Malta has just welcomed its second-ever Commissioner for Persons with Disabilities, 27-year-old Samantha Pace Gasan. Her vision is to revolutionise everyday infrastructure and education to make it more accessible for people with disabilities.
“As Commissioner, my aim is to promote mainstreaming,” Pace Gasan told Lovin Malta on today’s episode of Lovin Daily.
“Although it’s important to have a strong sector fighting for the rights of people with disabilities, I want others to be inclusive of their needs too, whether it’s through physical infrastructure or information,” she said.
“My vision is about accessibility. We’re living in this globalised world and yet people with disabilities are still left behind. We need universal design in all spheres of life.”
Asked about her concerns brought about by the pandemic, she said education was an issue.
“Learning environments in normal times are difficult. Having to shift to online education is an added challenge, especially for those who have autism for example, who are used to a routine.”
Pace Gasan took over from former Commissioner Oliver Scicluna, who was co-opted into Parliament this month. At just 27, she has already made her mark through her activism for better rights for those with disabilities, research and personal triumphs after facing her own struggles with disabilities.
Her sister Naomi, who has down syndrome, is no stranger to the activist scene either, having spent a day shadowing Prime Minster Robert Abela, to demand better working conditions for persons with disabilities.
When asked about the tokenism in the sector, Samantha Pace Gasan said charities do deserve a place in Malta’s society, but believes it shouldn’t mean the fight for better rights should slow down in any way.
What do you think about Samantha Pace Gasan’s ideas? Comment below