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More independence for disabled citizens


In Malta, a centre for independent living for disabled people celebrates its first anniversary

Named after a disabled Maltese woman who was a role model for people with disabilities seeking an independent life, the Sonia Tanti Independent Living Centre – Malta’s first such facility – is celebrating its first year of operation. Set up in 2011, with help from both the ESF and ERDF, the Centre provides people with disabilities with the advice, information and training they need to live life to the full, improve their mobility and get access to employment. One example is the wheelchair and seating unit where occupational therapists help the disabled try out and select the best wheelchair solutions for them – rather than just choosing from a catalogue, as in the past. Likewise, the Adaptive Driving Assessment Training Unit helps to ensure the safety of car modifications and evaluates disabled drivers’ abilities and needs – something that had to be done abroad before. These are just two examples of the variety of support the Centre and its staff can provide to Malta’s disabled citizens and their families. In addition, the ESF co-funded training for 119 professionals, such as speech and physiotherapists, to help respond to the needs of the disabled population in Malta.