09/06/2009 11:35 PM | WAM
Dubai: The UAE grants people with special needs the right to employment, education, marriage, and decent living on par with normal people, His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, said yesterday.
"People with special needs can be involved in creative work in various fields,'' he added.
Shaikh Mohammad made these observations when meeting a group of people with special needs from all over the UAE, who received a special invitation to visit him.
Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, was also present on the occasion.
Stressing that the UAE's laws safeguard their right to live normal lives, Shaikh Mohammad urged people with special needs not to stay at home and become a burden to their families.
In an effort to ensure the proper implementation of the law, Shaikh Mohammad instructed the Ministry of Social Affairs to accelerate the enforcement of relevant legislation, devise an early intervention programme to deliver full care to physically challenged people and oblige all federal and local entities to provide all necessary services in government buildings and utilities to cater to the requirements and needs of this special category.
Shaikh Mohammad said people with special needs play a vital role in the social fabric. He described them as "people with special challenges" because they serve the interest of the community and nation by challenging their hearing and speech impairments and physical disabilities.
He encouraged them to be creative in their respective fields and make an impression in accordance with their individual capabilities.
Shaikh Mohammad cited instances of Arab and foreign achievers such as writer Taha Hussain and poet Abu Al Ala'a Al Merri, and others, who overcame their disabilities to excel in sport, music and art.
"The UAE under the leadership of President His Highness Shaikh Khalifa Bin Zayed Al Nahyan is proud of them... and will provide them with equal rights as other members of the society," Shaikh Mohammad said.
Some visually-challenged poets recited poems during the meeting, expressing their delight at meeting Shaikh Mohammad and praising the UAE's achievements.