How benefits of Dubai’s Disability Strategy are being felt by people of determination



Sheikh Mansoor bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum with officials of various entities
Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Chairman of the Higher Committee for the Protection of the Rights of People of Determination Sheikh Mansoor bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum praised the efforts of various entities in Dubai to implement the Dubai Disability Strategy 2020 and translate the vision of Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, and the directives of Dubai Crown Prince and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, to integrate people of determination more closely into the emirate’s mainstream social and economic life.

He said the success in implementing key aspects of the Dubai Disability Strategy 2020 covering education, healthcare, employment, social protection and universal accessibility has contributed to enhancing the emirate’s preparedness to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic and ensured that people of determination received priority in accessing care and services.

He further said the Higher Committee for the Protection of the Rights of People of Determination has accomplished its objectives and Dubai has started experiencing the benefits of the implementation of the five pillars of its Disability Strategy. Mutually supportive society

This achievement also reflects the success of the ‘My Community … a City for Everyone’ initiative, which was launched in 2013 by Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed to make Dubai a people of determination-friendly city by 2020. This in turn contributes to the achievement of the goals of Dubai Plan 2021 to create a cohesive, harmonious and mutually supportive society in Dubai, His Highness noted.

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Sheikh Mansoor called on concerned entities to intensify the development of services, initiatives and efforts to create an inclusive environment in which people of determination have easy access to high-quality services.

His  remarks came as he chaired the first meeting of the Higher Committee for the Protection of the Rights of People of Determination in 2021 in the presence of members of the Committee. The meeting reviewed a report about the outcomes of the implementation of the Dubai Disability Strategy 2020.

User-friendly platforms

He praised the Roads and Transport Authority and the Dubai Culture and Art Authority for developing their website and smart applications to be user friendly for people of determination. He also praised the efforts of other entities including Dubai Police, Dubai Electricity and Water Authority, Dubai Foundation for Women and Children and Dubai Sports Council, which received a 10/10 rating for revamping their websites and smart apps in Smart Dubai’s 2020 review. He also commended the entities that achieved a rating of 90 per cent and higher, which includes 22 government organisations.

Private companies in sectors such as education, healthcare, tourism, the social sector, telecommunications and transportation will be evaluated again this year to measure the progress they have made in implementing people of determination-friendly measures.

As part of the Dubai Disability Strategy 2020, proactive healthcare initiatives were implemented for early detection of disabilities. The Dubai Health Authority developed a number of smart apps and programmes including the Baraem Smart Application for developmental screening of children.

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The strategy also saw the launch of the Sanad app that helps people of determination report abuses and obtain appropriate housing and rehabilitation services, among others.

Other initiatives

Other initiatives and programmes implemented to support the Strategy include increased integration of people of determination into the mainstream job market both in the public and private sectors. The goal of inclusive education received a boost when the acceptance rate of people of determination at schools saw a marked increase. As a result of the various initiatives of the Knowledge and Human Development Authority, currently 71 per cent of educational establishments are people of determination-friendly and offer special education courses that cater to their needs.

In 2016, the Dubai Government Excellence Programme introduced the category of People of Determination Friendly Government Entity, while Smart Dubai’s efforts helped Dubai government entities offer people of determination technology solutions catering to their requirements. Currently, 90 per cent of apps offered by government entities are user-friendly for people of determination.

In the private sector, 61 per cent of Emirates NBD branches are people of determination-friendly. Dubai College of Tourism has contributed significantly to the Strategy by developing customer service training programmes that address people of determination through the Dubai Way platform.

Going ahead, the Higher Committee for the Protection of the Rights of People of Determination will complete updates to Law No. (2) of 2014 on the protection of people of determination. It will also work to proactively develop new healthcare and social services that will help people of determination live a comfortable life during crises. Furthermore, it will develop a comprehensive policy for taking care of their needs during crises. In addition, the Committee will develop services and products for people of determination and continue its efforts to create new inclusive education programmes for them.

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