alias] => 
                    [access] => 0
                    [path] => 
                    [ordering] => 19
                    [state] => 1
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                    [checked_out] => 0
                    [checked_out_time] => 2016-07-01 12:00:00
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            [19] => stdClass Object
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                    [id] => 21
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                    [lft] => 38
                    [rgt] => 39
                    [level] => 2
                    [slug] => c3-ict-and-web-accessibility
                    [title] => C3. ICT and Web accessibility
                    [alias] => 
                    [access] => 0
                    [path] => 
                    [ordering] => 20
                    [state] => 1
                    [published] => 1
                    [checked_out] => 0
                    [checked_out_time] => 2016-07-01 12:00:00
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            [20] => stdClass Object
                (
                    [id] => 22
                    [parent_id] => 1
                    [lft] => 41
                    [rgt] => 58
                    [level] => 1
                    [slug] => d-independent-living
                    [title] => D. Independent living
                    [alias] => 
                    [access] => 0
                    [path] => 
                    [ordering] => 21
                    [state] => 1
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                    [checked_out] => 0
                    [checked_out_time] => 2016-07-01 12:00:00
                    [created_by] => 548
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                )

            [21] => stdClass Object
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                    [id] => 23
                    [parent_id] => 22
                    [lft] => 42
                    [rgt] => 43
                    [level] => 2
                    [slug] => d1-choice-of-living-arrangements
                    [title] => D1. Choice of living arrangements
                    [alias] => 
                    [access] => 0
                    [path] => 
                    [ordering] => 22
                    [state] => 1
                    [published] => 1
                    [checked_out] => 0
                    [checked_out_time] => 2016-07-01 12:00:00
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                )

            [22] => stdClass Object
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                    [id] => 24
                    [parent_id] => 22
                    [lft] => 44
                    [rgt] => 45
                    [level] => 2
                    [slug] => d2-de-institutionalisation
                    [title] => D2. De-institutionalisation
                    [alias] => 
                    [access] => 0
                    [path] => 
                    [ordering] => 23
                    [state] => 1
                    [published] => 1
                    [checked_out] => 0
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                    [created_by] => 548
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            [23] => stdClass Object
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                    [id] => 25
                    [parent_id] => 22
                    [lft] => 46
                    [rgt] => 47
                    [level] => 2
                    [slug] => d3-quality-of-social-services
                    [title] => D3. Quality of social services
                    [alias] => 
                    [access] => 0
                    [path] => 
                    [ordering] => 24
                    [state] => 1
                    [published] => 1
                    [checked_out] => 0
                    [checked_out_time] => 2016-07-01 12:00:00
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            [24] => stdClass Object
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                    [lft] => 48
                    [rgt] => 49
                    [level] => 2
                    [slug] => d4-provision-of-assistive-devices-at-home
                    [title] => D4. Provision of assistive devices at home
                    [alias] => 
                    [access] => 0
                    [path] => 
                    [ordering] => 25
                    [state] => 1
                    [published] => 1
                    [checked_out] => 0
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            [25] => stdClass Object
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                    [id] => 27
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                    [lft] => 50
                    [rgt] => 51
                    [level] => 2
                    [slug] => d5-availability-of-personal-assistance-schemes
                    [title] => D5. Availability of personal assistance schemes
                    [alias] => 
                    [access] => 0
                    [path] => 
                    [ordering] => 26
                    [state] => 1
                    [published] => 1
                    [checked_out] => 0
                    [checked_out_time] => 2016-07-01 12:00:00
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                )

            [26] => stdClass Object
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                    [id] => 28
                    [parent_id] => 22
                    [lft] => 52
                    [rgt] => 53
                    [level] => 2
                    [slug] => d6-income-maintenance
                    [title] => D6. Income maintenance
                    [alias] => 
                    [access] => 0
                    [path] => 
                    [ordering] => 27
                    [state] => 1
                    [published] => 1
                    [checked_out] => 0
                    [checked_out_time] => 2016-07-01 12:00:00
                    [created_by] => 548
                    [modified_by] => 548
                    [children] => 0
                )

            [27] => stdClass Object
                (
                    [id] => 29
                    [parent_id] => 22
                    [lft] => 54
                    [rgt] => 55
                    [level] => 2
                    [slug] => d7-additional-costs
                    [title] => D7. Additional costs
                    [alias] => 
                    [access] => 0
                    [path] => 
                    [ordering] => 28
                    [state] => 1
                    [published] => 1
                    [checked_out] => 0
                    [checked_out_time] => 2016-07-01 12:00:00
                    [created_by] => 548
                    [modified_by] => 548
                    [children] => 0
                )

            [28] => stdClass Object
                (
                    [id] => 30
                    [parent_id] => 22
                    [lft] => 56
                    [rgt] => 57
                    [level] => 2
                    [slug] => d8-retirement-income
                    [title] => D8. Retirement income
                    [alias] => 
                    [access] => 0
                    [path] => 
                    [ordering] => 29
                    [state] => 1
                    [published] => 1
                    [checked_out] => 0
                    [checked_out_time] => 2016-07-01 12:00:00
                    [created_by] => 548
                    [modified_by] => 548
                    [children] => 0
                )

            [29] => stdClass Object
                (
                    [id] => 31
                    [parent_id] => 1
                    [lft] => 59
                    [rgt] => 70
                    [level] => 1
                    [slug] => e-education
                    [title] => E. Education
                    [alias] => 
                    [access] => 0
                    [path] => 
                    [ordering] => 30
                    [state] => 1
                    [published] => 1
                    [checked_out] => 0
                    [checked_out_time] => 2016-07-01 12:00:00
                    [created_by] => 548
                    [modified_by] => 548
                    [children] => 5
                )

            [30] => stdClass Object
                (
                    [id] => 32
                    [parent_id] => 31
                    [lft] => 60
                    [rgt] => 61
                    [level] => 2
                    [slug] => e1-special-schools
                    [title] => E1. Special schools
                    [alias] => 
                    [access] => 0
                    [path] => 
                    [ordering] => 31
                    [state] => 1
                    [published] => 1
                    [checked_out] => 0
                    [checked_out_time] => 2016-07-01 12:00:00
                    [created_by] => 548
                    [modified_by] => 548
                    [children] => 0
                )

            [31] => stdClass Object
                (
                    [id] => 33
                    [parent_id] => 31
                    [lft] => 62
                    [rgt] => 63
                    [level] => 2
                    [slug] => e2-mainstream-schools
                    [title] => E2. Mainstream schools
                    [alias] => 
                    [access] => 0
                    [path] => 
                    [ordering] => 32
                    [state] => 1
                    [published] => 1
                    [checked_out] => 0
                    [checked_out_time] => 2016-07-01 12:00:00
                    [created_by] => 548
                    [modified_by] => 548
                    [children] => 0
                )

            [32] => stdClass Object
                (
                    [id] => 34
                    [parent_id] => 31
                    [lft] => 64
                    [rgt] => 65
                    [level] => 2
                    [slug] => e3-sign-language-and-braille-in-school
                    [title] => E3. Sign language and Braille in school
                    [alias] => 
                    [access] => 0
                    [path] => 
                    [ordering] => 33
                    [state] => 1
                    [published] => 1
                    [checked_out] => 0
                    [checked_out_time] => 2016-07-01 12:00:00
                    [created_by] => 548
                    [modified_by] => 548
                    [children] => 0
                )

            [33] => stdClass Object
                (
                    [id] => 35
                    [parent_id] => 31
                    [lft] => 66
                    [rgt] => 67
                    [level] => 2
                    [slug] => e4-vocational-training
                    [title] => E4. Vocational training
                    [alias] => 
                    [access] => 0
                    [path] => 
                    [ordering] => 34
                    [state] => 1
                    [published] => 1
                    [checked_out] => 0
                    [checked_out_time] => 2016-07-01 12:00:00
                    [created_by] => 548
                    [modified_by] => 548
                    [children] => 0
                )

            [34] => stdClass Object
                (
                    [id] => 36
                    [parent_id] => 31
                    [lft] => 68
                    [rgt] => 69
                    [level] => 2
                    [slug] => e5-higher-education
                    [title] => E5. Higher education
                    [alias] => 
                    [access] => 0
                    [path] => 
                    [ordering] => 35
                    [state] => 1
                    [published] => 1
                    [checked_out] => 0
                    [checked_out_time] => 2016-07-01 12:00:00
                    [created_by] => 548
                    [modified_by] => 548
                    [children] => 0
                )

            [35] => stdClass Object
                (
                    [id] => 37
                    [parent_id] => 1
                    [lft] => 71
                    [rgt] => 80
                    [level] => 1
                    [slug] => f-employment
                    [title] => F. Employment
                    [alias] => 
                    [access] => 0
                    [path] => 
                    [ordering] => 36
                    [state] => 1
                    [published] => 1
                    [checked_out] => 0
                    [checked_out_time] => 2016-07-01 12:00:00
                    [created_by] => 548
                    [modified_by] => 548
                    [children] => 4
                )

            [36] => stdClass Object
                (
                    [id] => 38
                    [parent_id] => 37
                    [lft] => 72
                    [rgt] => 73
                    [level] => 2
                    [slug] => f1-non-discrimination-in-employment
                    [title] => F1. Non-discrimination in employment
                    [alias] => 
                    [access] => 0
                    [path] => 
                    [ordering] => 37
                    [state] => 1
                    [published] => 1
                    [checked_out] => 0
                    [checked_out_time] => 2016-07-01 12:00:00
                    [created_by] => 548
                    [modified_by] => 548
                    [children] => 0
                )

