“Each student focuses on a country of their choosing—excluding the U.S or one covered extensively in class. I encourage you to discuss your country choices with the instructor before making your final selection. This project is a culmination of each topic covered in class from the perspective of the specific country selected. Students are required to compare what they learned about disability culture in the United States to the country they researched. More detailed information will be available on CANVAS detailing specific project requirements.”
First of all, my class is about Disability Culture. Above is the topic, my country is the United Arab Emirates, so please write about it. Also, I’ve included a file that has the all the criteria of the paper. Please write according to the criteria and I need it to be in order, meaning that the First criteria is “Disability statistics”, this would be the first paragraph, next would be geographical make up of county”, and so on.
So the order would be as follows,
1st paragraph, Disability statistics
2nd paragraph Geographical make up of county
3rd paragraph, religion (which is Islam in my country)
4th paragraph, Economy
5th paragraph, UNCRPWD
6th paragraph, Laws/policies impacting disability
7th paragraph, Education for PWD (PWD stand for People with Disability)
8th paragraph, Employment for PDW
9th paragraph, How disability is viewed in your country
10th paragraph, Institutionalization of PDW
11th paragraph, Healthcare
12th paragraph, Other interesting information
As I said again, they should be in order, this is a total of 12 paragraphs excluding the introduction which should be first. So with the introduction it’s 13 paragraphs.
Also, each paragraph should be around 100 words more or less, each paragraph should cover everything in the criteria for it, so if it asks for examples, an example should be provided, or if it asks for a “why/why not” it needs to be answered and so on.
The concept of disability culture is prominent in every country; it reflects differences in the lifestyle of many residents according to the disabilities they face. Since considerable populations of individuals are living with disabilities globally, countries need to ensure that they support persons with disabilities (PWDs) to enhance their life and ensure that they become productive members in the society. Various aspects such as education and employment are important in evaluating the standards for PWDs in any given country. While many challenges are prevalent in every nation, specificallyin the United Arab Emirates (UAE), PWDs face various issues despite significant assistance from the country’s administration and religion.
The rate of disability reflects the number of old people and ones with chronic health conditions. It is estimated that the UAE has 19,151 persons living with disabilities (PWDs) (Haza, 2019). According to Haza (2019), 784 of these people have lost their vision, 5,510 have physical disabilities, while 6,227 are intellectually disabled. Furthermore, 2,063 have hearing impairments and 2,232 having multiple disabilities (Haza, 2019). Therefore, the nation has a significant number of disabled people.
The Geographical Make-Up of the Country
The UAE is a nation in the Middle East region of Asia. It is surrounded by both the Persian Gulf and Arabian Sea and shares a land border with Saudi Arabia and Oman (UAE, 2020). The nation is a federation consisting of 7 emirates, with Abu Dhabi serving as the nation’s capital. About 88 percent of the population lives in urban areas, where services for PWDs are provided (BBC, 2019). A majority of the people live along the coastal areas in urban settlements even though most of the country is desert. This means that it is easy for the majority of the people to access disability services that are mainly concentrated in urban areas. It would have otherwise been difficult to access these services if most of the people lived in the desert which has problems with accessibility. Therefore, the geographical and population settlement patterns in the UAE make it easy for PWDs to access essential services.
The UAE is a Muslim-majority nation. Estimates show that about three-fifths of the country’s population follow the Islam religion with about 80 percent of them being Sunni Muslims, while the Shi’ites are the minority (UAE, 2020). However, other religions such as Christianity and Hinduism are also practiced, mainly by the nation’s sizeable expatriate population. Islam is the most consequential religion and serves as the basis for several aspects in the country, such as culture, way of dressing, lifestyle, and political system. The faith calls for love and advocates for support for those with limitations as well as compassion for all (UAE, 2020). Therefore, doctrines derived from the beliefs influence the way people in the UAE view PWDs. The country does not view the disabled citizen based on the moral model. Following Islam, the country takes such tragedies as a test from God, and handle such people with love. The country supports PWD and name them as “people with determination”; this is to remind them of their capabilities and that they are indifferent from other citizens.
