The Foundation for Technology Accessibility (FITA) is the principal advocate and coordinator for making information communications technology (ICT) accessible for disabled people in the Maltese islands. Our information services assist disabled individuals in the selection, acquisition, or use of an assistive technology that is intended to maintain, or improve the individual’s quality of life.
FITA’s principle function is to provide support to disabled individuals in overcoming or removing barriers to education and employment through ICT. Through empowerment and social inclusion disabled persons need to rely less on family and state support. In ensuring that due steps are taken to minimise the digital divide, we aim to enable individuals to contribute productively to society and the economy.
- To promote equal opportunities for all through ICT
- To provide training services in ICT for disabled people
- To gather and disseminate information and to increase awareness on ICT matters;
- To liaise with and facilitate public and private endeavours in respect of the creation of equal opportunities in respect of ICT
- To offer advice and consultancy services to private and public organisations in information technology
The Foundation for Information Technology Accessibility (FITA) was set up in 2000 by the Malta Information Technology Agency (MITA) and the National Commission Disabled Persons (KNPD) with the aim of addressing the digital divide and empowering disabled persons to make the most effective use of information communications technology (ICT).
FITA’s operations are based at Gattard House in Blata l-Bajda, where it shares the same building as MITA. FITA’s core operations are covered through an annual grant issued by MITA, whilst all projects and initiatives are self funded.
FITA’s staff contingent consists mainly of highly empowered disabled individuals. Each focusing on their respective areas of responsibility, they nonetheless benefit from strong teamwork, with everyone contributing to the best of his or her abilities. This working model is duplicated on a bigger scale across FITA’s whole operations, whereby networking with industry, public entities and NGOs plays an important part in implementing FITA’s goals and objectives through tangible initiatives and services.
FITA was initially meant as a research based centre of excellence, promoting the use of ICT and assistive technology. However, in seeking to provide a holistic solution to narrowing the digital divide we found a number of significant gaps and lack of resources which we address via a number of services and initiatives. At the core of FITA’s activities are the ICT Accessibility Certification and the Assistive ICT Consultancy services. FITA also collaborates closely with a number of entities, including private ICT industry, Education Directorate, MCAST, University and the Employment and Training Corporation. This enables us to manage an increasing number of initiatives, ranging from computer refurbishment and ICT training courses for persons with an intellectual and/or visual impairment to research projects, policy making and awareness raising activities.
- Project Management, Service Policies and Initiatives :
CEO Stanley M. Debono, MBA E-Business, BCom (Hons.)
- Human Resources / ICT Accessibility and Training for the Visually Impaired :
Mr. Michael Micallef, Dip. I.T.
- Software and Multi-media Development : Mr. Joseph M. Caruana and Mr. Trevor Grech
- MOU iniatives and Business Partner Services : Ms. Maria Mercieca and Ms. Debbie Schembri
- MOU Initiatives including ICT Training and Information Sessions : Ms. Maria Mercieca