The Inspire Foundation and Empower Cooperative welcome the new budgetary measures on employment and residential care for persons with a disability.
These new measures will ensure that the inclusion of vulnerable people continues to progress in the right direction, increasing quality of life, independence and social inclusion.
The setting up of the fund for inclusive employment is an excellent vehicle for the inclusion of people who are currently excluded from the workplace, due to the lack of resources, expertise and funding.
It is critical that the rest of the stakeholders are involved in the next steps to ensure that long term sustainability and collaboration continues, thereon.
We hope that the new foundation, NGOs working in the sector, the ETC, the Employers Association and the private sector all see this as a common mission to enable people with hidden potential to become involved in socio-economic activities for the holistic well-being of our society.
The momentum that the sector is gaining, through recent EU-funded supported apprenticeships, the supported employment initiatives of Empower and others and the sharing of expertise and experience between Inspire and the ETC is a clear and positive way forward for maximum impact.
We are keen to see how the residential provision for persons with disability will map out. Whilst we are proponents of the model of ‘small unit supported living’ in the community, we also realise that there is a huge demand for residential care for persons with complex needs, particularly those with ageing parents.
We trust that the quality of the facilities and care will be of the highest standards and will promote independence, as well as quality activities during the day. We hope that they will be close to town centres or places for community engagement.
We do now hope that the day resource centres themselves will be looked at in greater detail. We appreciate that standards of day service care are currently being evaluated, however the situation needs immediate action.
There are too many people sitting at home who are inactive and disengaged and we need to ensure that they get access to useful and meaningful activities with immediate effect. This needs considerable investment, re-organisation and restructuring.
THE INSPIRE FOUNDATION HELPS OVER 1000 INDIVIDUALS AND THEIR FAMILIES REACH THEIR FULLEST POTENTIAL BY PROVIDING EDUCATIONAL, THERAPEUTIC AND LEISURE SERVICES. THE FOUNDATION ADVOCATES FOR INCLUSION, EDUCATES THE GENERAL PUBLIC, WORKS AT RAISING AWARENESS AMONG PEERS AND HOLDS THE BEST KNOWLEDGE BASE ON DISABILITY ON THE ISLAND.
EMPOWER IS AN INITIATIVE OF A GROUP OF MALTESE BUSINESS PEOPLE WHO WORK TO CREATE EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES FOR PEOPLE WITH DISABILITY WHO WANT TO ACCESS THE LABOUR MARKET.