Access To Communication & Technology Unit (Actu)

AAC stands for Augmentative and Alternative Communication. AAC refers to a range of strategies and tools which are used to support someone to communicate when they have difficulty with talking in a way that everyone can understand. Examples of AAC include communication books, PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System), VOCAs (Voice Output Communication Aids), and key word signing.

EAT stands for Electronic Assistive Technology. It describes a range of equipment including environmental controls systems, communication aid equipment and equipment used for overcoming communication problems with accessing computer technology.

ACTU provides two main services, the AAC service and EAT service. ACTU also provides one-off consultation appointments in Information Days.

The services provided include clinical assessments, recommendations, initial implementation, technical and training support for AAC devices. ACTU also provide similar supports for the EAT service.

ACTU provides services to individuals with complex communication needs; physical and /or sensory difficulties; speech, language and communication needs; and/or learning disabilities; and their families.

A team of qualified professionals including Speech & Language Therapists and Occupational Therapists will be involved from the service commencement to the overall provision and review of service.

All persons employed by the Agency are qualified and trained according to national standards.

Aġenzjia Sapport supports equal opportunities and adopts an all-inclusive philosophy.

The main ACTU services are offered to individuals up to the age of 16. However, one-off appointments for adults are offered in the Information Days. Information days are also offered to students who are accessing full-time education and are beyond the age of 16.

If you have never attended ACTU before you need to be referred to meet with a therapist.
If you are not eligible but would still like to meet a therapist you can book an appointment for an information day.

For AAC appointments you will need to discuss this with your Speech and Language Therapist.

Following referral, the professionals will decide which therapists are appropriate for the child’s assessment, according to their need. A meeting will be set-up with a Speech and Language Therapist and possibly an Occupational Therapist if the child has been referred for an AAC assessment.

If the referral is for an EAT assessment the meeting will be with an Occupational Therapist. The therapists will also be invited and one may also ask the child’s LSE or other members of the school team to attend.

In the first session questions will be asked about how the child communicates and uses their hands. The child will also be observed during play and natural situations e.g. playing with toys or using a computer. The therapists might ask the child to try out some of the equipment.

ACTU may also offer some appointments online.

If the child is already using some kind of AAC system, it is best that this is brought to the session. It helps the therapists to understand the child better if they can see what he/she is already using even if he/she is having difficulty using it. A sample of any visuals used at school/home e.g. schedules, should be brought too.

If the child has been referred for an EAT assessment to find alternative means of recording please bring samples of the child’s handwriting and school work if this is applicable to your child.

The service offers the possibility of equipment trials where one is given the opportunity to take equipment for a specific time period and try these at home, school and all other environments. The need for trial equipment is usually identified during the AAC/EAT assessment and is discussed with parents and therapists during the assessment. Although not all equipment is available for trial purposes the service will try to accommodate the needs as much as possible.

An appointment can also be made for an Information Day by therapists to look at equipment with a view to loaning it.

The professionals will make recommendations for equipment but do not provide it. The therapists will assist in finding funding sources for the equipment to be bought. One source of funding is the Empowerment Scheme by Aġenzija Sapport.

 

Click this link for more information on the Empowerment Scheme.

ACTU provides low-tech AAC material according to need of the client.

All sessions at ACTU are free of charge.

Aġenzija Sapport abides by a strict data protection policy in line with the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). All information is kept on record within the service. Information is only transferred with the consent of the individual and in line with the Service Agreement signed by the service user.​

You may request access to your records by sending an email to the Agency’s Data Protection Officer on gdpr.sapport@gov.mt.

The ACTU service may be contacted on 21653 9991 on Mondays between 08:00 – 16:00, and Tuesdays until Fridays between 08:00 – 14:30. One may also send an email to actu.sapport@gov.mt.

Alternatively the service may be contacted either on the Aġenzija Sapport Helpline – Freephone 153 (press 5), or on 2256 8000 during the Agency’s opening hours Monday to Friday between 08:00 and 16:30.

Social Work Services

A person with disability who requires support from Aġenzija Sapport can phone, email or come in person to the Agency’s offices to discuss the felt need with the intake team. Family members or any other professional who are already working with the person can also refer a person with disability with their consent (when possible).

 

When the case is referred to the Social Work Team, the social work leaders will discuss further the presenting situation, and the case will be assigned to a social worker at the earliest convenience, depending on the prioritisation and urgency of the case.

The professionals will discuss the plan of services with the persons with disability whenever possible. Furthermore, the Agency also provides easy-to-read versions of forms and important documents thus making same information accessible to persons with a disability.

A team of qualified Social Workers will be involved from the service commencement to the overall provision and review of service.

All persons employed by the Agency are qualified and trained according to national standards. 

 

Aġenzjia Sapport supports equal opportunities and adopts an all-inclusive philosophy.  The Agency strives to avoid challenging situations related to language barriers where possible.

Following the allocation of the case, the Social Worker will establish contact with the referred person and will plan a visit at home with the individual and/or the family. The Social Worker will carry out an in-depth assessment of the situation, involving the individual and/or the family in any decision taken or service applied for. The Social Worker will keep contact with the service user and the family for as long as this is necessary.

