PRESS RELEASE BY THE PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARIAT FOR FINANCIAL SERVICES, DIGITAL ECONOMY AND INNOVATION AND THE PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARIAT FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITY AND ACTIVE AGEING

Reference Number: PR172646en, Press Release Issue Date: Nov 22, 2017
 

More digital inclusion for persons with disability

 

Parliamentary Secretaries Silvio Schembri and Anthony Agius Decelis visited the new Foundation for Information Technology Accessibility (FITA) premises, which is responsible for various ICT accessibility services and initiatives across the Maltese islands. It achieves this through its online services, collaboration with partners and in-house training sessions. 

 

During the visit, the Parliamentary Secretaries observed the work FITA is currently carrying out to  finalise an online platform called SPOT. The SPOT platform, made possible through joint funding by the Vodafone Malta Foundation and FITA, aims to ensure access to online services for persons with disability. At some point most people necessitate accessible services, either for themselves, friends or relatives, however this information is arguably not as readily available as it should be, which is what SPOT aims to change.

 

Parliamentary Secretaries Silvio Schembri and Anthony Agius Decelis met with volunteers who are working on the SPOT project. The group includes individuals with different disabilities, each of whom is evaluating different accessibility and usability aspects of this platform.

 

Parliamentary Secretary Silvo Schembri thanked FITA for the work carried out so far in an effort to impliment the SPOT Project and stated that “this Government strongly believes in accessibility and the more time goes by, the more we’re nearing towards achieving this goal.”

 

Parliamentary Secretary Anthony Agius Decelis emphasised the importance on the ongoing training in disability. Together with the ongoing training, inclusivity and accessibility are fundamental to our society. Anthony Agius Decelis stated that there are a number of different ongoing projects wherein importance is given to politicians holding discussions with various persons with disabilities, who know, first-hand, what is required in order to aid and assist their needs.

 

He stressed the importance that these discussions also involve family members and those who take care of people with special needs.

 

During their visit they also met with FITA staff who have recently moved to a new office space at Gattard House. This consists of a multi-purpose room, which houses the ICT Pool service that FITA delivers, together with the ADVICE disability NGO.  FITA demonstrated some of the equipment which helps persons with different disabilities to work more independently.

 

The main FITA administration office hosts permanent and teleworking employees, each of whom is responsible for a range of services ranging from ICT training and software development to consultancy sessions.​