The UAE has transformed from small dessert based business principles to a modern state of advance economy. The country has the world’s seventh-largest oil reserves, which have supported its economic growth over the time (UAE, 2020). Apart from oil, the country also has a strong non-oil sector with industries, such as construction and tourism, which support the country’s economy. The production of oil in the country is mainly carried out in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, while Dubai has focused on financial and business services to power its growth. From the its Arabian tradition, the country makes business through the vast availability of different forms of dates in the land. Moreover, fishing is still a significant economic activity although no longer the main commercial venture (UAE, 2020). The country also practices agriculture to a small extent; hence, it has to rely on the importation of most of its food-related needs. The majority of the country’s imports include food, chemicals and machinery, while the major exports include oil, gas, fish and dates. Therefore, the economy is expanded significantly to include several industries. While the country has gown its economy over the years, PWDs remain marginalized with regard to participation in the economy. They not only face barriers in accessing educational and employment opportunities but also when intending to start own businesses to self- sustain (Camulli & Xie, 2019). According to Camulli & Xie, (2019), societal perceptions of PWDs, especially those with intellectual disabilities make it even harder for these people to participate in the economy. Further, structural barriers continue to disadvantage PWDs and limit their ability to take part in gainful economic activity. Ultimately, the UAE needs to do more to ensure participation of PWDs in the economy.
Disability is a significant international issue that requires a global effort. The UAE is a signatory of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPWD). The nations signed the Convention on 8th February 2008 and ratified it on 19th March 2010 (United Nations (UN), 2019). The Convention spells out the rights of PWDs aimed at promoting their dignity. Some of the discussed rights for the PWDs include respect for individual autonomy and inherent dignity of all, non-discrimination between PWDs and other people, participation in the society, accessibility to services, and equal opportunities for all (UN, 2019). As a member of the UN convention on the rights of the PWDs, the UAE commits to uphold their rights and ensure that they are free from any form of discrimination. The country supports PWDs by providing separate channels for them to reach the authorities. The additional channels in the websites such as Ministry of Community Developemnt, Ministry of Human Resources and Emiratisation etc. provide videos of animated characters using sign language; the disabled people can also record videos to submit their queries (UAE, 2020). In addition, other organizations such as transport authorities provide special videos for people with hearing availabilities to view all the services of public transport in the city.
Laws/Policies Impacting Disability
The UAE has policies and regulations that impact disability, such as UNCRPWD. It also has a policy that offers free medical care for PWDs (UAE, 2020). Furthermore, the government has formulated a policy that ensures all state installations cater to the needs of PWDs (Haza, 2019). Perhaps the most consequential policy by the UAE authorities is the Cabinet Resolution No.43 of 2018 that aligned UAE laws with the International Labor Organization (ILO) (Camulli & Xie, 2019). According to Camulli and Xie, (2019), the legislation affirms the commitment of the UAE government to ensure the full participation of PWDs in the employment. Therefore, the nation has a supportive framework for disability.
Education for PWD
Education access for PWDs in the UAE is not always easy as they face several challenges. Pupils with disabilities do not receive adequate access to educational opportunities, especially vocational training (Haza, 2019). Receiving education would help the PWDs to gain vital skills they can use to pursue employment after their studies. In February 2019, the government issued guidelines for the implementation of inclusive education through the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA). The decision moved the UAE a step closer towards providing appropriate educational opportunities for PWDs. Moreover, Dubai took an initiative of “My community, a City for Everyone” in 2020, which aims to make Dubai Disability-friendly (UAE, 2020). It provides standards of educational practices and offers guidance on providing quality services for the disabled students. The framework is applied on all the educational centers in Dubai and involves childhood, primary, secondary and higher education services.
Employment for PWD
PWDs in the UAE face challenges when accessing employment opportunities. Estimates show that more than 90% of the people in this group are unemployed (Haza, 2019). This indicates it is quite challengingfor a disabled person in the UAE to secure employment. Those seeking jobs face an additional challenge of low wage, which may not suffice to cover the expenses that the PWDs incur. Therefore, the UAE provides monthly assistance for the disabled people as per the existing the law. Consequently, it is important to raise awareness and carry out sensitization about hiring disabled persons by using a host of initiatives, such as employer incentives for those who hire people living with disabilities. In addition, it is prudent to have a pre-employment phase to prepare PWDs for possible employment. Such a program can sharpen the PWDs’ vocational skills and make it easier for them to find work. The Center for Rehabilitation and Employment of people with special needs is a part of the interior ministry which aims at providing training for the disabled people and offer them appropriate job apportunities.
The Perception of Disability in the Country
The way that society views people with disability is critical. In the UAE, the population’s perspective of PWDs and disability is still wanting. While progress has been made over the years, a significant number of people still have poor attitudes towards the disabled and do not accept them as equal individuals. One significant issue that remains is the commitment of crimes against PWDs. In today’s era of rapid technological advancements, PWDs face cyberbullying through online channels. Apart from that, there remains concern with the use of derogatory language that has no place in the country since the adoption of the UNCRPWD (Camulli & Xie, 2019).
There are plenty of media stories on people of determination on the UAE. A search of media stories reveals that the media is keen on telling the the positive stories of people of determination. A video by the Khaleej Times, (2017) titled ‘We will never give up’ paints a positive story of PWDs in the UAE as it tells a story of a man who was born with physical disability but has gone on to live a full life including getting married and engaging in gaiful economic activity. Therefore, that shows the media as portraying PWDs in positive light.
