How can You Support People of Determination Around You21 Sep, 2022
In seeking to support people with determination and eliminate discrimination against them, UAE is making major efforts in empowering people's determination.
Empowering People of Determination
An individual with special needs or a disability which is permanent or temporary in nature is known as a person of determination. People of determination or (POD) usually have a deficit in their physical, mental, social, emotional, or educational abilities to the extent that it affects their daily functioning.
Studies suggests that people of determination in the UAE comprise of roughly around 11% of the population. The government of UAE works towards supporting and empowering people of determination through services and facilities in the areas of education, health, jobs and more. This article discusses some of the ways in which we can support the government to empower people of determination around us.
Quick Read Section
- People of determination are individuals with a short term or long-term disability that affects their day-to-day functioning.
- Steps to empower people of determination around you
- Be sensitive and respectful
- Ask before helping
- Check accessibility of places
- Use inclusive language and communicate clearly
- Recognize their talents
- Institutional measures that have been implemented to support people of determination in the UAE
Steps to empower People of Determination around you
You may be coming across a person of determination almost every day; it is important to educate yourself on how to be respectful around them. To ensure our actions or words are not unintentionally offensive, we need to be mindful of our behaviour
Given below are some ways in which you can support people of determination around you:
- Be sensitive and respectful: When you’re around a POD be aware of how you treat them. People often act in a patronizing manner without realizing. Teach kids early on about how to be respectful . People of determination do not demand special treatment – they simply want equal status and basic respect.
- Ask before helping: If you spot someone on a wheelchair, first ask if they need your help. Do not assume they are dependent. More importantly, it is about how you ask. Your tone and language should not be condescending and rude. They will appreciate it if you take their consent before you try to help.
- Check accessibility of places: If you are meeting a physically challenged person in a public place, make sure you check the accessibility infrastructure beforehand. Ensure there are ramps, wide doorways, and accessible bathrooms. Put in the extra effort to make your home an accessible location as well. It will make everyone feel welcomed and accepted.
- Use inclusive language and communicate clearly: Be mindful of the words you choose; your language should be inclusive and non-discriminatory. Sometimes the words we use may unintentionally convey bias which becomes disrespectful. Ensure all your virtual communications are accessible as well.
- Recognize their talents: People of determination are often labelled and dismissed as dependents. On the contrary, many of them are very talented. It is the lack of opportunities and discrimination in society that doesn’t give them the chance to prove themselves. It is important to acknowledge and support their talent and give them equal chances as others in order to be a truly inclusive society.
Institutional measures by the UAE
The rights of people of determination in the UAE are protected by the Federal Law No. 29 of 2006 which ensures equal access to educational opportunities in all educational institutions. The Ministry of Education (MoE) has consistently worked towards adapting public educational institutions to accommodate POD in terms of physical infrastructure and otherwise. Most public schools have a Department of Special Education which is responsible for protecting the rights of POD and implementing school curriculum in sign language, Braille, and any other appropriate medium.
- In 2006, the ‘Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and Optional Protocol.’ was signed by the UAE.
- In 2008, the People of Determination Department was established to protect rights of differently abled students.
- In 2020, the Ministerial Resolution No. 647 was passed which implemented the policy of inclusive education. It has directed schools to adapt their infrastructure and teaching methods to accommodate POD in the UAE.
The people of determination in the UAE are finally starting to be recognized and heard. We are on the right track to becoming an inclusive society but there is still a long way to go. There needs to be social change in order to drive community acceptance