            [37] => stdClass Object
                (
                    [id] => 39
                    [parent_id] => 37
                    [lft] => 74
                    [rgt] => 75
                    [level] => 2
                    [slug] => f2-public-employment-services
                    [title] => F2. Public employment services
                    [alias] => 
                    [access] => 0
                    [path] => 
                    [ordering] => 38
                    [state] => 1
                    [published] => 1
                    [checked_out] => 0
                    [checked_out_time] => 2016-07-01 12:00:00
                    [created_by] => 548
                    [modified_by] => 548
                    [children] => 0
                )

            [38] => stdClass Object
                (
                    [id] => 40
                    [parent_id] => 37
                    [lft] => 76
                    [rgt] => 77
                    [level] => 2
                    [slug] => f3-workplace-adaptations
                    [title] => F3. Workplace adaptations
                    [alias] => 
                    [access] => 0
                    [path] => 
                    [ordering] => 39
                    [state] => 1
                    [published] => 1
                    [checked_out] => 0
                    [checked_out_time] => 2016-07-01 12:00:00
                    [created_by] => 548
                    [modified_by] => 548
                    [children] => 0
                )

            [39] => stdClass Object
                (
                    [id] => 41
                    [parent_id] => 37
                    [lft] => 78
                    [rgt] => 79
                    [level] => 2
                    [slug] => f4-financial-incentives
                    [title] => F4. Financial incentives
                    [alias] => 
                    [access] => 0
                    [path] => 
                    [ordering] => 40
                    [state] => 1
                    [published] => 1
                    [checked_out] => 0
                    [checked_out_time] => 2016-07-01 12:00:00
                    [created_by] => 548
                    [modified_by] => 548
                    [children] => 0
                )

            [40] => stdClass Object
                (
                    [id] => 42
                    [parent_id] => 1
                    [lft] => 81
                    [rgt] => 90
                    [level] => 1
                    [slug] => g-statistics-and-data-collection
                    [title] => G. Statistics and data collection
                    [alias] => 
                    [access] => 0
                    [path] => 
                    [ordering] => 41
                    [state] => 1
                    [published] => 1
                    [checked_out] => 0
                    [checked_out_time] => 2016-07-01 12:00:00
                    [created_by] => 548
                    [modified_by] => 548
                    [children] => 4
                )

            [41] => stdClass Object
                (
                    [id] => 43
                    [parent_id] => 42
                    [lft] => 82
                    [rgt] => 83
                    [level] => 2
                    [slug] => g1-official-research
                    [title] => G1. Official research
                    [alias] => 
                    [access] => 0
                    [path] => 
                    [ordering] => 42
                    [state] => 1
                    [published] => 1
                    [checked_out] => 0
                    [checked_out_time] => 2016-07-01 12:00:00
                    [created_by] => 548
                    [modified_by] => 548
                    [children] => 0
                )

            [42] => stdClass Object
                (
                    [id] => 44
                    [parent_id] => 42
                    [lft] => 84
                    [rgt] => 85
                    [level] => 2
                    [slug] => g2-census-data
                    [title] => G2. Census data
                    [alias] => 
                    [access] => 0
                    [path] => 
                    [ordering] => 43
                    [state] => 1
                    [published] => 1
                    [checked_out] => 0
                    [checked_out_time] => 2016-07-01 12:00:00
                    [created_by] => 548
                    [modified_by] => 548
                    [children] => 0
                )

            [43] => stdClass Object
                (
                    [id] => 45
                    [parent_id] => 42
                    [lft] => 86
                    [rgt] => 87
                    [level] => 2
                    [slug] => g3-labour-force-survey
                    [title] => G3. Labour Force Survey
                    [alias] => 
                    [access] => 0
                    [path] => 
                    [ordering] => 44
                    [state] => 1
                    [published] => 1
                    [checked_out] => 0
                    [checked_out_time] => 2016-07-01 12:00:00
                    [created_by] => 548
                    [modified_by] => 548
                    [children] => 0
                )

            [44] => stdClass Object
                (
                    [id] => 46
                    [parent_id] => 42
                    [lft] => 88
                    [rgt] => 89
                    [level] => 2
                    [slug] => g4-disability-equality-indicators
                    [title] => G4. Disability equality indicators
                    [alias] => 
                    [access] => 0
                    [path] => 
                    [ordering] => 45
                    [state] => 1
                    [published] => 1
                    [checked_out] => 0
                    [checked_out_time] => 2016-07-01 12:00:00
                    [created_by] => 548
                    [modified_by] => 548
                    [children] => 0
                )

            [45] => stdClass Object
                (
                    [id] => 47
                    [parent_id] => 1
                    [lft] => 91
                    [rgt] => 104
                    [level] => 1
                    [slug] => h-awareness-and-external-action
                    [title] => H. Awareness and external action
                    [alias] => 
                    [access] => 0
                    [path] => 
                    [ordering] => 46
                    [state] => 1
                    [published] => 1
                    [checked_out] => 0
                    [checked_out_time] => 2016-07-01 12:00:00
                    [created_by] => 548
                    [modified_by] => 548
                    [children] => 6
                )

            [46] => stdClass Object
                (
                    [id] => 48
                    [parent_id] => 47
                    [lft] => 92
                    [rgt] => 93
                    [level] => 2
                    [slug] => h1-awareness-raising-programs
                    [title] => H1. Awareness raising programs
                    [alias] => 
                    [access] => 0
                    [path] => 
                    [ordering] => 47
                    [state] => 1
                    [published] => 1
                    [checked_out] => 0
                    [checked_out_time] => 2016-07-01 12:00:00
                    [created_by] => 548
                    [modified_by] => 548
                    [children] => 0
                )

            [47] => stdClass Object
                (
                    [id] => 49
                    [parent_id] => 47
                    [lft] => 94
                    [rgt] => 95
                    [level] => 2
                    [slug] => h2-training-for-teachers
                    [title] => H2. Training for teachers
                    [alias] => 
                    [access] => 0
                    [path] => 
                    [ordering] => 48
                    [state] => 1
                    [published] => 1
                    [checked_out] => 0
                    [checked_out_time] => 2016-07-01 12:00:00
                    [created_by] => 548
                    [modified_by] => 548
                    [children] => 0
                )

            [48] => stdClass Object
                (
                    [id] => 50
                    [parent_id] => 47
                    [lft] => 96
                    [rgt] => 97
                    [level] => 2
                    [slug] => h3-training-for-lawyers
                    [title] => H3. Training for lawyers
                    [alias] => 
                    [access] => 0
                    [path] => 
                    [ordering] => 49
                    [state] => 1
                    [published] => 1
                    [checked_out] => 0
                    [checked_out_time] => 2016-07-01 12:00:00
                    [created_by] => 548
                    [modified_by] => 548
                    [children] => 0
                )

            [49] => stdClass Object
                (
                    [id] => 51
                    [parent_id] => 47
                    [lft] => 98
                    [rgt] => 99
                    [level] => 2
                    [slug] => h4-training-for-doctors
                    [title] => H4. Training for doctors
                    [alias] => 
                    [access] => 0
                    [path] => 
                    [ordering] => 50
                    [state] => 1
                    [published] => 1
                    [checked_out] => 0
                    [checked_out_time] => 2016-07-01 12:00:00
                    [created_by] => 548
                    [modified_by] => 548
                    [children] => 0
                )

            [50] => stdClass Object
                (
                    [id] => 52
                    [parent_id] => 47
                    [lft] => 100
                    [rgt] => 101
                    [level] => 2
                    [slug] => h5-training-for-engineers
                    [title] => H5. Training for engineers
                    [alias] => 
                    [access] => 0
                    [path] => 
                    [ordering] => 51
                    [state] => 1
                    [published] => 1
                    [checked_out] => 0
                    [checked_out_time] => 2016-07-01 12:00:00
                    [created_by] => 548
                    [modified_by] => 548
                    [children] => 0
                )

            [51] => stdClass Object
                (
                    [id] => 53
                    [parent_id] => 47
                    [lft] => 102
                    [rgt] => 103
                    [level] => 2
                    [slug] => h6-international-development-aid
                    [title] => H6. International development aid
                    [alias] => 
                    [access] => 0
                    [path] => 
                    [ordering] => 52
                    [state] => 1
                    [published] => 1
                    [checked_out] => 0
                    [checked_out_time] => 2016-07-01 12:00:00
                    [created_by] => 548
                    [modified_by] => 548
                    [children] => 0
                )

        )

    [results] => Array
        (
            [24] => stdClass Object
                (
                    [parent] => EU Member States
                    [location] => Malta
                    [location_id] => 24
                    [location_slug] => malta
                    [themes] => Array
                        (
                            [3] => stdClass Object
                                (
                                    [parent] => A. UN Convention status
                                    [theme_title] => A1. Ratification or conclusion of the UN Convention
                                    [theme_slug] => a1-ratification-or-conclusion-of-the-un-convention
                                    [theme_id] => 3
                                    [contents] => Malta signed the UN Convention on 30 March 2007 and ratified it on 10 October 2012. It came into effect on 9 November 2012.
                                    [update_date] => 2017-05-19 14:31:23
                                    [links] => Array
                                        (
                                            [0] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [title] => National Commission Persons with Disability (signature and ratification of the UN CRPD by Malta)
                                                    [url] => http://www.knpd.org/legislation/un.html
                                                )

                                        )

                                )

                            [4] => stdClass Object
                                (
                                    [parent] => A. UN Convention status
                                    [theme_title] => A2. Ratification or accession to the Optional Protocol
                                    [theme_slug] => a2-ratification-or-accession-to-the-optional-protocol
                                    [theme_id] => 4
                                    [contents] => Malta signed the optional protocol on 30 March 2007 and ratified it on 10 October 2012. It came into effect on 9 November 2012.
                                    [update_date] => 2012-12-07 14:09:01
                                    [links] => Array
                                        (
                                        )