Aġenzija Sapport abides by a strict data protection policy in line with the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). All information is kept on record within the service. Information is only transferred with the consent of the individual and in line with the Service Agreement signed by the service user

You may request access to your records by sending an email to the Agency’s Data Protection Officer on gdpr.sapport@gov.mt.

The Social Work Services may be contacted either on the Aġenzija Sapport Helpline – Freephone 153 (press 5), or on 2256 8000 during the Agency’s opening hours Monday to Friday between 08:00 and 16:30. During these hours there is always a person following intakes and will be available to answer any queries about the services offered by the Agency and other services.

Carers Scheme – Independent Community Living Monitoring (ICLM) Services

The first point of contact is the intake team of Aġenzija Sapport. A person with disability requiring a subsidy to acquire personal assistance will first be assessed by professionals within the intake team and referred to the Independent Community Living Monitoring Service for further assessment. The professionals carrying out the ICL assessment will present the report to the respective board according to hours requested, for approval or otherwise.

A team of qualified professionals administer the service. Professionals from the Social Work team are also involved from the service commencement to the overall provision and review of service. 

ICLM staff are all qualified professionals. Direct Payment, Independent Community Living and Personal Assistance Fund provide a subsidy for service provision, which is commissioned from a number of other private agencies by the service user him/herself.

The ICLM services do not include Occupational Therapists. However, if an assessment from an Occupational Therapist or other professional service is required, the ICLM professionals can refer the service user accordingly.

ICLM Services can be provided from Monday to Friday from 07:30-17:30.  Services can be utilised at any time with the agreement of the service users and the assigned worker.

Service regularity is dependent on the service user’s needs and based on the availabilities of the chosen personal assistant. Direct Payment, Independent Community Living and Personal Assistance Fund are considered as a more flexible form of community-based service, as they offer more control over service provision and times.

There are policies in place for each service provided.  ICLM Services do not encourage service provision by family members as this could limit necessary respite required by the family. There is the potential to apply for the Carer’s allowance provided by the Department of Social Security. More information can be requested through the Aġenzija Sapport Helpline – Freephone 153 (and press 5)​ or on 2256 8000.

Depending on the service required, ICLM subsidies can be accessed in conjunction some other services offered.

If a person resides in one of the Agency’s residences, ICLM Services cannot be accessed.

ICLM Services do provide subsidy on an emergency basis according to needs identified through an in-depth assessment.

Aġenzija Sapport abides by a strict data protection policy in line with the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). All information is kept on record within the service. Information is only transferred with the consent of the individual and in line with the Service Agreement signed by the service user.​

You may request access to your records by sending an email to the Agency’s Data Protection Officer on gdpr.sapport@gov.mt.

The ICLM service may be contacted on either on the Aġenzija Sapport Helpline – Freephone 153 (press 5), or on 2256 8000 during the Agency’s opening hours Monday to Friday between 08:00 and 16:30.

My Programme

The first point of contact is the intake team of Aġenzija Sapport. A person with disability requiring My Programme will first be assessed by professionals within the intake team and referred to the My Programme for further assessment.

A team of qualified professionals will be involved from the service commencement to the overall provision and review of service.

All persons employed by the Agency are qualified and trained according to national standards. 

 

Aġenzjia Sapport supports equal opportunities and adopts an all-inclusive philosophy.  The Agency strives to avoid challenging situations related to language barriers where possible.

Occupational Therapy services include, but are not limited to, the assessment, education of, or consultation with, the individual, family or other persons; and interventions directed towards improving participation in daily activities. My Programme involves Occupational Therapy to create Individual Support Programmes, which are comprehensive and include purposeful activity and intervention.

My Programme can be provided from Monday to Friday from 07:00-20:00 and on Saturdays from 07.00-16.00 excluding Public and National Holidays, according to the needs of the service user and according to availability of resources. Emergency or special requests made to the professionals involved are considered on individual basis, and can be granted service outside these hours.

Service regularity is dependent on the service user’s needs and based on the assigned schedules of the professionals. The Support Workers of the My Programme will provide the service based on a monthly schedule of assigned shift times.

The service is not intended for babysitting / child minding. The service is provided with the purpose of improving the quality of life of the person with disability through skill enhancement and socialisation.

My Programme provide the opportunity for service users to go from one place to another by transport. This is intended to empower the service users to ameliorate their daily living activities and needs in everyday life. However, My Programme cannot be used as a means of transport.

Yes. If the service is required at home and the necessary equipment is available, one can easily make use of the service. The Agency uses its own wheelchair accessible vehicles for skill enhancement outside in the community.

Support Workers employed by Aġenzija Sapport are permitted to give medications as instructed and prepared by the service user’s guardian or medical professional.

Yes, My Programme can provide a programme tailor-made to your request depending on the number of medical appointments you need to attend.

Aġenzija Sapport provides training to professionals on behaviours of concern.

My Programme will attempt to create an appropriate programme for the person together with several other professionals, to involve that person in everyday activities whilst minimising the risk of injury for both the service user and the member of staff. Should the service be unable to cater for the needs of the person, Agency professionals will help the person explore other alternatives which are more suitable.

