Rashid Centre students spread virus awareness through art - GulfToday

Rashid Centre students spread virus awareness through art


A student’s creation highlights the benefits of hand washing.

Jamil Khan, Senior Reporter

Students in the UAE enrolled in mainstream schools are studying at home since the authorities have barred them from attending their classes in line with safety measures against the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) since last month. This happened with over a dozen academic institutes exclusively catering for the students of determination (special needs) in Dubai.

In some cases, the schools have adopted the distance learning methods with the support of technological solutions like internet, computers and tables.

The Rashid Centre for Determined Ones in Dubai is one of the many special needs schools in the emirates catering for their students’ educational and rehabilitation needs through e-learning. The over 250 students of Rashid Centre are complying with the directions of the authorities and attending educational classes and rehabilitation tips in the time of ‘stay at home’ period online from their instructors.

Talking to Gulf Today, Sharif Suleman, media coordinator, said that the teaching and rehabilitation staff through online mediums have been imparting regular classes and rehabilitation courses for the students. “The teachers are very much committed to their tasks like helping these students with education and training for their rehabilitation as well as keeping them motivational as they are now spending their full time in homes. Besides all these, the teachers have been keeping these students busy with a number of activities and the result is amazing as many students have conveyed awareness messages through their artworks,” he said.

It is also mentioned that the centre has a fully functioning Art Department where the students in groups have been motivated to learn drawing and painting by dedicated teachers. To keep these students motivated and train for the next level, the centre regularly holds painting exhibitions to showcase the artwork produced by the bright students on various occasions.

It is also mentioned that many visiting guests at the centre have been honoured with their portraits made by the students and received a huge applause from them.

Earlier, The Senses Residential and Day Care for Special Needs (Senses) launched the awareness campaign “Autism Works Wonders” for World Autism Awareness Day with the initiative to integrate individuals on the spectrum into the workforce. World Autism Awareness Day was observed globally on April 2 as a special occasion dedicated to educating and raising awareness on Autism Spectrum Disorder.

In 2007, the United Nations General Assembly adopted Apr.2 as World Autism Awareness Day, with the goal of bringing the world’s attention to autism. This day is a yearly reminder of the World Autism Awareness Day’s vision of successful community inclusion one step closer to becoming a reality.

Senses’ awareness campaign “Autism Works Wonders” draws attention to the social responsibility of businesses to offer work placement opportunities to differently-abled individuals, reiterating the need for inclusion within the society.

Dr. Nadia Khalil Al Sayegh, Director General of The Senses Residential and Day Care for Special Needs (SENSES) said, “Although there is a general awareness of autism, we need to increase the understanding and acceptance of people with autism, and provide additional solutions that enable children and adults on the spectrum to live their best lives possible. The Autism Works Wonders campaign urges organisations to consider the inclusion of individuals when hiring, to give them a sense of belonging and familiarity.

“We need to bridge the gap between resources and opportunities and make it more conducive to these individuals, who if given a chance, can excel in society proving to be an asset,” she concluded.

Several reports reveal common beliefs about autism, but familiarity with someone on the autism spectrum are associated with fewer misconceptions and more positive insight. While it’s a social responsibility of organisations to offer individuals opportunities to showcase their ability and talent, very few are willing to take that step.

Studies by Harvard University have shown that embracing and maximising the talents of people who think differently can have huge benefits for a business.

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