It is important for the real story of PWDs to be told. The story of PWDs in the UAE is of people who are determined to succeed in the face of significant challenges. Haza, (2019a) highlights the story of a café owner with down syndrome who refused to let her disability stop her from achieving her dream. Nereim, (2015) on the other hand tells the story of how disabled women in the UAE struggle to get married and point out that 64 % of the women face difficulties finding marriage partners. Ultimately, this demonstrates the two sides of the story of persons of determination in the UAE.
Institutionalization of PWD
Just like any other country, the UAE is making efforts to offer an easy life for the PWDs. The UAE provides safe and affordable transport facilities for the disabled people. Abu Dhabi strives to offer minor services that can ease the daily activities such as special enterances to buildings, footpaths, parking spaces that are friendly to PWDs. Moreover, the city has permitted the PWDs to park in public spaces and has offered them free bus transportation facilities (UAE, 2020). Additionally, Dubai has established special taxi cabs that are equipped with specialized wheelchairs and artificial respiratory systems and are meant to work 24 hours to meet the needs of the PWDs at any time. Furthermore, the Ministry of Community Developemnt has launched an initiative to enage the PWDs with the society.
The ministry issues an Atheer Card to the disabled people for them to integrate into a variety of privileges and services, such as being exempt from transportation fees and offered discounts on mobile data services. The society also needs to provide such individuals with additional opportunities to participate in social activities, such as sports, so that they feel part of the society (UAE, 2020). Ultimately, the government and other non-state actors should work harder to achieve equality for PWDs.
As it is evident from the analysis, healthcare is a right that each person deserves to access. In the UAE, the Ministry of Health and Prevention grants PWDs a special medical card that they can use to access free care (Camulli & Xie, 2019). The initiative is a bold step to ensure that PWDs can access the care that they need. According to Camulli and Xie, (2019), some of the disabled persons have special health conditions that may be expensive to treat. Furthermore, Zayed Higher Organization for People of Determination (ZHO) provides evaluation services for the psychological and mental health of the disabled people and assesses the disability level of the patients (UAE, 2019). In addition Abu Dhabi offers a great service for the PWDs in which they can seek emergency medical assistance via sending a message to a special number. Therefore, the UAE performs well by ensuring access to care for PWDs.
The Legacy of the Special Olympics
The Special Olympics that were held in Abu Dhabi in March 2019 left a lasting impact on PWDs in the UAE. The event showcased disabled persons in a different light and also included legacy initiatives to improve their lives (Haza, 2019). According to Haza (2019), the Special Olympics further highlighted the problems that the PWDs face and helped direct attention to the plight of this group and included initiatives aimed at making their lives better. Overall, the legacy of the PWDs will last for years to come.
BBC. (2019). United Arab Emirates profile. Retrieved from https://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-14703998.
Camulli, J., & Xie, G. (2019). The employment continuum: A framework for hiring people with disabilities in Dubai, UAE. Asian Journal of Interdisciplinary Research, 2(3), 56-75. https://doi.org/10.34256/ajir1936
Haza, R. (2019). 93 per cent of disabled Emiratis are unemployed, says minister. The National. Retrieved from https://www.thenational.ae/uae/93-per-cent-of-disabled-emiratis-are-unemployed-says-minister-1.837508.
Haza, R., (2019a). Meet the smiling cafe owner who refused to let disability put her dreams on ice. The National. Retrieved from https://www.thenational.ae/uae/meet-the-smiling-cafe-owner-who-refused-to-let-disability-put-her-dreams-on-ice-1.928476
Khaleej Times. (2017, December 1) We will never give up’: People of determination thank the UAE on 46th National Day [Video File]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sIyLueaeXb4
Nereim, V., 2015. Study highlights problems facing disabled Emirati women. The National. Retrieved from https://www.thenational.ae/uae/study-highlights-problems-facing-disabled-emirati-women-1.588237
UAE. (2020). The national policy for empowering people of determination. Retrieved from https://u.ae/en/about-the-uae/strategies-initiatives-and-awards/federal-governments-strategies-and-plans/the-national-policy-for-empowering-people-with-special-needs
UAE. (2020). People of determination (special needs). Retrieved from https://u.ae/en/information-and-services/social-affairs/special-needs
UAE. (2019). Health of people of determination. Retrieved from https://u.ae/en/information-and-services/health-and-fitness/health-of-vulnerable-groups/specialneedshealth
United Nations. (2019). Convention on the rights of persons with disabilities and optional protocol. Retrieved from https://www.un.org/disabilities/documents/convention/convoptprot-e.pdf