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Disability Society praises Covid-19 response, calls for more clarity on exit measures

The Disability Society has paid tribute to the hard work and dedication of all those who work in the disability services during the Covid-19 pandemic, even as it called for more clarity on facilities for the disabled as lockdown measures are lifted.

“It must be emphasised that not one case of Covid-19 has been allowed to enter the residences of any of those with disabilities,” the Disability Society said in a statement.

“We must mention Carlos Banderas and Majella McMullen who as always are a great support to all.”

“Particular thanks go to the staff at Dr Giraldi Home, all the satellite flats and those who have been supporting the users of St Bernadettes Resource Centre, which is closed at present, and their families.”

“Not only have the staff done an amazing job during the uncertainty of this pandemic but some also have the uncertainty of their short term contracts which, in some cases, run out in the next few weeks.”

As lockdown measures are easing in Gibraltar, the Disability Society said it is concerned that there has been very little mention of detailed plans and facilities for those with disabilities.

These individuals have not been offered safe secure areas to leave their residences for exercise and fresh air, the statement said.

Meanwhile many are unable to attend the beaches for a variety of medical and social reasons.

The Disability Society said it has written to Government asking for the accessible pool to be made available for those vulnerable individuals, adding that the elderly have been given choices for the summer season as they, of course, are a vulnerable group in our society.

However, there are those with disabilities that also make them very vulnerable and as such they should also be given choice, the statement said.

The Disability Society said it could not have been more obvious than during the crisis how much the disability services rely on all its carers.

“Once again the Society calls on the Government to do the right thing and provide permanent employment to those carers,” the statement added.

“The evidence could not be clearer. Continuity of care has meant that the best support has been given to those with disabilities, many of whom do not understand the reasoning for self-isolation.”

“That support can only have been provided by carers who fully understand those they work with and who are trusted by those they work with.”