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Forum offers physically challenged people a chance to rebuild their lives

08/20/2009 08:41 PM | By Mahmood Saberi, Senior Reporter

Dubai: The majority of members of the Dubai Club for Special Sports have found jobs and their productivity is higher than their regular colleagues, a senior official said yesterday while announcing a major rehab forum next year.

"These people are now supporting their families," said Hamad Bel Jiaflah, assistant executive manager of the club. Most of the 500 members are handicapped due to traffic accidents or polio, he said.

The Rehab Dubai forum and exhibition has turned into an international event, with participants from not only the Gulf Cooperation Council, but from the US, Europe, India and Korea, said Abdul Salam Al Madani, president of Index Holding, the organisers of the event.

"Rehab Dubai highlights the right of the disabled in education and work and helps them join the labour field with confidence," he said.

The forum will bring together key international specialists in the field of disability and rehabilitation and will focus specially on inclusion, integrating people of special needs into the society. Experts said it is still a challenge as people's perceptions need to be changed.

Al Madani said the conference and exhibition has become the largest platform in the Arab World. "Rehab gives the opportunity for parents of disabled children to speak up and share their experiences with the specialists and the public," he said. Some of the topics to be discussed during the forum will include: rights of persons with disability, alternative medicine for rehabilitation, employment, inclusion in education and sports rehabilitation.

The earlier forum had "reflected positively on the disabled and their families through raising the national, regional and international awareness of their needs," Al Madani said.

A specialised expo will run parallel to the conference where more than 150 special needs associations, therapy centres, companies offering medical solutions, as well as universities and rehab schools.

The forum and exhibition will be held from March 15 to 17.

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