She has not let her wheelchair obstruct her targets – but still finds obstacles in her path
Daniela Mercieca has a physical disability but she does not allow this to obstacle the targets she has set for her life.
She is a full-time employee and is studying for a marketing degree. Daniela said there have been notable improvements in the rights of disabled persons yet she still experiences some difficulties, such as access to public transport.
Using public transport poses difficulties, she said, and one therefore has to use transport that is adapted to wheelchairs, but this is very expensive.
During a conference on the theme of “Mhux kemm Ngħaddi, imma Nirnexxi”, (I not only want to get by, I want to succeed), Oliver Scicluna, Chairperson for the National Commission for Disabled Persons, said there has been mental evolution, particularly at a legal level with legal amendments ensuring equal opportunity.
He highlighted there are three spheres in which progress has been achieved, that is in education where there is now greater inclusion for disabled children in schools, legal enforcement in the employment sphere which has provided greater employment opportunities for the disabled, and in physical accessibility although more has to be achieved in this sphere.
Anthony Agius Decelis, who is the Parliamentary Secretary for Disabled Persons, expressed his satisfaction that more disabled persons are now in the employment sector. The Government has also increased pensions for those that cannot work with these benefits including reaching minimum wages levels and programmes to enable being able to live independently.
Opposition spokesperson Maria Deguara said that every form of discrimination against disabled persons has to be eliminated and that such persons be given every possible support to enable them to achieve their potential.