                                )

                            [5] => stdClass Object
                                (
                                    [parent] => A. UN Convention status
                                    [theme_title] => A3. Declarations, Reservations and Objections
                                    [theme_slug] => a3-declarations-reservations-and-objections
                                    [theme_id] => 5
                                    [contents] => Malta made an interpretative statement and a reservation upon signing the UN Convention as follows: 'Interpretative Statement - Malta understands that the phrase 'sexual and reproductive health' in Article 25 (a) of the Convention does not constitute recognition of any new international law obligation, does not create any abortion rights, and cannot be interpreted to constitute support, endorsement, or promotion of abortion. Malta further understands that the use of this phrase is intended exclusively to underline the point that where health services are provided, they are provided without discrimination on the basis of disability. Malta's national legislation, considers the termination of pregnancy through induced abortion as illegal. (b) Pursuant to Article 29a (i) and (iii) of the Convention, while the Government of Malta is fully committed to ensure the effective and full participation of persons with disabilities in political and public life, including the exercise of their right to vote by secret ballot in elections and referenda, and to stand for elections, Malta makes the following reservations: With regard to (a) (i) At this stage, Malta reserves the right to continue to apply its current electoral legislation in so far as voting procedures, facilities and materials are concerned. With regard to (a) (iii) Malta reserves the right to continue to apply its current electoral legislation in so far as assistance in voting procedures is concerned'. In a press release issued on 30 March 2007, the day when the Convention was signed, the Maltese Government expressed the wish that the reservation on Article 29 is lifted by ratification. However, the reserve is currently still in place.
                                    [update_date] => 2012-12-07 14:11:47
                                    [links] => Array
                                        (
                                            [0] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [title] => UNenable Declarations and Reservations
                                                    [url] => http://www.un.org/disabilities/default.asp?id=475
                                                )

                                            [1] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [title] => Press Release (in Maltese)
                                                    [url] => http://www.doi-archived.gov.mt/EN/press_releases/2007/03/pr0469.asp
                                                )

                                        )

                                )

                            [6] => stdClass Object
                                (
                                    [parent] => A. UN Convention status
                                    [theme_title] => A4. Comprehensive review
                                    [theme_slug] => a4-comprehensive-review
                                    [theme_id] => 6
                                    [contents] => The Maltese government set up an inter-ministerial committee following the signing of the UN Convention to examine existing policy and legislation and to make the necessary changes for such policy and legislation to be in line with the UN Convention. This committee made a comprehensive review of Maltese legislation. The amendments to Maltese legislation that were enacted through the Various Laws (Disability Matters) (Amendment) Act, 2012 were based on the amendments proposed by this committee.
                                    [update_date] => 2012-12-07 14:14:34
                                    [links] => Array
                                        (
                                            [0] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [title] => Various Laws (Disability Matters) (Amendment) Act - 
                                                    [url] => http://justiceservices.gov.mt/DownloadDocument.aspx?app=lp&itemid=23032&l=1
                                                )

                                        )

                                )

                            [7] => stdClass Object
                                (
                                    [parent] => A. UN Convention status
                                    [theme_title] => A5. Focal point
                                    [theme_slug] => a5-focal-point
                                    [theme_id] => 7
                                    [contents] => The focal point for the UN Convention is within the Parliamentary Secreteriat for the Rights of Persons with Disability and Active Ageing which is part of the Ministry for the Family and Social Solidarity.
                                    [update_date] => 2016-04-21 12:49:29
                                    [links] => Array
                                        (
                                            [0] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [title] => Focal Point
                                                    [url] => http://www.activeageing.gov.mt/en/Pages/Focal-Point-Malta.aspx
                                                )

                                        )

                                )

                            [8] => stdClass Object
                                (
                                    [parent] => A. UN Convention status
                                    [theme_title] => A6. Coordination mechanism
                                    [theme_slug] => a6-coordination-mechanism
                                    [theme_id] => 8
                                    [contents] => The focal point within the Parliamentary Secreteriat for the Rights of Persons with Disability and Active Ageing is also the coordination mechanism.
                                    [update_date] => 2016-04-21 12:50:19
                                    [links] => Array
                                        (
                                            [0] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [title] => Focal point
                                                    [url] => http://www.activeageing.gov.mt/en/Pages/Focal-Point-Malta.aspx
                                                )

                                        )

                                )

                            [9] => stdClass Object
                                (
                                    [parent] => A. UN Convention status
                                    [theme_title] => A7. Independent mechanism
                                    [theme_slug] => a7-independent-mechanism
                                    [theme_id] => 9
                                    [contents] => The Commission for the Rights of Persons with Disability has been identified as the entity in charge of the independent monitoring framework. It has set up a Disabled Persons’ Advisory Committee as part of its obligation to involve civil society, especially disabled people and their representative organisations.
                                    [update_date] => 2017-05-19 13:23:55
                                    [links] => Array
                                        (
                                            [0] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [title] => Commission for the Rights of Persons with Disability 
                                                    [url] => http://www.crpd.org.mt
                                                )

                                        )

                                )

                            [10] => stdClass Object
                                (
                                    [parent] => A. UN Convention status
                                    [theme_title] => A8. Official reporting
                                    [theme_slug] => a8-official-reporting
                                    [theme_id] => 10
                                    [contents] => Malta's initial state report was due in November 2014 and it was submitted on the due date.
                                    [update_date] => 2017-08-09 16:47:54
                                    [links] => Array
                                        (
                                            [0] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [title] => State reports to the UN Committee
                                                    [url] => http://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/treatybodyexternal/TBSearch.aspx?Lang=en&TreatyID=4&CountryID=108&DocTypeID=29
                                                )

                                            [1] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [title] => Link to all UN reporting cycle documentation
                                                    [url] => http://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/treatybodyexternal/TBSearch.aspx?Lang=en&TreatyID=4&CountryID=108
                                                )

                                        )

                                )

                            [11] => stdClass Object
                                (
                                    [parent] => A. UN Convention status
                                    [theme_title] => A9. Shadow reporting
                                    [theme_slug] => a9-shadow-reporting
                                    [theme_id] => 11
                                    [contents] => To date, no shadow report has been prepared. However, the Commission for the Rights of Persons with Disability (Malta), in March 2013, published a report titled 'Working Towards the Implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities'. During the process of drafting the report, a wide consultation was held with major stakeholders, including disabled people's organisations.
                                    [update_date] => 2017-07-24 17:31:43
                                    [links] => Array
                                        (
                                            [0] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [title] => Civil society reports to the UN Committee
                                                    [url] => http://tbinternet.ohchr.org/_layouts/treatybodyexternal/TBSearch.aspx?Lang=en&TreatyID=4&CountryID=108&DocTypeID=14
                                                )

                                            [1] => stdClass Object
                                                (
                                                    [title] => Working Towards the Implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
                                                    [url] => http://www.knpd.org/pubs/pdf/Implementation_UNCRPD%20Report%20201303.pdf
                                                )

                                        )

                                )

                            [13] => stdClass Object
                                (
                                    [parent] => B. General legal framework
                                    [theme_title] => B1. Anti-discrimination legislation
                                    [theme_slug] => b1-anti-discrimination-legislation
                                    [theme_id] => 13
                                    [contents] => The Maltese Constitution declares that every Maltese citizen is equal under the law and is entitled to the same rights. However, there is no specific reference to discrimination against people with disability. In the Constitution, disabled people’s rights are safeguarded in so far as it asserts that disabled people who cannot work are entitled to education and vocational training (Article 17). Comprehensive legislation to create a legal basis for the implementation of these rights was adopted in 2000 with a unanimous vote in favour of the Equal Opportunities (Persons with Disability) Act (Chapter 413) which establishes the principle of anti-discrimination on the basis of disability and prohibits both public and private sector entities from discriminating against disabled people in education, employment, goods and services, physical access, housing and insurance. Through a recent amendment, a new pillar, health, in which discrimination is prohibited, was included. This Act also granted the Commission for the Rights of Persons with Disability (CRPD) legal status to enforce and implement the Act. Disabled women and children are not specifically mentioned in this Act but are included within the whole population of disabled persons.