Depending on the service and the aim of the service required, My Programme can be accessed in conjunction with some other services offered.

If a person resides in one of the Agency’s residences, the My Programme cannot be accessed. 

My Programme provide the service on an emergency basis according to needs identified through an in-depth assessment.

Yes, the service is free of charge. 

When service is provided by the My Programme Support Workers, transport and fuel costs are covered by the Agency. The service user has to cover expenses related to parking / entrance fees.

Aġenzija Sapport abides by a strict data protection policy in line with the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). All information is kept on record within the service. Information is only transferred with the consent of the individual and in line with the Service Agreement signed by the service user.​

You may request access to your records by sending an email to the Agency’s Data Protection Officer on gdpr.sapport@gov.mt.

My Programme may be contacted either on the Aġenzija Sapport Helpline – Freephone 153 (press 5), or on 2256 8000 during the Agency’s opening hours Monday to Friday between 08:00 and 16:30. My Programme also have an on-call system for service users once the programme commences, even for emergencies outside of office hours.

Day Services

The first point of contact is the intake team of Aġenzija Sapport. A person with disability requiring Day Services will first be assessed by professionals within the intake team.

A team of qualified professionals including social workers, psychology graduates, occupational therapists, physiotherapists and speech and language pathologists will be involved from the service commencement to the overall provision and review of service. Furthermore, psychiatrists, therapists and lawyers may be involved depending on the situation of the service user. 

All persons employed by the Agency are qualified and trained according to national standards. 

 

Aġenzjia Sapport supports equal opportunities and adopts an all-inclusive philosophy.  The Agency strives to avoid challenging situations related to language barriers where possible.

Day Services are open to persons with disability over age of 18 years.

Persons with a disability attending the Agency’s Day Centres are first assessed and their abilities and needs noted. Programmes are designed on a person-centred approach, meaning that programmes are created according to the different needs of the different service users. 

 

The variety of programmes delivered focus mainly on enhancing one’s abilities, acquisition of independent living skills, social inclusion, outwork, personal care, fitness, literacy, digital skills and sports. Community inclusion is also an integral part of the service offered within the Day Centres, which focuses upon accessing resources within the community, outings and activities, road safety, using public transport, shopping skills, amongst others.

Services at the Day Centres are provided from Monday to Friday, excluding Public Holidays. 

 

Transport pick-up commences at 07:30 during Summer (16th June to 30th September) and 07:45 during Winter (1st October to 15th June). Return trips are finished by 13:30 and 16.30 respectively. 

Depending on the service and the aim of the service required, Day Services can be accessed in conjunction with some other services offered.

Yes, the service is free of charge. 

Aġenzija Sapport abides by a strict data protection policy in line with the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). All information is kept on record within the service. Information is only transferred with the consent of the individual and in line with the Service Agreement signed by the service user.​

You may request access to your records by sending an email to the Agency’s Data Protection Officer on gdpr.sapport@gov.mt.

The Day services may be contacted either on the Aġenzija Sapport Helpline – Freephone 153 (press 5), or on 2256 8000 during the Agency’s opening hours Monday to Friday between 08:00 and 16:30.

Empowerment Scheme

Persons with disability who need to purchase assistive equipment which would allow them to lead a more independent life, can apply for this scheme. There is no specific age group (i.e. babies and elderly included).

Yes, for this scheme the applicant needs to have the EU Disability Card, otherwise the application is not accepted.

Assistive equipment includes, but may not be limited to: electric/powered wheelchairs, , pressure relief/air mattresses, walking aids, arm chairs/recliners, hoist systems, gel cushions, commode chairs, scooters, alternative communication devices and applications, manual stair climbers and hearing aids.

No, only a subsidy (partial refund) is allocated by the Board.  The allocated funds are not based on any specific percentage. The Board decides the amount when assessing each application.

 

The Empowerment Scheme is run by an independent Board which includes a number of professionals, who meet once a month to assess and evaluate all applications received during that period.

No. The application no longer requires the applicant’s income documents.

Yes, transport is included in this scheme, however, only a subsidy is allocated to the applicant.

 

Subsidy is allocated on individualised transport services to persons with disability who would need to go to work, to a post-secondary education institution, or attend sports activities. Such subsidy is given to persons with disability who are not able to make use of the Public Transport.

No, computers and tablets are not covered by the Empowerment Scheme, unless they are being specifically used as a communication device which pertain recommended applications.

The Empowerment Scheme Board processes your personal data in line with the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR).  Data provided by you shall be treated in the strictest confidence and may be retained by Aġenzija Sapport or transferred to third parties in order to provide you with the best possible service or otherwise as required by law. Data about you may also be collected from third parties for these purposes.

You may request access to your records by sending an email to the Agency’s Data Protection Officer on gdpr.sapport@gov.mt.

The Schemes department may be contacted either on the Aġenzija Sapport Helpline – Freephone 153 (press 5), or on 2256 8000 during the Agency’s opening hours Monday to Friday between 08:00 and 16:30.

HR: People Management & Employee Well-Being

Aġenzija Sapport has over 650 employees and the majority of them are in the services sector.

