Commission for the Rights of Persons with Disability
Skip Navigation

Disability Services: Do they work?

Published 26 Oct 2021

59 percent of persons with disability feel that needs are met by current servicesDisability Services: Do they work? Webinar

Around 59 percent of persons with disability and/or their parents/guardians feel that their needs are being met by current service provision.

The finding was mentioned in a new report published by the Commission for the Rights of Persons with Disability (CRPD). The study, ‘Disability service provision and persons with disability’, was commissioned by CRPD and carried out by the Faculty for Social Wellbeing at the University of Malta.

‘In order to live a more independent and inclusive life, persons with disability need to make use of different services. While huge strides have been made in recent years, we wanted to evaluate and assess whether the available services are meeting the needs and expectations of persons with disability,’ said CRPD Commissioner Samantha Pace Gasan.

Focusing on four services for adults – Residential, Respite, Community, Assessment & Intervention – the report took a mixed data collection approach. Data from persons with disability and their parents and/or guardians was collected through online and telephone questionnaires while data from service providers, NGOs, DPOs and CRPD was collected through interviews.

Among the main findings from the questionnaires with parents and/or guardians were the need for better frequency of services; better procurement and investments in more advanced assistive technology and equipment used during therapy; more free transportation options and long waiting times.

Other issues mentioned included increased support for families during summer period; more financial support for families who need services not provided by the state; therapies available in Malta and Gozo equally and the re-evaluation of POYC scheme to increase the list of medications offered and include delivery of entitled stock.

Among the issues mentioned in the interviews included the implementation of deinstitutionalisation; long waiting times; the involvement of service users in decision-making;

The report also includes a number of recommendations based on the findings. These include the need to ensure continuity within services; increase in family-friendly measures for service users; strengthening of community based services; review and remove unnecessary bureaucratic processes; increase in promotion of information about available services; standardization between services offered in Malta and Gozo and the enforcement of deinstitutionalization.

‘Effective evaluation to assess and develop disability services should be based on the experiences of service-users as it is known to better contribute to the enhancement of services,’ said Dr Clare Azzopardi Lane, deputy dean of the Faculty for Social Wellbeing, who also formed part of the research team.

‘There is a lacuna in local research about whether disability services are working – this study will give a better insight of the present situation in Malta and Gozo. Filling this gap will be beneficial in making policy recommendations which can help better meet the needs of persons with disability.’