Agreement signed on holding scientific congress for the disabled

DUBAI - The Scientific Congress, which will be part of the Dubai International Rehabilitation Forum to be held from January 4 to 6, 2004, will be managed by Zayed University's Centre for Family and Community Research and Development at the College of Family Sciences.

A cooperation agreement to this effect between the university and each of the Dubai Handicapped Club (DHC) and the Dubai Department of Health and Medical Services (Dohms), was signed yesterday at the university's Dubai campus.

The congress and forum will be held under the patronage of Shaikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and UAE Minister of Finance and Industry. The Congress aims at promoting the inclusion, participation and contribution of people with disabilities in society.

Dr Adnan Julfar, Director of the Primary Health Care Department at the Dohms, represented the department at the signing ceremony and said that the lack of scientific research in the Arab world is often a hindrance to progress and development. He added that research will soon be the main track for development at the Dohms, adding that Zayed University will be a focus of every academic step the Dohms takes.

Thani Juma Berregad, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the DHC, said that when the DHC was launched one of its tools was sports with which it sought to focus attention on the handicapped in society and increase public awareness of their needs.

He said from a humble begining in 1989, the club had grown through the efforts of its members who had won many gold, silver and bronze medals through their participation in sports events. Dr Deborah Wooldridge, Dean, College of Family Sciences, signed the agreement along with Mr Berregad and Dr Julfar. Dr Wooldridge said the university will manage the scientific congress, convene and organise the scientific committee under the chairmanship of Professor Errol Cocks, in addition to some committee members.

The forum will discuss, among other issues, the development of a strong knowledge base for effective policies and practices and the structures and policies that must be in place in the UAE to promote the inclusion and participation of people with disabilities, as well as access to effective education for the disabled.

The university will arrange the content and structure of the scientific congress and the workshops associated with the congress as well as ensure participation of eminent speakers. The university will liaise with the contributors to the scientific congress and develop the necessary documentation and forms required to support the scientific congress in addition to maintaining a data base of contributors and their papers as well as editing abstracts.

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