How can we make society better for people with disabilities?

The inclusion and empowerment of people of determination is one of the nation’s top priorities for present and future, according to a recent speech made by a key government official.

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In a statement delivered on the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, minister of community development Hessa Essa Buhumaid highlighted that continuing efforts to integrate people with disabilities in all sectors of life form an integral part of upcoming plans on a national level.

“A top priority for the National Agenda and the UAE Vision 2021 is to promote an inclusive environment that integrates all segments of society, including the people of determination, while preserving the UAE’s unique culture, heritage and traditions and reinforces social and family cohesion,” she said.

As the UAE prepares to host the Special Olympics MENA Games next year as well as the 2019 Special Olympics, the statement follows a number of initiatives and frameworks recently put into effect that advocate for further social development and inclusion in areas including healthcare, education and the workplace.

Launched in April, the National Policy to Empower People of Determination was one of the first frameworks to formalise a new approach, established with the aim of identifying challenges and solutions facing people of determination in the UAE, as well as igniting a new discussion on disability.

The subsequent development of a People of Determination Advisory Council and Manual of Quality Assurance has furthered inclusion in the workplace and in public life, with the end goal of removing obstacles, raising awareness and providing a supportive environment.

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