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19 March 2015 08:14 pm

Qatar committed to supporting people with disabilities: Official

Khalifa Al Haroon
Khalifa Al Haroon
Your friendly neighborhood Qatari
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Qatar is committed to supporting people with disabilities with laws enshrining their rights and empowering them, an official said yesterday.

“Qatari law includes provisions for empowering persons with disabilities to support them in areas such as education and health and integrate them in the labour force in government and other sectors,” said Ahmed Nasser Al Nasser, Assistant Undersecretary for Social Affairs.

He was addressing the opening ceremony the Definitely Able conference at Museum of Islamic Art Education Centre. 

The two-day forum, organised by Sasol and British Council in partnership with Qatar Museums, highlights sessions on ‘Together enabling inclusion. It aims to provide platform for the disabled community and an opportunity for policymakers and stakeholders to share experiences.

Al Nasser said Qatar also focuses on establishing centres to provide services and support for the disabled. “Islam and laws in Qatar guarantee the rights of persons with disabilities,” he stressed. The Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs is implementing projects and programmes such as developing national capacities programme, integration of people with special needs in Deema programme, capacity and needs assessment of disabled employees and the art of dealing with the disabled, he added.

British Paralympic Champion, Lord Holmes of Richmond, underscored the need for an inclusive society for persons with disabilities to “write our own narrative.”

“Qatar has fantastic potential to have the most accessible, the most inclusive and the most connected society and is a beacon across this region. It all comes down to how much we believe in inclusion not as a nice thing to do but as a must-do, not as a minimum but as a maximum, if we are to realise the possibility of every citizen across our society.”

The opening day featured sessions on disability legislation, employability, inclusive learning technologies and attitudes and disability terminology. 

The Ilham art exhibition also opened, featuring seven deaf and ‘disabled’ artists from Qatar, Oman and the UK who have created works inspired by MIA collection. A film, Voices, premiered at the opening, highlighting voices of persons with disabilities in Qatar and the region who made amazing accomplishments in sport and art. 

“The ministry is pleased to be a supporting partner of this conference. It is in line with our efforts to create a vibrant labour market open to all persons, regardless of disability, gender or any other factor,” said Minister of Labour and Social Affairs H E Dr Abdullah Saleh Mubarak Al Khulaifi.