Awladouna Center for People of Determination

The UAE, the Arab world’s fastest-growing and second-biggest economy, has 15,782 people registered on disability cards, of whom 62 percent are UAE nationals or 9869 people. The remaining 5913 are represented by expatriates of various nationalities. In October 2014, the World Health Organization (WHO said approximately 11 percent of the UAE population has a disability. In March 2019,  a UAE  Minister told the Federal National Council (FNC) members that the number of Emiratis with disabilities stood at 19,151. Of this number, 784 have vision loss, 2,335 are autistic, 5,510 are physically disabled, 6,227 have intellectual disability, 2063 have hearing impairment and 2,232 have multiple disabilities. Interestingly, about 93 percent of disabled Emiratis are unemployed, according to the Minister. Work is on to provide ‘meaningful’ employment to empower about 110,000 people of determination in the UAE, according to an employment agency, North Start, the first agency in the UAE working to increase the People of Determination’s inclusion levels in the country’s workforce. Before their inclusion in the employment domains, their rehabilitation is under focus. Awladouna Center for People of Determination, founded in July 2002 in Sharjah, is working to improve the well-being of children in need of Special care. “ We provide specialized diagnostic and remedial services in both Arabic and English. We presently have 90 students enrolled at various levels, of which approximately 75 percent are UAE nationals. The students’ age ranges from four to 28 years,” said one of its functionaries. Its mission includes advocating for the value, acceptance, and inclusion of people with Special Needs; enabling students to access a variety of services and interventions; and offering educational workshops to families with Special Needs children. It also works for preserving and restoring the cognitive function of people before it gets permanently lost. It has a specialized Unit for Autism which affects one in 146 births in the UAE.  There were 4,561 registered Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) cases in the UAE in 2022, according to data from the Ministry of Community Development.

 

Website:  Awladouna Center for People Determination