On 6 May 2014 a private member's bill was presented to the Parliament by the Opposition to amend Articles 32 and 45 of the Constitution to introduce safeguards against discrimination over any form of disability. The amendments would give more strength to the UNCRPD which Malta ratified two years ago. The amendment would also mean that there would be constitutional remedies for those who were discriminated on the basis of disability. [update_date] => 2017-05-19 13:40:31 [links] => Array ( [0] => stdClass Object ( [title] => Equal Opportunities (Persons with Disability) Act (Chapter 413) [url] => http://www.mjha.gov.mt/DownloadDocument.aspx?app=lom&itemid=8879&l=1 ) [1] => stdClass Object ( [title] => Constitution of Malta [url] => http://www.mjha.gov.mt/DownloadDocument.aspx?app=lom&itemid=8566 ) ) ) [14] => stdClass Object ( [parent] => B. General legal framework [theme_title] => B2. Recognition of legal capacity [theme_slug] => b2-recognition-of-legal-capacity [theme_id] => 14 [contents] => The Constitution of Malta establishes certain exceptions where it is deemed justifiable to restrict the civil and political rights of citizens; these include considerations based on the grounds of age, imprisonment and certain mental conditions that might preclude entitlement to these rights. However, the constitution fails to go into detail about the interpretation of these conditions. In addition, the Civil Code (Chapter 16) and the Code of Organisation and Civil Procedure (Chapter 12) provide for the interdiction or incapacitation of persons deemed to have a mental disorder or other condition which renders them incapable of managing their own affairs. In 2012, the Maltese Parliament enacted legislation amending the Civil Code and the Code of Organisation and Civil Procedure to introduce Guardianship Legislation that is aimed at replacing interdiction or incapacitation for persons with disability and persons with mental disorder. This legislation introduces a mechanism that identifies the needs and abilities of disabled persons, recognizing the fact that these may change. It includes the establishment of a Guardianship Board that regulates how guardianship orders are issued and implemented, ensuring that these are proportionate to the support needs of the disabled person. The legislation also obliges the guardian to consult with the person with disability before taking any decision and acts as much as possible according to their wishes. It also includes a mechanism for appeal and for regular review of the guardianship orders. The Guardianship Board was appointed on the 8th August 2014. Mental capacity is also included in the Mental Health Act which was adopted by Parliament in 2012. This Bill states that a person with mental disorder is deemed capable of taking decisions unless certified by a specialist as being incapable of doing so. Those who are certified as having mental incapacity are appointed a responsible carer which, as much as possible, is chosen by the person. Failing this, the Act includes the mechanism for the appointment of a responsible carer who must manifest concern for the person's welfare. [update_date] => 2014-10-29 11:37:18 [links] => Array ( [0] => stdClass Object ( [title] => An Act to amend the Code of Organization and Civil Procedure and the Civil Code for the purpose of providing for Guardianship [url] => http://justiceservices.gov.mt/DownloadDocument.aspx?app=lp&itemid=24286&l=1 ) [1] => stdClass Object ( [title] => Constitution of Malta [url] => http://www.mjha.gov.mt/DownloadDocument.aspx?app=lom&itemid=8566 ) [2] => stdClass Object ( [title] => Code of Organisation and Civil Procedure [url] => http://justiceservices.gov.mt/DownloadDocument.aspx?app=lom&itemid=8577&l=1 ) [3] => stdClass Object ( [title] => Code of Organisation and Civil Procedure [url] => https://www.gov.mt/en/Government/Government%20Gazette/Government%20Notices/Pages/2014/08/Gov-Notices-0808.aspx ) [4] => stdClass Object ( [title] => Civil Code [url] => http://justiceservices.gov.mt/DownloadDocument.aspx?app=lom&itemid=8580&l=1 ) [5] => stdClass Object ( [title] => Equal Opportunities (Persons with Disability) Act (Chapter 413) [url] => http://www.mjha.gov.mt/DownloadDocument.aspx?app=lom&itemid=8879&l=1 ) [6] => stdClass Object ( [title] => Guardianship Bill [url] => http://justiceservices.gov.mt/DownloadDocument.aspx?app=lp&itemid=23091&l=1 ) [7] => stdClass Object ( [title] => Mental Health Bill [url] => http://justiceservices.gov.mt/DownloadDocument.aspx?app=lp&itemid=23429&l=1 ) ) ) [15] => stdClass Object ( [parent] => B. General legal framework [theme_title] => B3. Accessibility of voting and elections [theme_slug] => b3-accessibility-of-voting-and-elections [theme_id] => 15 [contents] => Since the adoption of the Equal Opportunities Act (2000), the voting process must be accessible to all, including disabled people. Since 2000, polling booths need to be physically accessible and must offer disabled people assistance with voting if required. However, due to Malta’s political history, alternative methods of voting that might enable certain impairment groups to vote in secret, such as online voting, have been opposed by both major political parties on grounds that this may lead to vote rigging or abuse in the system. In practice, physically impaired people who cannot use their hands cannot vote in secret but need to vote only in the presence of electoral officials who make sure no one, except the voter, is in the room. While blind and visually impaired people have been given the option of voting using a tactile template, they may still vote through electoral officials. This system has been deemed progressive in allowing blind people to submit a secret vote. However, the tactile template has been criticised by the Malta Blind Society as it only provides a solution to a small number of blind people. Requests for blind or visually impaired people to vote via a trusted friend were rejected and, in fact, the government made a reservation to Article 29 of the UN Convention stating that: ’Pursuant to Article 29 )a) (i) and (iii) of the Convention, while the Government of Malta is fully committed to ensure the effective and full participation of persons with disabilities in political and public life, including the exercise of their right to vote by secret ballot in elections and referenda, and to stand for elections, Malta makes the following reservations: With regard to (a) (i) At this stage, Malta reserves the right to continue to apply its current electoral legislation in so far as voting procedures, facilities and materials are concerned. With regard to (a) (iii) Malta reserves the right to continue to apply its current electoral legislation in so far as assistance in voting procedures is concerned.’ In this sense, even if physically disabled people and blind people have the right to vote, not all disabled people who belong to these groups have the opportunity to vote in secret. Moreover, the Maltese constitution can preclude the right of people with intellectual impairments to vote at all with Chapter VI (b) stating that: ’If he is interdicted or incapacitated for any mental infirmity or for prodigality by a court in Malta, or is otherwise determined in Malta to be of unsound mind’ (Article VI: {b}). This article has often meant that a number of people declared to have mental or psychiatric conditions may also be denied the right to vote. While the voting status of people with mental health issues may be overturned, the voting right of people with an intellectual impairment is usually permanent. However, plans are underway to periodically revise the medical assessment declaring a person's legal incompetence. [update_date] => 2012-03-23 14:20:19 [links] => Array ( [0] => stdClass Object ( [title] => Equal Opportunities (Persons with Disability) Act (Chapter 413) [url] => http://www.mjha.gov.mt/DownloadDocument.aspx?app=lom&itemid=8879&l=1 ) [1] => stdClass Object ( [title] => UN Enable Declarations and Reservations [url] => http://www.un.org/disabilities/default.asp?id=475 ) ) ) [16] => stdClass Object ( [parent] => B. General legal framework [theme_title] => B4. Official recognition of sign language [theme_slug] => b4-official-recognition-of-sign-language [theme_id] => 16 [contents] => However, the Equal Opportunities (Persons with Disability) Act recognizes the right of disabled people to use the services of an interpreter (Part III.7.5.b) and outlaws discrimination against those who use such assistance, as for other forms of personal assistance (Part II.6). The public broadcasting service offers a very limited selection of programming having sign language interpretation. More recently, in 2016, the Maltese Sign Language Act was enacted in the Parliament. This legislation declares Maltese Sign Language as one of the official languages of Malta, together with Maltese and English. In addition, this legislation also provides for the setting up, composition and function of a Sign Language Council. [update_date] => 2017-05-19 13:43:37 [links] => Array ( [0] => stdClass Object ( [title] => Equal Opportunities (Persons with Disability) Act [url] => http://justiceservices.gov.mt/DownloadDocument.aspx?app=lom&itemid=8879&l=1 ) [1] => stdClass Object ( [title] => Maltese Sign Language Act [url] => http://www.justiceservices.gov.mt/DownloadDocument.aspx?app=lp&itemid=26704&l=1 ) ) ) [17] => stdClass Object ( [parent] => B. General legal framework [theme_title] => B5. National disability strategy and action plan [theme_slug] => b5-national-disability-strategy-and-action-plan [theme_id] => 17 [contents] => The National Policy on the Rights of Persons with Disability has been drawn up by the Kumitat Azzjoni lejn Socjeta' Gusta (Action towards a Just Society Committee) in collaboration with the Parliamentary Secretary for the Rights of Persons with Disability and Active Ageing within the Ministry for the Family and Social Solidarity. The Consultative Document was launched on 17 March 2014. The National Policy on the Rights of Persons with Disability was launched in December 2014. In May 2016, a draft of the Malta National Disability Strategy was launched for consultation. The final draft has not yet been launched. [update_date] => 2017-05-19 14:26:40 [links] => Array ( [0] => stdClass Object ( [title] => Consultative Document [url] => http://activeageing.gov.mt/en/Documents/National%20Draft%20Policy.pdf ) [1] => stdClass Object ( [title] => National Policy on the Rights of Persons with Disability: [url] => http://www.activeageing.gov.mt/en/Pages/National-Policy-on-the-Rights-of-Persons-with-Disability.aspx ) [2] => stdClass Object ( [title] => Consultative Document of the Malta National Disability Strategy [url] => https://activeageing.gov.mt/en/Documents/SOCIAL%20POLICY%20WEB.pdf ) ) ) [19] => stdClass Object ( [parent] => C. Accessibility [theme_title] => C1. Transport accessibility [theme_slug] => c1-transport-accessibility [theme_id] => 19 [contents] => Public transport in Malta is provided by buses. Public transports are required to be accessible for all, in line with the Equal Opportunities Act. In fact, a fleet of buses which are low floor and wheelchair accessible started operation in July 2011. Apart from providing physical access, the company contracted to manage the public transport has invested in a series of information campaigns and will provide information about the new routes by telephone, email or through their website. Moreover, drivers and staff working for the company have received in-house training and management has consulted the National Commission for Persons with Disability (KNPD) on the service. However, complaints have been received by KNPD about buses whose ramps do not function and therefore cannot be used by wheelchair users. Public transport is at a reduced fare for all disabled people who are in the possession of a Tal-Linja Concession Card. The Concession Card is obtained by holders of a Special ID card issued by the National Commission Persons with Disability.

Some new taxi companies are also providing wheelchair-accessible taxis. While this service may offer more choices to disabled people, the service is too costly for many disabled people to use for their daily travel needs. There are also a number of private companies offering wheelchair accessible vans and one of these companies has been contracted by government to offer subsidised travel for disabled people to fulfil their travel requirements to access work or education. However, beyond office hours the service can be very costly. In addition, since demand exceeds supply, when it comes to the subsidised accessible transport service, there are long waiting lists of disabled people wanting to use the service.