Although the majority of employees are within the services sector, the Agency also employs a number of other professionals including Support Executives, Sign Language Interpreters, Allied Health Professionals. There are also other departments such as Finance, Maintenace, Projects, Quality Assurance, HR, Marketing, Administration and EU Projects.

Calls are published on the Agency’s website and social media platforms.

It is imperative that one reads the vacancy information thoroughly since there would be important details such as eligibility and documents required to apply for a particular vacancy. 

Each application needs to be submitted before the deadline to be considered.

Eligibility criteria depends on the vacancy. Every vacancy has its own requisites since every role within the Agency requires employees with different qualifications and certain experience.

All persons employed by the Agency are qualified and trained according to national standards, and job requirements.

 

Aġenzjia Sapport supports equal opportunities and adopts an all-inclusive philosophy. 

It is important to emphasise that one needs to continue investing in courses and training. One needs to search for specialised and vocational courses like the ones offered at MCAST.

 

The Agency invests in training and continuous professional development of its employees.

The Human Resources: People Management & Employee Well-Being service may be contacted either on the Aġenzija Sapport Helpline – Freephone 153 (press 5), or on 2256 8000 during the Agency’s opening hours Monday to Friday between 08:00 and 16:30. One may also send an email on recruitment.sapport@gov.mt.

NGO Service

Persons who are aged between 3 and 60 years, who have a registered physical or intellectual disability, are eligible for the respite services.

Persons who would like to benefit from respite services can refer themselves by calling the Aġenzija Sapport Helpline on Freephone 153 (press ext.5) to speak to an Agency  representative to get more information about the services available. The individual will be placed on a respite referral waiting list for a  assessment and will be guided accordingly.

 

 

In line with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), Aġenzija Sapport is moving away from the concept of residential homes and is supporting the individual with disability through several services to continue living within the community. By contacting Aġenzija Sapport Helpline, the Agency representative will guide persons with disabilities and their families regarding alternatives to residential services, such as respite services, community services, financial support for carers at home, schemes and more.

The NGO team may be contacted on the Aġenzija Sapport Helpline – Freephone 153 (press 5), during the opening hours Monday to Friday between 08:00 and 16:30.

Research Requests

The Research Department can readily provide a number of suggested topics upon request, which could be developed into research projects.

One may contact the Research section in order to get an idea as to whether or not Aġenzija Sapport has the required access to potential participants who fit the participation criteria and to gauge the feasability of the project. 

 

Invariably, a research request application form supported by the required documentation must be submitted to Aġenzija Sapport whenever any form of data collection is involved. 

 

The Research section reviews the research request and may ask the applicant to provide any clarifications and additional or revised documents. A decision regarding the request is then communicated to the applicant within four weeks from receipt of all complete documentation.

 

An approval must always be obtained prior to the Agency being able to disseminate any participation invitations to potential participants.

Yes, an accessible format of any information that would be disseminated to or received by the potential research participants is necessary in order to conduct research with persons with disability, whenever applicable. Such documents, e.g., easy-to-read versions, need to be appropriate for the study population.

No, whilst Aġenzija Sapport will make efforts to ensure the highest chances at recruiting research participants, there are a series of reasons for not being able to successfully recruit participants, including, but not limited to: 

 

  • The research design and participation criteria may require characteristics which are not commonly found amongst the Agency’s pool of professionals and service users; 
  • The potential participants who receive the participation invitation may not be interested or willing to contribute time and information to the project or research; 
  • The research may touch upon sensitive matters, which may discourage participants from contacting the external student or researcher;
  • The participation required may be perceived by those who receive the research invitation as complex or time-consuming; etc.

Whilst the Research section is tasked with disseminating the Information Letter and Consent Form document to reach the relevant study population, one must bear in mind that participation in research is always entirely voluntary and that the decision on whether or not to contact the student or the researcher to take part in the study and/or to complete any pertinent questionnaire is solely dependent on the potential participants themselves.

A research request may be:​

  • Approved, meaning that the research participation invitation may be disseminated by Aġenzija Sapport to the potential participants;
  • Conditionally approved, whereby the applicant would be asked to fulfil one or more specified conditions (e.g., providing additional documentation or submitting revisions or changes to the research request or the supporting documents). Once these conditions are met, the request may be approved; or
  • Refused, meaning that the proposed project and data collection cannot be held with the Agency, its staff members, service users or relatives. Generally, a refusal is issued in cases of significant concerns, incomplete documentation or when the proposed data collection is not deemed to be feasible.

 

Importantly, the research participation invitation may not be disseminated by the Agency until a full approval is granted.

Once a research request approval is communicated to the applicant, the Research section will strive to identify those staff members, service users or relatives who meet the required participation criteria, in order to then disseminate the participation invitation to them.  

 

Importantly, no information whatsover about the potential participants, including any contact details, are passed on by Aġenzija Sapport to the person conducting the project or research. 

 

Those potential participants who receive the Information Letter & Consent Form document and who are interested in participating, would contact the student or the researcher themselves to take part in the research or would complete and send the pertinent questionnaire themselves should they decide to do so. 

 

Once the study or project is finalised, and, in the case of students, a grade has been allocated, the applicant shall submit a copy to Aġenzija Sapport.

