UAE takes complete care of differently-abled - GulfToday

UAE takes complete care of differently-abled

People of Determination

The people of determination in the UAE have become a global success story.

A webinar, organised remotely by the “School of Life” Initiative affiliated by the National Happiness & Wellbeing Programme, shows that the UAE truly cares for the people of determination. It believes in an inclusive approach that also caters for their well-being. The webinar was held in collaboration with Shalva Organisation for the Care & Inclusion for Persons with Disabilities.

A number of officials and specialists discussed supporting families and raising community awareness to empower people of determination at home.

The Ministry of Community Development spoke about its exquisite services that are provided for the people of determination: the early intervention programme for children from birth to six years old and the impact of happiness and wellbeing on the early intervention therapeutic programmes.  The Ministry also discussed the UAE vision in the inclusion of people of determination in schools, education and therapeutic programmes for registered children in nurseries or people of determination centres in addition to the National Policy for Empowering People of Determination. It also dwelt on home skills and adaptation methods especially with Down Syndrome and Autism categories; it also displayed videos about some families describing their experiences with mental and emotional wellbeing challenges with their children during COVID-19.

Thanks to the efforts of the UAE government and leadership, the people of determination in the UAE have become a global success story and a role model in welfare, empowerment and inclusive employment. The nation made great efforts to protect the people of determination during the COVID-19 pandemic equally as the members of the community, by providing them with protection, health, education, food and other priorities in many health and development issues.  The early intervention programme raises the wellbeing of children with developmental delays and disabilities. The programme has a great impact on the child’s developmental skills and focuses on very early ages and enables families to train their children within a natural environment. Moreover, families are told about their rights and responsibilities towards their children.

The differently-abled in this country also shine in other fields, such as films. The Zayed Higher Organisation for People of Determination, ZHO, and FilmGate Productions recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding to launch a drama series made entirely by people of determination. The drama series, which will be funded and produced by FilmGate, is set to be undertaken entirely by People of Determination - including writing, acting, filming and production.  Last year, in September, the Department of Community Development (DCD) in Abu Dhabi announced the launch of the Comprehensive Strategy for People of Determination 2020-2024, with the participation of over 28 local and federal government entities.

The strategy addresses People of Determination’s needs at all stages of life, including health, rehabilitation, education, employment, social care and social security, apart from social engagement, sports, culture and tourism.

The strategy focuses also on creating an accessible and enabling environment across buildings, facilities, transportation, housing and other services. The People of Determination strategy has adopted key principles that are consistent with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), which follows practices that support People of Determination’s rights as well as the community’s perspective on disabilities. This is an indicator that challenges for People of Determination exist not within themselves, but are a result of the surrounding environment, societal behaviour and current systems. Even civic bodies are doing their bit for the differently-abled. Recently, Dewa organised a training and brainstorming session for Employees of Determination and their families. This is part of its efforts to achieve the government’s vision of including and empowering People of Determination.  All this goes to show that people of determination are not treated as social outcasts but are very much part of mainstream society here. Inclusiveness is key to their all-encompassing welfare, which the UAE carries out with great intensity.

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