MUSCAT The 12th Gulf Disability Society (GDS) Forum began here under the patronage of HH Sayyid Fatiq Bin Fahr Al Said.
The three-day forum, titled ‘Comprehensive Social Interaction in the Light of International Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities’, is being attended by disabled people, their families, those engaged in teaching and rehabilitating the disabled, academics and experts from the Sultanate. It is organised by the Ministry of Social Development in cooperation with GDS and other civil groups.
The event, held at InterContinental Muscat, will enable researchers, disabled persons, workers in government and private establishments, and society at large to discuss issues of people with disabilities, said HE Dr Yahya Bin Badr Al Ma’awali, Undersecretary at the Social Development Ministry and head of the forum’s organising committee. He said the discussions will contribute to providing basic services to the disabled and uphold their rights.
Hamoud Bin Ahmed Al Yahya’ee, Director-General of Social Care at the Ministry of Social Development and Deputy Head of the Organising Committee, said the forum aims to activate laws for integration of the disabled into society, and to examine the challenges facing them.
He said issues of the disabled and services for them have been in focus in GCC countries of late. He highlighted the Royal directive of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said to convert 23 non-governmental centres in the Sultanate into government centres with full-fledged facilities for disabled children.
Jassim Bin Mohammed Siyadi, Chairman of GDS, said GDS is holding annual forums in rotation in member states, bringing together persons with disabilities, their families, GDS members and experts. He said measures have been taken to integrate the disabled into society after the adoption of the convention on Rights of Persons with disabilities, which was ratified by most GCC countries.
Fatiq opened an exhibition showcasing services provided by organisations working for the disabled.
Working papers on social integration of the disabled were presented on the first day. They discussed teaching curricula for disabled students, parents’ attitudes towards social integration of the disabled, helping social integration of disabled students through public schools, and social integration of persons with disabilities in Arab and Muslim society.
The forum also aims to introduce latest technologies and programmes for integrating the disabled in society.
Oman News Agency