A ferry service also operates between Malta and its sister island Gozo. The service is accessible and the staff have received disability equality training organized by KNPD. Disabled people can travel free of charge if they are in possession of a special ID card issued by KNPD. [update_date] => 2016-05-02 19:46:07 [links] => Array ( [0] => stdClass Object ( [title] => Malta & Gozo Public Transport Reform [url] => https://www.publictransport.com.mt/accessibility ) [1] => stdClass Object ( [title] => Tal-Linja Concession Card [url] => https://www.tallinja.com/en/holder-of-a-special-id-card ) [2] => stdClass Object ( [title] => Gozo Channel Company Limited website [url] => http://www.gozochannel.com/ ) ) ) [20] => stdClass Object ( [parent] => C. Accessibility [theme_title] => C2. Built environment accessibility [theme_slug] => c2-built-environment-accessibility [theme_id] => 20 [contents] => The Equal Opportunities Act established that all public and private buildings that are for the use of the public have to be accessible to all. This also includes outdoor property, such as gardens and pavements. Planning applications for buildings open to the public that are submitted to the Malta Environment and Planning Authority are vetted by KNPD to establish their conformity with the Accessibility for All in the Built Environment Standards (SM 3800:20XX). Permits for building are dependent, among other things, on clearance from KNPD regarding accessibility. Developers can apply for exemptions for valid financial or technical reasons. These applications are assessed by KNPD. [update_date] => 2016-04-21 13:42:01 [links] => Array ( [0] => stdClass Object ( [title] => Equal Opportunities (Persons with Disability Act: Cap. 413 (2000) [url] => http://www.mjha.gov.mt/DownloadDocument.aspx?app=lom&itemid=8879&l=1 ) [1] => stdClass Object ( [title] => Access for All Guidelines [url] => http://www.knpd.org/legislation/#section_access ) [2] => stdClass Object ( [title] => Accessibility for All in the Built Environment Standards (SM 3800:20XX) [url] => http://www.mccaa.org.mt/loadfile/e5c3fae0-1a5f-4de4-9a4e-482c5a3a9ea2; http://mccaa.org.mt/en/development-of-standards ) ) ) [21] => stdClass Object ( [parent] => C. Accessibility [theme_title] => C3. ICT and Web accessibility [theme_slug] => c3-ict-and-web-accessibility [theme_id] => 21 [contents] => In Malta, ICT solutions and websites in particular must conform to international ICT accessibility standards. Government websites and commercial websites are audited and certified by the Foundation for Information Technology Accessibility (FITA), which also assists service providers in ensuring that their ICT products are accessible to disabled persons in Malta and Gozo (Malta's sister island). FITA also provides consultancy services and training on the effective use and procurement of accessible ICT solutions. FITA also provides courses in the use of ICT for disabled people, especially people with visual impairment in the use of screen-reader software, and courses for people with intellectual disability. FITA recently launched the Maltese Speech Engine which now provides increased accessibility for persons with visual impairment as they can also read computer-based texts in Maltese. Malta has not signed and/or ratified the Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled. [update_date] => 2016-04-21 13:45:51 [links] => Array ( [0] => stdClass Object ( [title] => Foundation for Information Technology Accessibility official website [url] => http://www.fitamalta.eu/ ) [1] => stdClass Object ( [title] => Marrakesh Treaty Contracting Parties: [url] => http://www.wipo.int/treaties/en/ShowResults.jsp?lang=en&treaty_id=843 ) ) ) [23] => stdClass Object ( [parent] => D. Independent living [theme_title] => D1. Choice of living arrangements [theme_slug] => d1-choice-of-living-arrangements [theme_id] => 23 [contents] => Disabled people in Malta are free to choose where they want to live although these choices are often predicated on other factors, such as availability of community support services. It is often assumed that disabled people will live with their family and move to a residential setting if a place becomes available. It is often service providers and parents who decide on the living choices of the disabled person. The Housing Authority (HA) assists disabled people to make changes to their homes so that they are more accessible, although the options can be limited. In Malta, there are no large-scale institutions although an institutional approach can occur even in small community-based residential institutions. Research has shown that individuals may be institutionalised in places such as Mount Carmel (a mental health institution) or St Vincent De Paule (an old people's home) or in community group homes that do not offer scope for choice and self-determination. [update_date] => 2014-05-01 13:16:41 [links] => Array ( [0] => stdClass Object ( [title] => Equal Opportunities (Persons with Disability Act: Cap. 413) [url] => http://www.mjha.gov.mt/DownloadDocument.aspx?app=lom&itemid=8879&l=1 ) [1] => stdClass Object ( [title] => Malta Housing Authority Website [url] => http://www.housingauthority.com.mt/ ) [2] => stdClass Object ( [title] => Research and documents about supported living [url] => http://www.knpd.org/Issues/independentsupportedliving.html ) ) ) [24] => stdClass Object ( [parent] => D. Independent living [theme_title] => D2. De-institutionalisation [theme_slug] => d2-de-institutionalisation [theme_id] => 24 [contents] => Aġenzija Sapport, the state agency that provides home-based as well as residential services, has moved disabled people from institutions, especially the mental hospital. The home-based services are aimed at preventing institutionalization, especially those with high support needs.The Dar tal-Providenza is the largest institution of around 100 persons. Although some changes are being carried out, with residents now encouraged to develop autonomy, it still remains a large institution located away from the community. More significantly, it has opened a community-based home for three disabled people.

Id-Dar tal-Providenza was the first residence catering for disabled people in Malta and is run and maintained by the Roman Catholic Church. Over the years, a number of NGOs have run group homes within the community.

In 2011, the National Commission Persons with Disability (KNPD) published a policy document on independent supported living. As a result, an Independent Living Fund was set up by government, which is aimed at providing disabled people, especially those with the highest support needs, with the services they need to continue living in the community. There is no legislation that entitles disabled people to community-based living or to choice regarding living arrangements. [update_date] => 2012-12-07 14:33:16 [links] => Array ( [0] => stdClass Object ( [title] => Agenzija Sapport Website [url] => http://www.sapport.gov.mt/ ) [1] => stdClass Object ( [title] => Id-Dar tal-Providenza website [url] => http://www.dartalprovidenza.org ) [2] => stdClass Object ( [title] => Policy on Independent Supported Living for Disabled Persons in Malta [url] => http://www.knpdarchives.org/reports/indsupliv2011rpt.pdf ) ) ) [25] => stdClass Object ( [parent] => D. Independent living [theme_title] => D3. Quality of social services [theme_slug] => d3-quality-of-social-services [theme_id] => 25 [contents] => There is no specific legal mechanism to receive complaints and reports related to the services of residential or institutional care. While the state agency Agenzija Sapport performs an internal assessment of complaints and service quality, there is serious lack of regulation in residential services offered to disabled people. The National Commission of Persons with Disability (KNPD) is empowered, through the Equal Opportunities Act, to investigate cases of complaints related to services for disabled people. Work is currently underway to develop monitoring standards for these services, starting with the residential services. The Draft National Standards for Long-Term Residential Homes for Persons with Disabilities (see Additional links below) were presented for public consultation in May 2014. This work is being carried out by the Department for Social Welfare Standards, which will be responsible for developing and enforcing these standards, in collaboration with KNPD and key stakeholders. The National Standards for Residential Services for Persons with Disability were published in September 2015. [update_date] => 2016-04-21 13:53:27 [links] => Array ( [0] => stdClass Object ( [title] => Agenzija Sapport Website [url] => http://www.sapport.gov.mt/ ) [1] => stdClass Object ( [title] => Equal Opportunities Act (Persons with Disability Act: Cap. 413) [url] => http://www.justiceservices.gov.mt/downloaddocument.aspx?app=lom&itemid=8879 ) [2] => stdClass Object ( [title] => Draft National Standards for Long-Term Residential Homes for Persons with Disabilities [url] => https://mfss.gov.mt/en/DSWS/Documents/Disability/Standards%20for%20Residential%20Care.pdf ) [3] => stdClass Object ( [title] => National Standards for Residential Services for Persons with Disability [url] => http://www.activeageing.gov.mt/en/Documents/english.pdf ) ) ) [26] => stdClass Object ( [parent] => D. Independent living [theme_title] => D4. Provision of assistive devices at home [theme_slug] => d4-provision-of-assistive-devices-at-home [theme_id] => 26 [contents] => The Assistive Apparatus Fund run and maintained by the National Commission of Persons with Disability (KNPD) offers disabled people the opportunity to benefit from financial assistance and tax refund on assistive equipment. In the coming months this fund will be moving to the state agency Agenzija Sapport in order for the National Commission Persons with Disability to become a national authority in line with the UNCRPD and not continue to be a service provider. The Community Chest Fund (CCF), a fund that operates under the patronage of the President of Malta, also assists disabled people in covering parts of the expenses for the purchase of assistive apparatus, including wheelchairs, screen readers, hearing aids and walking aids. Disabled people may benefit from financial assistance depending on their particular circumstances and the degree of need. In addition, the opening of the Sonia Tanti Independent Living Centre in 2011 now enables disabled people to receive advice and assessments regarding the assistive equipment that best suits their needs. It also provides a customized wheelchair service and driving assessment and driving lessons on modified vehicles. There is no specific legislation in this regard. [update_date] => 2016-04-21 13:58:30 [links] => Array ( [0] => stdClass Object ( [title] => KNPD Services and Benefits Booklet [url] => http://www.knpd.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/2009_Services-Benefits.pdf ) [1] => stdClass Object ( [title] => KNPD Services: [url] => http://www.knpd.org/services/ ) ) ) [27] => stdClass Object ( [parent] => D. Independent living [theme_title] => D5. Availability of personal assistance schemes [theme_slug] => d5-availability-of-personal-assistance-schemes [theme_id] => 27 [contents] => There is no official law or policy regarding the provision of personal assistance. However, the state has adopted a strategy to implement personal assistance services that provide disabled people with support rather than care, so that they would be able to achieve full independence to their maximum potential, to continue living within the community and to receive support as and when required through the establishment of the state agency Sapport. The state agency Agenzija Sapport was set up specifically to provide personal assistance services and improve on the choices and quality of life of disabled people by encouraging their independence and self-determination. The service is based on a social model view of disability and emphasises the principle of person-centred planning that takes into account the particular situation of each client. Assistance is provided on a case-by-case basis depending on need and other considerations. Given the high demand for such services and the limited human resources, there are long waiting lists of people requesting the service. Consequently, the government also provides disabled people with help in employing foreign personal assistants. [update_date] => 2012-12-07 14:36:50 [links] => Array ( [0] => stdClass Object ( [title] => Agenzija Sapport Website [url] => http://www.sapport.gov.mt/ ) ) ) [28] => stdClass Object ( [parent] => D. Independent living [theme_title] => D6. Income maintenance [theme_slug] => d6-income-maintenance [theme_id] => 28 [contents] => A non-contributory disability pension is awarded to disabled people over the age of 14 or 16 (people with a visual impairment are entitled to the pension when they reach 14 years of age). The disability pension, which is roughly equivalent to 55% of the national minimum wage, does not provide sufficient financial assistance to live independently. The disability pension assumes that the person cannot work; but according to a Budget 2015 measure a recent concession was made to allow disabled people to work and still to receive a disability pension.
More recently, there has also been the introduction of different categories of disability pension.
Currently, there are four categories of disability pensions:

  1. Assistance for the Visually Impaired (BLD): This is awarded to persons aged 14 years and over who are completely or partially visually impaired. These persons can also be engaged in gainful occupation.
  2. Disability Assistance (DA): This assistance will be given to persons over 16 years of age suffering from total paralysis or permanent total severe malfunction or permanent total disease whether through amputation or otherwise of one of the upper or lower limb. Persons eligible for this Assistance can also be engaged in a gainful occupation.
  3. Severe Disability Assistance (SDA): This assistance is awarded to persons with a disability aged 16 years and over that can be engaged in a gainful occupation. Applicants are not filtered according to their owned capital. However, any other income that is not part of the applicant’s main employment must not exceed the minimum wage. If this income does exceed the minimum wage, the difference by which this is exceeded is deducted from the awarded rate.
  4. Increased Severe Disability Assistance (ISDA): This is an assistance awarded to those persons aged 16 years and over that are rated 0-4 on the Barthel Index and are absolutely unable to work. The Multi Disciplinary Board decides whether the case falls within the medical parameters and following the assessment of the Barthel Index. By time this assistance will be gradually increased to meet the minimum wage.
[update_date] => 2017-07-24 17:35:56 [links] => Array ( [0] => stdClass Object ( [title] => Social Security Act (Cap 318) [url] => http://www.justiceservices.gov.mt/DownloadDocument.aspx?app=lom&itemid=8794&l=1 ) [1] => stdClass Object ( [title] => Budget 2015 Document [url] => https://mfin.gov.mt/en/The-Budget/Documents/The_Budget_2015/Budget_Doc_2015.pdf ) [2] => stdClass Object ( [title] => Disability Assistances [url] => https://socialsecurity.gov.mt/en/Pensions/Pages/Non-Contributory-Disability-Pension.aspx ) ) ) [29] => stdClass Object ( [parent] => D. Independent living [theme_title] => D7. Additional costs [theme_slug] => d7-additional-costs [theme_id] => 29 [contents] => Besides the disability pension, disabled people are not given additional income but they are entitled to free or discounted use of particular goods and services available to the public, including free use of the Gozo Channel ferry service and educational and historical sites; provided they are in possession of a Special identity (ID) card issued by the National Commission Persons with Disability (KNPD). In addition, all disabled persons in possession of a Special identity card issued by the National Commission of Persons with Disability are also entitled to a reduced fare for the use of public transport. The Special ID Card also aims to provide disabled people with certain benefits such as reduced costs on the purchase of goods or services to increase their participation and inclusion in mainstream society. There are also a number of financial benefits provided to parents or carers of disabled people to compensate for additional costs associated with impairment, such as the disabled child allowance and the carer’s pension. Disabled people who have worked and thus paid national insurance contributions and can no longer work are entitled to the invalidity benefit, which is means tested. This benefit is usually given to workers who have developed a disability, because of accident or illness, in their adulthood. According to a recent measure from Budget 2015, disabled people who receive the disability pension can also work without there being a reduction in the disability pension. In addition, disabled persons can also apply for a duty tax refund when purchasing a car for their own use as well as a refund for the Road Tax on the same car. [update_date] => 2016-04-21 14:12:08 [links] => Array ( [0] => stdClass Object ( [title] => National Commission Persons with Disability (KNPD): Services and Benefits [url] => http://www.knpd.org/services/ ) [1] => stdClass Object ( [title] => Social Security Act (Cap. 318) [url] => http://www.justiceservices.gov.mt/DownloadDocument.aspx?app=lom&itemid=8794&l=1 ) [2] => stdClass Object ( [title] => Budget 2015 Document [url] => https://mfin.gov.mt/en/The- Budget/Documents/The_Budget_2015/Budget_Doc_2015.pdf ) ) ) [30] => stdClass Object ( [parent] => D. Independent living [theme_title] => D8. Retirement income [theme_slug] => d8-retirement-income [theme_id] => 30 [contents] => The Social Security Act (Cap 318) establishes that the disability pension is a non-contributory pension awarded to individuals registered with the Department of Social Security as disabled persons and assumes that the 'disability' Is long term and that disabled people cannot work throughout their lives. In case a disabled person has worked and paid national insurance contributions, the disabled person is entitled to a contributory old age pension but forfeits the right to continue receiving the disability pension. People on invalidity benefit are entitled to a retirement pension. [update_date] => 2012-12-07 14:39:56 [links] => Array ( [0] => stdClass Object ( [title] => Social Security Act (Cap 318) [url] => http://www.justiceservices.gov.mt/DownloadDocument.aspx?app=lom&itemid=8794&l=1 ) ) ) [32] => stdClass Object ( [parent] => E. Education [theme_title] => E1. Special schools [theme_slug] => e1-special-schools [theme_id] => 32 [contents] => Since the adoption of an Inclusive Education Policy in 1994 most disabled children in Malta now attend mainstream schools. They are provided with an individual education programme (IEP) and the support of a Learning Support Assistant (LSA), formerly known as ’facilitators’. These developments have led to various questions about the success of inclusion and also raised questions about the role of special schools, given the increase of disabled children within the mainstream. Consequently, this prompted a review of the entire inclusive and education system, which was carried out by a number of experts in the field and through consultation with parents, NGOs and disabled people. A report containing a number of recommendations aimed to address the current problems with the system was issued in 2005. One of the recommendations was that special schools be changed into education resource centres providing services and assistance to disabled children during their mainstream education that cannot be provided in schools, thus prompting a revision of the functions of special schools. This reform was enacted in 2010. Some children attend an education resource centre, rather than a mainstream school. Parents retain the right to choose whether to send their child to an education resource centre or a mainstream school. [update_date] => 2012-12-07 14:40:50 [links] => Array ( [0] => stdClass Object ( [title] => Special Schools Reform [url] => http://www.education.gov.mt/ministry/doc/pdf/special_schools_reform/Special_Schools_Reform_ENG.pdf ) [1] => stdClass Object ( [title] => Inclusive and Special Education Review: [url] => http://www.knpd.org/pubs/pdf/inceduc_rpte.pdf ) ) ) [33] => stdClass Object ( [parent] => E. Education [theme_title] => E2. Mainstream schools [theme_slug] => e2-mainstream-schools [theme_id] => 33 [contents] => With the implementation of an Inclusive Education Policy in 1994, disabled children attend mainstream schooling. They are assessed by the Statementing Moderating Panel and provided with support according to their individual educational needs. Parents can appeal the decision of the Panel. Children who are statemented are provided with an Individual Educational Plan (IEP) that defines long-term goals and short-term action to realize their full potential. The IEP is implemented with the support of Learning Support Assistant (LSA) who support disabled children in the classroom. The costs of employing LSAs is carried by the government in state, religious and independent schools. In addition, with the reform of special schools in 2010, the newly-created education resource centres now to provide specialised support and resources to disabled children attending mainstream schooling. The Equal Opportunities Act safeguards the rights of disabled children against discrimination in education. [update_date] => 2012-12-07 14:41:32 [links] => Array ( [0] => stdClass Object ( [title] => Ministerial Committee Inclusive Education Policy (2000) [url] => http://www.knpd.org/pubs/pdf/educinclusive.pdf ) [1] => stdClass Object ( [title] => Equal Opportunities (Persons with Disability Act: Cap. 413): [url] => http://www.mjha.gov.mt/DownloadDocument.aspx?app=lom&itemid=8879&l=1 ) ) ) [34] => stdClass Object ( [parent] => E. Education [theme_title] => E3. Sign language and Braille in school [theme_slug] => e3-sign-language-and-braille-in-school [theme_id] => 34 [contents] => The rights of disabled children against discrimination are safeguarded by the Equal Opportunities Act. Legislation does not make specific reference to the right to learn sign language or Braille. Maltese sign language interpreters are provided for Deaf children whose parents request the service. However, there are limitations in the quantity of hours provided because of restricted resources. Blind children are taught Braille. [update_date] => 2012-12-07 14:42:10 [links] => Array ( ) ) [35] => stdClass Object ( [parent] => E. Education [theme_title] => E4. Vocational training [theme_slug] => e4-vocational-training [theme_id] => 35 [contents] => The right to education can be found in the Equal Opportunities Act and both private and public educational institutions providing vocational training must take into account the requirements of disabled people. The right of disabled people to vocational training and education is also found in the Constitution of Malta. The main provider of vocational training is the state-funded Malta College of Art, Science and Technology (MCAST), which implements an inclusive policy. Physical accessibility on its campus has increased and the new campus that is being built has been planned in conformity with the Access for All Design Guidelines. The Learning Support Unit provides support for students with learning difficulties and the Pathway to Independence course provides vocational education training for students with intellectual disability. In 2012, the Institute of Tourism Studies launched a corresponding course focusing on Key Skills in the Hospitality Sector. Short courses organized by the Employment and Training Corporation are also available for disabled people. In order to improve the prospects of disabled people developing their educational skills beyond compulsory schooling, the National Commission Persons with Disability (KNPD) is currently working on an initiative in collaboration with the Students Services Department (Directorate for Educational Services) to produce a website, to be placed in the Department of