A research request may be refused for a number of reasons, including, but not limited to:

  • There are no known potential participants within the Agency’s pool of staff members and service users who meet the study population requirements set out by the research parameters;
  • There are significant research design flaws or concerns with the proposed data collection;
  • The proposal raises ethical concerns which are not mitigated by any alleviating factors; etc.

The Research section may be contacted either on the Aġenzija Sapport Helpline – Freephone 153 (press 5), or on 2256 8000 during the Agency’s opening hours Monday to Friday between 08:00 and 16:30. One may also send an email on research.sapport@gov.mt.

Sharing Lives – Becoming a volunteer

Volunteers come from all walks of life. Volunteers may be students (local or foreign), pensioners, members of NGOs, and professionals coming from different sectors such as chefs, artists, musicians etc. who wish to use their skills and resources for a good cause.

 

Volunteers with Sharing Lives must be over the age of 16 years. Young people who are under 18 years of age are required to obtain parental consent. 

Volunteers may dedicate any number of hours as they wish. There is no definite amount of time required to volunteer. However, volunteers need to communicate clearly their intentions and availabilities, in order to maintain a smooth service.

 

A certificate is offered to volunteers who provide more than 30 hours of service. 

 

Long-term volunteers will also have the opportunity to access training and other incentives that are offered from time to time.

Volunteers can offer their service in different ways. 

One may act as a social contact to a person with disability offering the opportunity for the service user to have a chat with someone and enjoy a social event. 

 

Alternatively, one may participate or even help in the organisation of social activities with the involvement of persons with disability. 

 

Voluntary experiences at a day centre or residential service can also be considered. 

 

An interview is held in order to discuss and determine the best way one may contribute.

Aġenzija Sapport values its volunteers and strongly believe that voluntary work is a learning experience and an excellent opportunity for growth.  

 

The Sharing Lives team will always be available to discuss any difficulties that may be encountered and see how further support may be provided. 

 

Long-term volunteers will have regular supervision sessions scheduled with a professional from the team who will provide guidance throughout the experience. Individual learning goals are also considered.

Following the acceptance of the application, new volunteers will join other volunteers as well as  professionals from the service. The team regularly works together and consults each other when carrying out activities, maximising everyone’s skills, knowledge and resources to create a unique experience for service users. 

 

The beneficiaries of such initiatives are persons over the age of 18 years with physical and/or intellectual disabilities.

Prospective volunteers must fill in the Volunteer Application form. Following receipt, professionals from the service will be in contact to schedule an interview. 

Aġenzija Sapport abides by a strict data protection policy in line with the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). All information is kept on record within the service. Information is only transferred with the consent of the individual or as required by law.

You may request access to your records by sending an email to the Agency’s Data Protection Officer on gdpr.sapport@gov.mt.

The Sharing Lives service may be contacted either on the Aġenzija Sapport Helpline – Freephone 153 (press 5), or on 2256 8000 during the Agency’s opening hours Monday to Friday between 08:00 and 16:30. One may also send an email on sharinglives.sapport@gov.mt.

Sharing Lives – Persons with disability

Persons with disability who are interested in joining Sharing Lives, may contact Sharing Lives directly. A Social Worker will carry out an assessment and provide guidance through the application process.

A team of qualified professionals and trained volunteers will be involved from the service commencement to the overall provision of service.

All persons employed by the Agency are qualified and trained according to national standards. Volunteers are trained and monitored by the professionals of the services.

 

Aġenzjia Sapport supports equal opportunities and adopts an all-inclusive philosophy. 

Sharing Lives is open to persons with disability over the age of 18 years.

There are two ways how Sharing Lives operates. These are through social contact or group activities. 

 

  • Social contact is when a volunteer is matched with a person with disability and together they engage in activities that they agree on. 
  • Group activities are mostly organised by volunteers or inspired by the service users’ interests. These take various forms such as picnics, barbecues, theatre outings or in form of programmes in music, sports and other creative arts.

Yes, there is always a volunteer/s trained by professionals and/or Sharing Lives team member/s at each event.

Sharing Lives depend a lot on the volunteers’ availibility and their support in creating new activities. For these reasons, there is no set time-table of events.

Service users are encouraged to be as independent as possible. However, for some activities, the Agency offers transportation. A team member of Sharing Lives will always communicate with the service users whether or not transport will be available and will also provide further the details about the activity ahead of the date.​

Yes, the service is free of charge. 

Aġenzija Sapport abides by a strict data protection policy in line with the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). All information is kept on record within the service. Information is only transferred with the consent of the individual and in line with the Service Agreement signed by the service user.​

You may request access to your records by sending an email to the Agency’s Data Protection Officer on gdpr.sapport@gov.mt.

The Sharing Lives service may be contacted either on the Aġenzija Sapport Helpline – Freephone 153 (press 5), or on 2256 8000 during the Agency’s opening hours Monday to Friday between 08:00 and 16:30. One may also send an email on sharinglives.sapport@gov.mt.

Sign Language Interpreting Service

A sign language interpreter facilitates communication between users of Lingwa Sinjali Maltija (LSM) and users of spoken Maltese or English. This is done by signing what is said and speaking what is signed. This is a complex process that requires a high degree of linguistic, cognitive and technical skills. 

