Abu Dhabi: Members of the Federal National Council demanded the creation an inclusive, restriction-free society for people of determination; one that empowers them, their families and guarantees their right to a dignified life.

Azza Sulaiman Bin Sulaiman, member from Dubai, said the lack of appropriate services for people of determination is a significant barrier to healthcare.

Hamad Al Rahoumi, member from Dubai, questioned the implementation of all laws and policies concerning people of determination.

“The Ministry of Community Development should represent people with special needs with all local and federal departments, so that they have access to all facilities easily,” Al Rahoumi said.

“Centres accept students with special needs until they are 18 years old. [After that] it becomes a very difficult for parents of adults with special needs to [find further avenues]. Where will they go? There are few activities available for them across the country,” Al Rahoumi said.

He demanded that a one-stop shop be set up for people with special needs to ensure they receive quality services across the country.

Hessa Buhumaid, Minister of Community Development, told the House that the UAE is rapidly advancing its support for people of determination as part of a wider effort to nurture a culture of tolerance and respect.

Her ministry is currently working on a comprehensive policy that seeks to protect those with disabilities from abuse and neglect, she said. A vital part of this would be the cooperation of local and federal authorities to prevent abuse, enable early detection and provide access to optimal rehabilitation methods for those affected.

The ministry is also helping disabled people gain access to jobs or social security and offers financial support for those struggling to gain employment.

Buhumaid added that the UAE government has also pushed for the creation of a national disabled database, currently with over 19,000 registered users, to enable people of determination to access the full spectrum of dedicated services and exercise their rights.

The FNC’s Social, Labour, Population and Human Resources Committee has discussed its report on the services provided by the Ministry of Community Development for people of determination based on the three pillars of legislation, policy and role (of Ministry of Community Development) in reinforcing their role in public and private sector labour markets.

The ministry launched three strategic objectives to implement the UAE Cabinet Resolution No 43 of 2018 in August, which ensures people of determination equal access to the labour market in various sectors.

The UAE has a Disability Act, which became federal law in 2006 and protects the rights of people with disabilities. They are also signatories to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

By 2020, Dubai is set to be fully disability-friendly from access to employment opportunities.