Educational Services (DES) Internet portal, and a complementary booklet that provides information for disabled students about opportunities for post-secondary education and vocational training. The resources will offer disabled students with existing educational institutions and comprehensive information about services and benefits that they can make use of in the course of their education. All material will be provided in accessible formats. [update_date] => 2012-12-07 14:45:24 [links] => Array ( [0] => stdClass Object ( [title] => Ministry of Education: Student Services Department [url] => http://www.education.gov.mt/edu/edu_division/student_services.htm ) [1] => stdClass Object ( [title] => Employment and Training Corporation [url] => http://etc.gov.mt/ ) [2] => stdClass Object ( [title] => Institute of Tourism Studies [url] => http://www.its.edu.mt/ ) [3] => stdClass Object ( [title] => Malta College of Art, Science and Technology [url] => http://www.mcast.edu.mt/ ) [4] => stdClass Object ( [title] => Constitution of Malta [url] => http://www.mjha.gov.mt/DownloadDocument.aspx?app=lom&itemid=8566 ) [5] => stdClass Object ( [title] => Equal Opportunities (Persons with Disability Act: Cap. 413) [url] => http://www.mjha.gov.mt/DownloadDocument.aspx?app=lom&itemid=8879&l=1 ) ) ) [36] => stdClass Object ( [parent] => E. Education [theme_title] => E5. Higher education [theme_slug] => e5-higher-education [theme_id] => 36 [contents] => The University of Malta is the only university in Malta. Following the adoption of the Equal Opportunities Act, the university needed to undergo changes to offer disabled students equal treatment to other students. These included the increase in the quality of access to certain areas of campus and the establishment of an Access Disability Support Unit (ADSU). Changes in examination arrangements to cater for the requirements of disabled people completing their exams to qualify to enter university were also issued. In addition, disabled people who wish to continue with their education and require funding may apply for financial assistance through the National Commission Persons with Disability (KNPD) PEKTUR program which offers financial assistance to disabled people wishing to continue with their studies relating to the field of disability. In order to improve the prospects of disabled people developing their educational skills beyond compulsory schooling, KNPD is currently working on an initiative in collaboration with the Students Services Department (Directorate for Educational Services) within the entity responsible for education beyond the schooling age (KK16+). The aim of this initiative is to produce a website, to be placed in the Department of Educational Services (DES) Internet portal, and a complementary booklet that provides information for disabled students about opportunities for post-secondary education and vocational training. The resources will offer disabled students with existing educational institutions and comprehensive information about services and benefits that they can make use of in the course of their education. All material will be provided in accessible formats. [update_date] => 2012-12-07 14:43:44 [links] => Array ( [0] => stdClass Object ( [title] => University of Malta and Students with Disability (2007) [url] => http://www.um.edu.mt/__data/assets/pdf_file/0011/3899/access_booklet.pdf ) [1] => stdClass Object ( [title] => Ministry of Education Arrangements for Candidates with Particular Requirements (2002): http://www.knpd.org/pubs/pdf/Guidelines%20of%20Special%20Examintions.pdf University of Malta Access Arrangements: http://www.um.edu.mt/matsec/Access University of Malta Access Disability Support Unit: http://www.um.edu.mt/about/services/support/access Equal Opportunities (Persons with Disability Act: Cap. 413): http://www.mjha.gov.mt/DownloadDocument.aspx?app=lom&itemid=8879&l=1 [url] => ) ) ) [38] => stdClass Object ( [parent] => F. Employment [theme_title] => F1. Non-discrimination in employment [theme_slug] => f1-non-discrimination-in-employment [theme_id] => 38 [contents] => The Maltese Constitution (1964) establishes the principle that every Maltese citizen has the right to work but does not specifically refer to disabled people in this regard. However, it does assert the right of disabled citizens who cannot work to access vocational education and training. The Disabled Persons (Employment) Act (Chapter 210) is the first attempt to fulfil the principle of equality in work for disabled people. This law introduced the Disabled Persons Register and a quota of 2% disabled employees (and a minimum of 1 disabled employee) for companies who employ more than 20 employees. The Act also establishes the concept of reserved jobs to be allocated for disabled people. Recent amendments to this legislation include fines for companies who do not abide by the regulations of this act. The money collected from the fines will go towards the Lino Spiteri Foundation – a foundation, established in May 2015, set up in order to improve the inclusion of disabled individuals into gainful employment. The Conditions of the Employment (Regulation) Act (Cap 135) protects the right to compensation of persons who are injured or acquire a disease during the course of their working life, which prevents them from continuing to work. The amount of compensation they receive is adjusted according to the Social Security Act (Cap 147). The Social Security Act provides disabled people who are in receipt of the non-contributory disability pension to perform part-time work as long as their total extra income does not exceed the minimum wage. In that case, the amount of the disability pension is reduced on a pro-rata basis. The Employment and Industrial Relations Act (Cap 452) and the Equal Opportunities Act (Cap. 413) transpose the European Employment Directive and safeguard the rights of disabled persons in employment. In 2010, the National Commission of Persons with Disability (KNPD) published a Policy of the Employment of Disabled People following consultations with stakeholders in the employment sector, support agencies, NGOs active in the disability sector, parents and disabled people. The policy proposed a number of recommendations, including better employment assessment services, the introduction of more incentives for employers and to disabled people seeking self-employment and the restructuring of day care facilities. It also recommends removing the concept of jobs that are reserved for disabled people and ensuring instead that all jobs are accessible for disabled people who have the necessary skills to carry them out. [update_date] => 2016-04-21 14:29:12 [links] => Array ( [0] => stdClass Object ( [title] => KNPD Employment Policy for Disabled People (2010) [url] => http://www.knpd.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/002-Employment-Policy-EN.pdf ) [1] => stdClass Object ( [title] => Equal Opportunities Act (Persons with Disability Act: Cap. 413) [url] => http://www.justiceservices.gov.mt/downloaddocument.aspx?app=lom&itemid=8879 ) [2] => stdClass Object ( [title] => Constitution of Malta [url] => http://www.justiceservices.gov.mt/DownloadDocument.aspx?app=lom&itemid=8566&l=1 ) [3] => stdClass Object ( [title] => Employment of Disabled People Act [url] => http://justiceservices.gov.mt/DownloadDocument.aspx?app=lom&itemid=8918&l=1 ) [4] => stdClass Object ( [title] => The Conditions of Employment (Regulation) Act - Chapter 135 [url] => http://www.justiceservices.gov.mt/DownloadDocument.aspx?app=lom&itemid=11991&l=1 ) [5] => stdClass Object ( [title] => Social Security Act (Cap. 318) [url] => http://justiceservices.gov.mt/DownloadDocument.aspx?app=lom&itemid=8794&l=1 ) [6] => stdClass Object ( [title] => Employment and Industrial Relations Act (Cap 452) [url] => http://justiceservices.gov.mt/DownloadDocument.aspx?app=lom&itemid=8918&l=1 ) [7] => stdClass Object ( [title] => ETC Employing Persons with Disability [url] => http://etc.gov.mt/Category/4/100/employing-persons-with-disability.aspx ) ) ) [39] => stdClass Object ( [parent] => F. Employment [theme_title] => F2. Public employment services [theme_slug] => f2-public-employment-services [theme_id] => 39 [contents] => The state agency offering employment and training opportunities is the Employment Training Corporation (ETC). The ETC is bound by law to include disabled people in its programmes and operates a Supported Employment Unit aiming to assist registered disabled unemployed people in finding work and receiving suitable training that is tailored to their individual needs and skills. In addition to providing training to disabled people alongside other trainees, the ETC also works to reach out to employers for possible work opportunities and practice. Programmes that are aimed to prepare disabled people for work include the Bridging the Gap scheme and the Employment Aid Programme, aimed at securing disabled people's employment and providing them with work exposure and on-site training. In addition, a recent programme for people with intellectual disability was launched. The programme titled Sheltered Employment Training aims to provide free sheltered employment training with the result of improving disabled person’s employability. [update_date] => 2016-04-21 14:35:44 [links] => Array ( [0] => stdClass Object ( [title] => Employment & Training Corporation [url] => http://etc.gov.mt/ ) [1] => stdClass Object ( [title] => Sheltered Employment Training: [url] => http://etc.gov.mt/NewsDetails.aspx?NewsID=89 ) ) ) [40] => stdClass Object ( [parent] => F. Employment [theme_title] => F3. Workplace adaptations [theme_slug] => f3-workplace-adaptations [theme_id] => 40 [contents] => One of the recommendations made within the National Commission Persons with Disability's Employment Policy for Disabled People was to provide financial incentives to employers to make necessary adaptations to their work places and in the acquisition of assistive equipment if necessary. The Workplace Accessibility Scheme was set up in 2010 to provide tax deductions to employers who employ disabled people and need to make modifications within their place of work. To date, no employer has applied for this scheme. [update_date] => 2012-12-07 14:48:54 [links] => Array ( [0] => stdClass Object ( [title] => Workplace Accessibility Tax Deduction Scheme (LN 428/2010) [url] => http://www.knpd.org/pubs/101203_workplacexstaxded.pdf ) ) ) [41] => stdClass Object ( [parent] => F. Employment [theme_title] => F4. Financial incentives [theme_slug] => f4-financial-incentives [theme_id] => 41 [contents] => The government agency responsible for employment and training Jobsplus offers support to disabled people seeking employment through such schemes as the Bridging the Gap scheme, which offers disabled people the opportunity of entering the labour market through supported employment