A team of qualified sign language interpreters provide the service.

Not all hearing-impaired people use sign language. Being a signer depends on an individual’s language choices, their family and culture. 

Prior to an appointment, confirm that the hearing-impaired person uses Maltese Sign Language and agree who will book the interpreter. The more information that is given prior to the meeting including any material to be used, the more the interpreter can be prepared for the task. 

 

During appointments, the hearing-impaired person needs to speak directly to the person he/she needs to talk to, not the interpreter. There is no need to say “tell him” or “ask her.” 

 

Interpreters will not be involved in any way other than interpreting. Interpreting requires intense concentration and physical effort.

 

To maintain a high standard of accuracy, the interpreter may require short breaks during an assignment that lasts an hour or more, or two interpreters may be needed to work as a team.

 

Seating needs to be arranged so the Deaf person has a clear view of the interpreter and of the person or people speaking. Ideally, the area will be well lit and the interpreter would stay in front of a plain background. The interpreter will avoid standing in front of a bright window or busy backdrop as these settings make it harder for the Deaf person to see the interpreted message clearly.

In most cases, friends or family members do not have the sign language skills or vocabulary necessary to provide effective communication in professional situations. They may also be too close to the individual to give an objective and accurate interpretation. A family member or friend may withhold information they believe is not important or to keep from upsetting the deaf individual, not relaying the full content of the conversation. 

 

Furthermore, interpreters are bound by a strict code of conduct that includes confidentiality.

This is not a service offered by Aġenzija Sapport, However, there are various courses available. For the latest information, please contact Maltese Sign Language Council on signlanguagecouncil@gov.mt​ 

Aġenzija Sapport abides by a strict data protection policy in line with the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). All information is kept on record within the service. Information is only transferred with the consent of the individual and in line with the Service Agreement signed by the service user.​

You may request access to your records by sending an email to the Agency’s Data Protection Officer on gdpr.sapport@gov.mt.

The Sign Language Interpreting services may be contacted via SMS / video call on WhatsApp on (+356) 7900 5988. One may also send an email to sli.sapport@gov.mt.

Sonia Tanti Independent Living Centre (STILC)

STILC services enable persons with disability to achieve, maintain or regain their independence through the use of mobility equipment, assistive devices and/or guidance as required.

A person with disability requesting the services provided by STILC can make a self-referral. Alternatively, a referral may be made by a medical professional, Occupational Therapist or Physiotherapist. 

 

 

Professionals from STILC will carry out assessments in order to determine the clients’ needs and recommend services and bespoke seating solutions.

A team of qualified professionals will be involved from the service commencement to the overall provision and review of service. 

 

STILC professionals include medical professionals, Physiotherapists and Occupational Therapists trained in adaptive driving and/or specialised seating. 

Driving Lessons are provided by driving instructors who have undergone specialised training in adaptive driving.

All persons employed by the Agency are qualified and trained according to national standards. 

 

Aġenzjia Sapport supports equal opportunities and adopts an all-inclusive philosophy.

Children and adults with disability. 

The professionals will discuss the plan of service and consult with the person with disability whenever possible, throughout the assessment period and service duration. 

Depending on the service and the aim of the service required, STILC Services can be accessed in conjunction with some other services offered.

 

If you already receive a service from Aġenzija Sapport, you can ask the professional who works with you to make a referral to STILC on your behalf. 

The assessments carried out at STILC are provided free of charge.

Driving Lessons incur a charge of Eur17 per hour or Eur25 per 1.5 hours.

Ottobock, a specialised seating clinic that provides customised wheelchairs, offer their services within the STILC building. For further information about a referral to their services one may contact us at STILC.

Aġenzija Sapport abides by a strict data protection policy in line with the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). All information is kept on record within the service. Information is only transferred with the consent of the individual and in line with the Service Agreement signed by the service user.​

You may request access to your records by sending an email to the Agency’s Data Protection Officer on gdpr.sapport@gov.mt.

The STILC service may be contacted on 21653 9991 on Mondays between 08:00 – 16:00, and Tuesdays until Fridays between 08:00 – 14:30. One may also send an email to stilc.sapport@gov.mt​.

Alternatively the service may be contacted either on the Aġenzija Sapport Helpline – Freephone 153 (press 5), or on 2256 8000 during the Agency’s opening hours Monday to Friday between 08:00 and 16:30.

Student Placements

To apply students must be over the age of 18 years and attending a course which requires placement hours to be awarded a grade or certification through the relevant academic entity. 

Currently minors are not being accepted for placements due to the sensitive nature of the Agency’s services and potential exposure to situations beyond the control of the Agency which may be considered inappropriate. 

Several types of placements are offered by Aġenzija Sapport, both office-based and on the service frontline, according to requisites of the course being followed by the student. 

 

​Clerical and office work placements can be offered within the following departments: 

  • Customer Care
  • Services
  • Research
  • Accounts
  • Administration
  • Human Resources
  • Marketing
  • EU Projects

 

Work placements which are specific to a course/profession can be offered in:

  • Day Services
  • Residential Services
  • My Programme
  • Sharing Lives
  • Social Work Services
  • Sign Language Interpretation Services 
  • Speech and Language Therapy
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Marketing

 

Placements will be considered according to the relevance of the course of study being followed.  

