Self-Determination Foundation Claims Government
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
August 12, 2003
VALLETTA, MALTA--Since it was founded in January 1999, the non-profit Equal Partners Foundation has been asking the government for help in its mission to promote self-determination and assist people with disabilities to be fully included in their schools, homes and communities.
Each time they gone to different ministries, the foundation's organizers have been told there is no money available.
Now the leaders of the foundation, which was started by parents who were dissatisfied with existing services, are claiming the government discriminates against them. They say the government is doing business with the same agencies every year, leaving little money for new organizations.
"If a client believes that at the present moment his needs could be better catered for by a particular organisation, state funding should be transferred from one to the other - obviously there needs to be clear procedures for accountability," foundation president Colin Galea told the Times of Malta.
Last November the foundation submitted two proposals to the government. One is a self-determination initiative that would allow people to choose their service provider. The second proposes that parents should be able to deduct from their taxable income the amount they pay for support services.
The finance ministry had not made a final decision on the proposals.
According to the foundation's Web site it fosters "the philosophy of an inclusive environment" and "focuses its energies on creating a partnership with parents of children with disabilities, their families and the community to promote informed personal choices and meaningful lives."
Equal Partners Foundation