measures. Through this scheme, disabled people can gain experience on the job, have more employment opportunities and receive a weekly wage (80% of the minimum wage). With the Employment Aid Scheme, employers can choose to interview the client, assess the progress of the employee and are not bound to pay national insurance, wages or sick leave benefits for the first 156 weeks of employment. The Employment Aid Scheme is being funded by the ESF and employers can benefit from the support of Jobsplus officials during this scheme. As from January 2014, the employers of persons in receipt of the Severe Disability Assistance, Disability Assistance and Assistance for the Visually Impaired are exempt from paying Social Security contributions for the first 156 days of employment. [update_date] => 2017-07-24 17:41:25 [links] => Array ( [0] => stdClass Object ( [title] => Jobsplus [url] => http://etc.gov.mt/ ) ) ) [43] => stdClass Object ( [parent] => G. Statistics and data collection [theme_title] => G1. Official research [theme_slug] => g1-official-research [theme_id] => 43 [contents] => There is no official centre responsible for gathering data or statistical information about disability equality. The National Statistics Office (NSO) collects data about Malta's population and also implements research devised by Eurostat. [update_date] => 2012-12-07 14:50:35 [links] => Array ( [0] => stdClass Object ( [title] => Malta National Statistics Office (NSO) [url] => http://www.nso.gov.mt ) ) ) [44] => stdClass Object ( [parent] => G. Statistics and data collection [theme_title] => G2. Census data [theme_slug] => g2-census-data [theme_id] => 44 [contents] => The Census in 2005 included a question asking respondents whether there were disabled people as part of the household and to identify the impairment group. The results provided a wealth of data on the living conditions of disabled people as no undertaking has been carried out before on a nationwide scale. A question on disability allowed for the analysis pertaining to demographics, living conditions, educational status, level and quality of employment, involvement in sports and access to the Internet. The data was pivotal in getting a better idea of the quality of life of disabled people and formed the basis of a report entitled The Quality of Life of Disabled People: Some Answers from the Census 2005, which was published in 2009. It must be noted that the 2005 Census was the first one which included reference to disability status which made it possible to get a better idea of the quality of disabled people's lives at a nationwide level. The last Census was held in 2011 and statistics on persons with disability from the 2011 Census are available from the KNPD website (see link below). A full report has not yet been made available. [update_date] => 2015-02-27 11:55:17 [links] => Array ( [0] => stdClass Object ( [title] => Statistics on Persons with Disability from the 2011 Census [url] => http://www.knpd.org/Issues/research.html ) [1] => stdClass Object ( [title] => The Quality of Life of Disabled People: Some Answers from Census 2005 (2009): [url] => http://www.knpd.org/Issues/research.html ) ) ) [45] => stdClass Object ( [parent] => G. Statistics and data collection [theme_title] => G3. Labour Force Survey [theme_slug] => g3-labour-force-survey [theme_id] => 45 [contents] => The National Statistics Office (NSO) collects data and statistics on the Maltese population and conducts a number of thematic studies exploring data related to age, gender, educational status, employment situation and economic growth, including those developed by Eurostat. Disabled people are also included in some of the studies conducted by NSO. Included in the data collected that makes reference to disabled people as part of the sample relate to the number of registered unemployed and employed disabled people (published every quarter) and reports on people having a long standing illness or disability (the most recent published in 2003). The 2011 Labour Force Survey included an ad hoc module is to provide information on the situation of people having any health condition/disease or activity difficulty in the labour market. All the reports issued by the NSO are publicly available on their web page and can be downloaded free of charge. [update_date] => 2012-12-07 14:56:12 [links] => Array ( [0] => stdClass Object ( [title] => National Statistics Office (NSO) [url] => http://www.nso.gov.mt ) ) ) [46] => stdClass Object ( [parent] => G. Statistics and data collection [theme_title] => G4. Disability equality indicators [theme_slug] => g4-disability-equality-indicators [theme_id] => 46 [contents] => There is no official data regarding disability equality indicators. The study that best establishes such indicators is the one entitled 'The quality of life of disabled people: Some answers from Census 2005'. This study covers demographics, living conditions, educational status, level and quality of employment, involvement in sports and access to the Internet. For each indicator in turn, data was further examined to analyse whether findings varied between disabled and non-disabled people; between disabled men and women; according to age; according to where disabled people lived; by type of impairment. [update_date] => 2016-06-09 10:48:27 [links] => Array ( [0] => stdClass Object ( [title] => The Quality of Life of Disabled People: Some Answers from Census 2005 (2009) [url] => http://www.knpd.org/Issues/research.html ) ) ) [48] => stdClass Object ( [parent] => H. Awareness and external action [theme_title] => H1. Awareness raising programs [theme_slug] => h1-awareness-raising-programs [theme_id] => 48 [contents] => One of the roles of the National Commission Persons with Disability (KNPD) as established in the Equal Opportunities Act is to raise awareness about disability issues. KNPD organizes a year long awareness raising programme culminating in Disabled Persons' Week from the 3-10 December. There have been activities highlighting parallels in the experiences of disabled people and people from ethnic minorities as well as activities focusing on women with disability. All statistics published by KNPD is disaggregated by gender. Moreover, KNPD has also issued a number of educational publications aimed at creating awareness about disability issues and rights. Included in these publications there are storybooks aimed at children about the lives of young disabled characters having different impairments each, a booklet aimed at business staff explaining how people operating in business should engage with disabled people and fact sheets explaining the social model view of disability. All publications are available to download on KNPD's site. [update_date] => 2012-12-07 16:04:11 [links] => Array ( [0] => stdClass Object ( [title] => National Commission Persons with Disability [url] => http://www.knpd.org/awareness.html ) ) ) [49] => stdClass Object ( [parent] => H. Awareness and external action [theme_title] => H2. Training for teachers [theme_slug] => h2-training-for-teachers [theme_id] => 49 [contents] => Teachers are required to attend lectures on disability issues when reading for a B Ed in Primary or Secondary education. These lectures have been delivered by the National Commission of Persons with Disability (KNPD) since 1994 and they involve the participation of disabled people themselves. The lectures aim to make teachers aware of the social model and the rights of disabled people. In 2012, the University of Malta set up a Disability Studies Unit (DSU) that now gives lectures for students and teachers. In 2015, the Unit was promoted to a Department. KNPD retains its Disability Equality Training programme for inservice teachers and school children among others. [update_date] => 2016-04-21 14:53:54 [links] => Array ( [0] => stdClass Object ( [title] => Department of Disability Studies, Faculty for Social Wellbeing, University of Malta [url] => http://www.um.edu.mt/socialwellbeing/disabilitystudies ) [1] => stdClass Object ( [title] => National Commission of Persons with Disability [url] => http://www.knpd.org/awareness/disability-issues/ ) [2] => stdClass Object ( [title] => KNPD: Holoq Differenti (Educational Booklets) [url] => http://www.knpd.org/awareness/disability-issues/ ) ) ) [50] => stdClass Object ( [parent] => H. Awareness and external action [theme_title] => H3. Training for lawyers [theme_slug] => h3-training-for-lawyers [theme_id] => 50 [contents] => The Department of Disability Studies is now delivering an optional study unit for law students focusing on anti-discrimination and other legislation for disabled people, especially the CRPD and the Equal Opportunities Act. [update_date] => 2016-04-21 14:55:36 [links] => Array ( [0] => stdClass Object ( [title] => Department of Disability Studies, Faculty for Social Wellbeing, University of Malta [url] => http://www.um.edu.mt/socialwellbeing/disabilitystudies ) ) ) [51] => stdClass Object ( [parent] => H. Awareness and external action [theme_title] => H4. Training for doctors [theme_slug] => h4-training-for-doctors [theme_id] => 51 [contents] => Medical students are provided with one Disability Equality Training (DET) sessions throughout their course. Other trainee health care professionals can follow an optional Disability Issues course as part of their University course. These are conducted with the participation of disabled people and aim to make those working in the medical field and health care professionals of the importance of going beyond simply perceiving disabled people in medical terms but of treating them as whole persons. They are also made aware of the social model of disability and provided with tips on how to relate to disabled people. [update_date] => 2012-12-07 16:08:54 [links] => Array ( ) ) [52] => stdClass Object ( [parent] => H. Awareness and external action [theme_title] => H5. Training for engineers [theme_slug] => h5-training-for-engineers [theme_id] => 52 [contents] => At present, engineers and designers do not receive any DET/DAT training sessions. Architectural students have a course in accessible design. [update_date] => 2012-12-07 16:09:37 [links] => Array ( ) ) [53] => stdClass Object ( [parent] => H. Awareness and external action [theme_title] => H6. International development aid [theme_slug] => h6-international-development-aid [theme_id] => 53 [contents] => Maltadoes not to make reference to disability mainstreaming nor specifically identify this issue in official policies or programmes of international development aid or make reference to the principles of accessibility or non-discrimination. [update_date] => 2012-12-07 16:10:28 [links] => Array ( [0] => stdClass Object ( [title] => Social Watch Report on Malta's Commitment to International Development Aid [url] => http://www.socialwatch.org/sites/default/files/malta2010_eng.pdf ) ) ) ) ) ) )