Her Excellency Hessa Buhumaid Highlights UAE’s Efforts in Empowering People of Determination at Global Disability Summit 2018 in United Kingdom
The empowerment and integration of people has helped make the United Arab Emirates (UAE) not only a tolerant environment but one that welcomes the diversity of its citizens and residents, said Her Excellency Hessa bint Essa Buhumaid during her keynote speech at the World Disability Summit in United Kingdom.
Addressing a session on ‘Disability and Non-abandonment: Diverse Experiences and Common Goals’, she said: “The UAE government believes in the importance of leveraging the latest global technological advancements to empower people of determination to integrate into society and live independently.
“The UAE Innovation Month offers an ideal platform to showcase the products and solutions developed by national organizations dedicated to assisting people of determination. One such entity is the Moeen Centre, a non-profit organization for physically and developmentally disabled individuals that provides them with technical support and equips them with smart devices that help them communicate, learn and become independent, ultimately facilitating their social integration.”
During the session, which focused on exploring the diverse and multidimensional experiences of people of determination, Her Excellency presented the UAE's pioneering experience in empowering such individuals.
She said: “Since its inception, the country has supported equal rights for people with disabilities and continues to participate in the global movement to empower them on the educational, economic and social fronts.
“The UAE has acceded to and ratified the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Its commitment to the Convention is clearly reflected in its laws, ministerial decisions and national policies. Specifically, Federal Law No 29 of 2006, concerning the rights of persons with disabilities, outlines a wide range of rights of people with special needs and defines the obligations of ministries, institutions and other government bodies towards this important segment of society. Also relevant is Federal Law No 3 of 2016 on child rights as it guarantees the rights of children, including those with disabilities, and provides additional measures to protect children with special needs.”
Her Excellency drew attention to the UAE government’s initiative to launch the National Policy for Empowering People of Determination, which is based on six pillars: Health and Rehabilitation, Education, Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment, Outreach, Social Protection and Family Empowerment, and Public Life, Culture and Sports.
She said: “To send a positive message to society, the UAE has renamed this policy from ‘persons with disabilities’ to ‘people of determination’ as an indication of their strong motivation to contribute, create and achieve, and face the challenges of life with a positive spirit.”
Her Excellency further noted that the Ministry of Community Development has launched a Recruitment Platform for People of Determination to serve as their gateway to the job market. The online portal connects job-seeking people of determination with suitable vacancies available in the public and private sector. The country’s workforce currently includes more than 1,700 people of determination of diverse nationalities and levels of ability.
While the UAE is aiming to ensure that people of determination can access and use all buildings, facilities and transportation independently, the country will also enlist dedicated officials to assist people of determination across its service agencies and enable optimal communication.
The Minister said: “One of the key challenges facing decision makers in relation to people of determination is obtaining accurate records of their numbers and demographics. The UAE realized this early on, and today, we have a comprehensive database of approximately 18,000 people of determination in the country at our disposal.
“People of determination will soon receive identification cards that enable them to benefit from dedicated services and facilities. The system is about to undergo alignment with the recently adopted National Classification of People of Determination, based on global best practices, which includes diagnostic criteria and service eligibility and comprises 11 categories.”
UAE Ministry of Community Development
The MOCD is seeking to improve the social development in Emirates by achieving the objectives of national agenda for the Emirates Vision 2021AD, strengthening the society and family coherence and finding a society which participates effectively in the building and development by adopting a long term strategic plans derived from the vision of wise leadership of government aiming at bringing happiness to the society and consolidating the position of country as a place of happiness.