Placements within Aġenzija Sapport are unpaid. Students do not need to pay for their placements. 

 

Any expenses incurred by the student to attend their placements (e.g. transport, accommodation, food) will not be covered by the Agency.

Students need to submit a Student Placement Request application together with a scanned copy of their ID Card/ Recent Police Conduct/ Passport. The ID Card / Passport is not required if applying through eID.

Yes. Aġenzija Sapport accepts international students for placements according to availability at the time of the request. Any expenses must be covered by the student, their academic institute or other student placement bodies (e.g. Erasmus). 

No. Accommodation must be found and covered by the student, their academic institute or other student placement bodies (e.g. Erasmus). Details of accommodation must be provided to Aġenzija Sapport in the Student Placement Request application. 

Placement location will depend on the request, availability and the student’s area of residency in Malta and/or Gozo.

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Students must use their own preferred method of transport to and from the placement location. Any expenses must be covered by the student, the academic institute or other student placement bodies (e.g. Erasmus).

Yes. Aġenzija Sapport is an equal opportunities employer and strives to offer placements to students of all levels of ability who are attending courses requiring placement hours. It is the responsibility of the student to inform the Agency about his or her requirements in order to best accommodate their placement request. 

The processing time varies. Typically, it can take two weeks for initial contact to be made. It may take up to four weeks before a final answer in relation to your placement is received, depending on the requirements.  

It may be that the application was not received due to technological error or has not yet been processed due to high number of requests. 

 

One may call Aġenzija Sapport on +356 2256 8000 or email on sapport@gov.mt. The query will be directed to the office responsible for student placements within the Agency to determine the status of the application. 

No. Placement availabilities depend on the type of placement and the department within which it is being requested. Due to high demand in certain areas or other factors beyond the Agency’s control, placements may be refused or delayed respectively. 

Aġenzija Sapport abides by a strict data protection policy and in line with the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). All information is kept on record within the service. Information is only transferred to other services or third parties with the consent of the person involved or as required by law. Personal information is retained for the duration of the service and as stipulated in the Agency’s Data Protection and Retention Policy and is seen only by the team and professionals involved on the service.

Students may request access to their data by sending an email to our Data Protection Officer on gdpr.sapport@gov.mt​.

The Student Placement section may be contacted either on the Aġenzija Sapport Helpline – Freephone 153 (press 5), or on 2256 8000 during the Agency’s opening hours Monday to Friday between 08:00 and 16:30. One may also send an email on  placements.sapport@gov.mt.

Supported Independent Living

In accordance with the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) and de-institutionalisation principles, Aġenzija Sapport is moving away from the concept of residential homes. This is to ensure that persons with disability are supported to continue living within the community. Personalised living accommodation within community homes may be utilised by individuals with a disability, who cannot continue receiving disability-related services within the community due to particular needs and situations.

 

It is important to ensure that the person has been informed about and tried other disability services prior to considering a living accommodation placement, so that the person with the disability is provided with the opportunity to continue living within his/her own home in the community, with the required support. These other disability services might include My Programme, Day Services, Occupational Therapy Services and Independent Community Living services (ICLM), amongst others.

Every person living within one of the Agency’s living accommodations has their own daily routine based on their life goals, commitments and individual life purpose. Service users may engage in various responsibilities and activities as part of their daily living, including employment, education, training, day services, therapeutic sessions, daily living activities (eg. cooking, hygiene practices, shopping), leisure activities (eg. sports, drama, music), and socialisation, amongst others. These daily activities are personalised and chosen by the service user him/herself, with support if and when needed.

The support provided is based on each service user’s needs and abilities, so that each person can receive personalised support to be able to live an independent life as much as possible. This means that certain service users might require support 24 hours a day, whilst others might require support only during specific times of the day and can live independently during the rest of the day, or whilst they are at work/school/out in the community.

 

Support in the residence is provided by Support Workers who are there to address basic needs, if and when required, prompt service users during daily living activities, empower them to remain engaged in their daily living activities, provide emotional support when needed, assist service users in attending reviews and medical appointments, and enhance community inclusion, amongst other types of support. Support Workers are provided with ongoing training to ensure they have the right skills and attitude to support the residents.

 

The service within the residential accommodations is facilitated by the leadership team, consisting of professionals who ensure that the service users are being provided with the right level of support, are empowered to remain engaged in decision making about their lives and the service they are receiving, and to monitor that the support provided by the team of Support Workers is of good quality and addresses the needs and wishes of the residents.

When a service user starts residing in a residence, he/she will be asked to contribute 60% of the disability pension towards the Agency and the running of the residential accommodation. This contribution by the service user will partly cover living costs such as water and electricity, food and drink costs, and house maintenance amongst others. On the other hand, the service user is free to make use of the remaining 40% of his/her pension for personal use such as clothing, leisure activities, etc. When a service user is unable to take care of his/her finances independently, he/she is supported to administer his/her finances by the leadership team facilitating the service within the residential accommodation.

