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Gordon's D-Zone Arcive (2006-2014)

Sunday, February 17, 2008

PRESS RELEASE (Originally Issued: 5 Feb. 2008)

Maltese Council of Disabled Persons
Kunsill Malti tal-Persuni b’Dizabilita

“Xejn Dwarna Minghajrna!” - “Nothing about us without us!"

TOP Full title, slogan and logo of MCoDP - Hexagon divided into six triangles filled with the colours (clockwise) yellow, pink, green, light blue, violet and red respectively - each colour representing the six main impairment groups.

Our Right to Belong in the Community

The Maltese Council of Disabled Persons (MCoDP) as an NGO comprised of people having different impairments and which is based on the social model view of disability holds that policy action that only takes into account our medical aspect is limiting, as it tends to promote the idea that disabled people are dependent and unable to contribute to society. In view of this, we feel we must express our concerns about the MLP motion on health regarding disabled people (number 5) as it is based on a medical model view of disabled people, which has historically resulted in the systematic exclusion of people with impairments in Malta's past and is a daily reality for other disabled people around the world.

Therefore, we disagree with the proposed restructuring of parts of Saint Luke’s (or any other building capable of housing a large residential institution) to accommodate disabled people who no longer benefit from the support of their family. Although we recognize that this measure may have been taken with good intentions, we firmly oppose the establishment of more institutions, which only serve to exclude us from the community. Moreover, this measure risks undermining our rights to equal citizenships set by the Equal Opportunities (Persons with a Disability) Act of 2000.

We believe that if this policy measure is implemented it will, in our opinion, signify a regression in terms of what we, as disabled people, have achieved thanks to anti discriminatory legislation and policies based on the Social Model of Disability, aimed at safeguarding our rights. Finally, we cannot fail to mention that in adopting this measure, the support agencies (such as Agenzija Sapport) that have started to provide disabled persons with the possibility of leading more independent lives and to have a better quality of life will be undermined or even dismantled.

Disabled people, like the elderly, have the right to enjoy community life and to be provided with proper support to lead a better quality of life. Indeed, community-based support should be the way forward. After all, we believe that we belong in the community.

Gordon C. Cardona

Vickie Gauci


1. MLP is short for 'Malta Labour Party' - one of the two largest parties, together with the PN (the Nationalist Party), which have influenced Maltese political history.

2. The now approved MLP motion in question states:

In Maltese:

MLP mozzjoni fuq is-Sahha
“5. Jirranga biex wara li jkunu saru bidliet strutturali mehtiega, parti minn San
Luqa tintuza biex tospita fiha persuni b’dizabilita, li hadd mill-familja taghhom ma jkun jista’ jibqa’ jdur bihom.“

Which roughly translates as:

“After necessary structural alterations, parts of St Luke’s should be converted to

house disabled people whose families can no longer take care of them.”

3. ' St Luke's Hospital' was the former state hospital that has now been replaced by a modern one - the 'Mater Dei' hospital. Parts of the old state hospital have been proposed as a site for a residential institution