Takamul special needs UAE

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Takamul special needs UAE

Postby shawarma » 24 Nov 2007, 23:20

Takamul was launched last week by Sheikh Hamdan, to support people with special needs. One aim appears to be to integrate special needs children into mainstream schools (see also UAE special needs schools). I thought there was a website but cannot find it now. takamul.ae and takamul.edu.ae have DNS errors, takamul.com has nabbed by a spam website, takamul.org has something but in Arabic only, undeveloped and it doesn't look like it goes with this initiative, takamul.net has a DNS error. Didn't try any other spellings like Takkamul, Takumul, Takamal, Takumal, etc. There was a press release about Takamul on 10 September 2006. It's not clear if the Takamul program is for UAE nationals only or for any UAE resident with special needs - all the comments in the press release referred to "members of society" which is a bit vague. A summary of the press release is:

  • Takamul campaign launched by Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of the Dubai Executive Council, on 10 September 2006 to empower people with special needs.
  • Executive director of Takamul is Dr Haidar Al Yousuf.
  • Takamul is an initiative to integrate people with special needs into society, and will be a regional centre with resources and services for people with special needs.
  • Takamul has been launched in association with the Dubai Education Council (DEC).
  • Takamul programs will focus on healthcare, accessibility, education, and employment for people with physical and mental disabilities.
  • Shaikh Hamdan said: "To build a strong UAE, we need to make sure that all our people have the means to realise their potential. We must work to ensure that people with special needs have the support and services necessary to become productive members of society."
  • People with special needs represent 14%-19% of the world's population.
  • Takamul intends to promote policy reform, establish a regulatory body, and provide consultancy services.
  • Takamul will host an international conference on special-needs issues on 11 September, 2006.
  • Maan, a dedicated special needs magazine will be launched.
  • Contact details for Takamul not given but try DEC tel +971-4-3616002 or +971-4-3693549, or (from a later press release) Takamul tel +971-4-3640093

There are 6 Takamul programs:

  1. Early Assessment and Diagnosis Centre - Takamul will provide technical assistance to hospitals to detect and diagnose birth defects and development delays that can be corrected.
  2. Inclusive Education - Takamul will offer training to teachers and help educational institutes to integrate students with special needs.
  3. Employment and Transition - Takamul will support disabled youths and adults wanting to join the work force, and will encourage employers to employ more people with special needs.
  4. Training and Research Centre - Takamul will offer training programs for teachers, therapists and other specialists in disability-related fields, and will offer technical assistance to people with special needs. The center will also do a demographic study of people with special needs in the UAE.
  5. Accessibility - Takamul plans to improve the accessibility of buildings, transport, and other facilities for those with special needs
  6. Information, communications and assistive technologies - this will be another Takamul project with big words.
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UAE special needs law

Postby shawarma » 24 Nov 2007, 23:20

A new law was introduced to protect the rights of special needs people - there was a report by Samir Salama in the Gulf News 12 September 2006. A summary of it is:

  • The first UAE special needs law was approved by President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
  • Wafa Hamad Bin Sulaiman is Director of the Department for People with Special Needs at the Social Affairs Ministry and was involved in drafting the law. She says the law removes all barriers to equal opportunities, and guarantees their right to a decent life and comprehensive care in education, training, health and rehabilitation.
  • Naji Al Hai was former director of the department for people with special needs and director of the cooperative societies department, and was also involved in drafting the law.
  • There is a job quota guaranteed for employment of people with special needs in the public and private sectors.
  • Mariam Mohammad Khalfan Al Roumi is Minister of Social Affairs and will apparently be setting the job quota.
  • "Public and private schools may not turn down a child on the basis of their disability" according to Al Hai
  • People with special needs have the right to work.
  • Insurance companies are obligated to insure cars owned by disabled people.
  • Cars owned by people with disabilities are exempt from customs and other duties, and parking fees.
  • Special needs people are exampt from postal and court fees (does this mean free postage stamps?).
  • There are 32 centers for about 3,000 children with special needs according to the Ministry of Social Affairs which include 64% with Downs Syndrome and mental disabilities, 12% with autism, 1% with visual disabilities, 7% with physical disabilities, 8% with hearing problems, and 8% with multiple disabilities.
  • Total number of people with special needs in the UAE is estimated at about 5,500.
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