Mobilk - More companies in the private sector across the United Arab Emirates (UAE) are keen to employ persons with disabilities following the UAEs ratification of the UN Convention of the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, said senior educationists.
"We have experienced definitive positive results due to the strong efforts from the UAE government and the Dubai government. More companies are now ready to hire persons with special needs and we have many organisations and private companies approaching us with vacancies for our students," said Mariam Othman, Director General of Rashid Centre for the Disabled.
"Many students of Rashid Centre, who could be trained to meet job requirements, have got placements in different fields. We have our students working in hospitality, back office and other areas," she said.
Rashid Centre is participating in AccessAbilities Expo 2016, being held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, President of Dubai Civil Aviation Authority, Chairman of Dubai Airports, Chairman and Chief Executive of Emirates Airline and Group, at the Dubai International Convention and Exhibition Centre, from Feb 9-11, 2016.
"We welcome the launch of the AccessAbilities Expo. The event will be a catalyst for greater understanding and collaborative efforts towards improving the lives of the disabled in the region," added Mariam.
"This was a big game changer," said Isphana Al Khatib, Director, Al Noor Training Center for Children with Special Needs, based in Dubai, on the signing of the Convention that gives rights to education, health and employment to people with disabilities.
Isphana said the number of companies in the UAE that are keen to hire the disabled has risen. "We have 26 students from our center gainfully employed in leading banks, hotels, schools and in the retail sector. The scenario is very positive and we are hopeful the numbers will rise further," she said.
Al Noor students are placed in various areas such as hotel receptions, housekeeping and flower arrangements, amongst others. Individuals with autism who are good with computers and figures are given data entry and other jobs, added Isphana.
The number of persons with disabilities is rising worldwide. Over 750 million people are estimated to have some form of disability and 50 million of these are in the Middle East. Providing gainful employment to the disabled is crucial to enhance the quality of their life, empower them and encourage a positive contribution from them in the society.
The UAEs Federal Law 29 stipulates that UAE nationals with special needs have the right to work and hold public office and their special needs shall not be a barrier for their nomination and selection for a job.
Wemmy de Maaker, Managing Director of Mawaheb for Beautiful People, which is also participating in AccessAbilities Expo, said: "Providing jobs to the disabled is important to integrate and maximize their contribution in our society. This not only provides them with gainful employment but also helps them feel accepted and their contribution acknowledged."
In addition to providing jobs, there is also a need to generate more awareness, acceptance and provide a friendly work environment to the disabled, she added.
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