Dubai: The UAE law grants people with special needs the right to employment, education, marriage, nd decent living on equal terms with their normal peers, His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, said.
"People with special needs can involve in creative works in various fields," Shaikh Mohammad said as he welcomed a group of people with special needs from all overthe UAE who were invited to visit him on Saturday, in the presence of Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Dubai Crown Prince.
The Vice-President said people with special needs should not stay at home and become a burden to others, because the UAE laws give them all rights to live like others.
So I suppose I should be happy with this, like it's a good thing. Right?
The fact that it took until 2009, well, better late than never. Right?
I was particularly interested in that last line though, that "people with special needs should not stay at home and become a burden to others, because the UAE laws give them all rights to live like others". Yeah, that's important I suppose. A good enough reason on its own to pass the law, really. So that they won't have to be a burden to others anymore.
If my sarcasm cuts a bit thick (or if, in case you missed it, that was, by the way, sarcasm), it's because I find it hard to know how to respond to stumbling across a story like this. Hey, for a society that can't find it in itself to give women equal rights, it is indeed quite a step forward to grant them to individuals with "special needs".
Whatever that terms means.
Shaikh Mohammad instructed the Ministry of Social Affairs to accelerate the enforcement of relevant legislations, devise an early intervention programme to deliver full care to the physically challenged people and oblige all federal and local entities to provide all necessary services in government buildings and utilities to cater for the requirements and needs of this special category.
Shaikh Mohammad described this category, which plays a vital role in the social fabric, as ‘people with special challenges’, because they challenge hearing and speech impairment and physical disability by work and contribution to the service of their community and nation. Each one of them can do so by being creative in his or her field and according to their own capability, he said.
I'm not sure if this special category includes all those that we in the Western world would lump together in the catch all category of "special needs". In that I can't really tell from reading the article whether equal rights have been granted to the mentally challenged, as well as the physically challenged.
But who know? Maybe in another 1000 years or so?
At any rate, it's always nice to know they are fans of the "Semi-Olympics".