Current Affairs
Visually impaired persons will have their own special passport

Visually impaired persons are to have their own type identification passport following Identity Malta’s development of a new system that works with the QR Code enabling them to be scanned by a mobile. Parliamentary Secretary for Citizenship Julia Farrugia Portelli said this is the first kind of such a development in Europe and she hoped that other countries will begin using the technology to enable more social inclusion.

Joseph Vella, one of about 5,000 persons in Malta suffering visual impairment, will be able to access passport details in a more independent and private manner through the utilisation of the QR Code via a sticker that will be attached to the passport and will be read by an app (speech code) that can be downloaded free of charge.

PS Farrugia Portelli said this initiative places Malta among the first European countries to offer such a service. No other country except Portugal has such a facility which she said will enable greater social inclusion on a European scale.

The Parliamentary Secretary for the Rights of Disabled Persons, Anthony Agius Decelis, said this is a further development to spread greater inclusion and described this as another step to break down barriers and induce greater inclusion in society.

Michael Micallef, who also suffers visual impairment, said this innovative tool opens the road to the provision of greater accessibility.

He said such a system may in the short-term future also be used on books, CDs and other products to help individuals use the same app to obtain greater information.

The CEO of Identity Malta, Anton Sevasta and the Agency’s Chairperson, Ian Castaldi Paris, explained that this system will be introduced into new passports and will contain greater security through the use of latest technology.