Supported Independent Living units are private residences where persons with disability live. To maintain respect for their privacy and personal space, there are no visiting hours. Any person who wishes to visit a service user residing in one of the residential accommodations, should make contact either with the resident him/herself to request permission or else make contact with the leadership team of the residence to facilitate communication with the resident.

All persons employed by the Agency are qualified and trained according to national standards.

 

Aġenzjia Sapport supports equal opportunities and adopts an all-inclusive philosophy.  The Agency strives to avoid challenging situations related to language barriers where possible.

Aġenzija Sapport abides by a strict Data Protection Policy in line with the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). All information is kept on record within the service. Information is only transferred with the consent of the individual and in line with the Service Agreement signed by the service user.​

You may request access to your records by sending an email to the Agency’s Data Protection Officer on gdpr.sapport@gov.mt.

The Supported Independent Living Service may be contacted either on the Aġenzija Sapport Helpline – Freephone 153 (press 5), or on 2256 8000 during the Agency’s opening hours Monday to Friday between 08:00 and 16:30.

Vehicle Road Licence / Tax Exemption Schemes

Yes, for these schemes one needs to have the EU Disability Card.

No, they are not means-tested.​

Aġenzija Sapport abides by a strict data protection policy in line with the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). All information is kept on record within the service. Information is only transferred with the consent of the individual and in line with the Service Agreement signed by the service user.​

You may request access to your records by sending an email to the Agency’s Data Protection Officer on gdpr.sapport@gov.mt.

The Schemes service may be contacted on either on the Aġenzija Sapport Helpline – Freephone 153 (press 5), or on 2256 8000 during the Agency’s opening hours Monday to Friday between 08:00 and 16:30.

Way to Work Programme

Persons with disability who are interested in the Way to Work Programme may contact Way to Work directly. Referrals may also be put forward by family members or other professionals.

A team of professionals will be involved from the service commencement to the overall provision and review of service.

 

A qualified professional will be assigned as a key worker to ensure that the individual is being followed using a person-centered approach.

All persons employed by the Agency are qualified and trained according to national standards.

 

Aġenzjia Sapport supports equal opportunities and adopts an all-inclusive philosophy.  The Agency strives to avoid challenging situations related to language barriers where possible.

The Way to Work Programme assists persons with disability to gain additional skills in preparation for the labour market. This can include attending group training or attending one-to-one sessions depending on the needs of the individual.

Topics include amongst others, boundaries at the place of work, personal hygiene, money and time management, handling conflict at the place of work, preparation of healthy lunch options, communication skills, rights and responsibilities and others.

Training sessions include but not limited to skills related to working in an office, kitchen, factory, laundry, sales etc. During the Programme, individuals are also exposed to workshops, site visits and practical sessions in order to practice different job scenarios.

Site visits are organized in different work environments such as offices, kitchens, factories to provide a hands-on experience to persons with disabilities to gain more insight into different job options.

Group sessions are delivered four times a week (excluding Wednesdays).

One-to-one sessions are between 07:30 – 16:00.

No, transport is not offered. However, the first week of the Programme is dedicated to bus training so that participants have the opportunity to learn how to make use of public transport.

The Way to Work Programme can also assist individuals with job searching skills such as writing a CV, job searching, and potentially applying for a job.

Yes, the service is free of charge.

No allowances will be given.

No, this assistance will not be affected.

Aġenzija Sapport abides by a strict data protection policy in line with the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). All information is kept on record within the service. Information is only transferred with the consent of the individual and in line with the Service Agreement signed by the service user.​

You may request access to your records by sending an email to the Agency’s Data Protection Officer on gdpr.sapport@gov.mt.

The Way to Work Programme may be contacted either on the Aġenzija Sapport Helpline – Freephone 153 (press 5), on 2256 8000 or directly on 7707 0957 during the Agency’s opening hours Monday to Friday between 07:30 and 16:00. One may also send an email on waytowork.sapport@gov.mt.

OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY SERVICES

The first point of contact is the Intake team of Aġenzija Sapport. A person with disability requiring Occupational Therapy will first be assessed by professionals within the Intake team and referred to the Occupational Therapy team for further assessment.

OT’s employed by the Agency are qualified and trained according to national standards.

 

Aġenzjia Sapport supports equal opportunities and adopts an all-inclusive philosophy.  The Agency strives to avoid challenging situations related to language barriers where possible.

Occupational Therapists are health professionals who work with individuals, groups and communities in a variety of settings to promote participation in occupations that give value and meaning to life.

After the individual is referred and identified to be eligible for the service, the case will be allocated to an Occupational Therapist within Aġenzija Sapport to initiate the therapy process. The Occupational Therapist will gather the necessary information, assess the individual in his/her own environment and goals are identified and set together with the client. The assessment focuses on personal capacity and environmental factors that may impact performance of daily activities.

The service is accessible for persons with a disability between the ages of 16 and 60. Individuals who have difficulties in participating in daily occupations, that they wish or need to do, may benefit from the Occupational Therapy Service. This may include any activity that is meaningful for the individual, such as taking care of oneself or others, taking care of one’s household, accessing transportation, doing a leisure activity or socialising.

The Occupational Therapy Service is provided in different environments according to the need.

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