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Opinion and Editorial

KT edit: UAE is building an inclusive society

Filed on September 13, 2020


Only when we educate all our children together will we be able to raise a generation that is more responsive to the needs of the most vulnerable

A walk in the park; a ride on a metro; a catchup over coffee with a friend at a cafe. These activities may appear mundane to a majority of us, but they are challenging for people with determination. Every activity that takes place outside the comfort of their homes has to be meticulously planned. Be it education, employment, health checkup, or shopping at a mall, the spontaneity in their life is dependent on urban planning, social support, and responsiveness of the society in general. 

The UAE has been taking seminal steps to make life convenient for all. There are dedicated car parkings at malls and open public areas. The urban infrastructure is being retrofitted or built afresh to ensure easier mobility for people of determination. Most elevators and all Metro stations come with Braille buttons and walkways. Yet, there is much more that needs to be done. The strategies announced by the Abu Dhabi government on Saturday and a national strategy for empowering people with disabilities launched a few years ago aim to do just this. These are seminal steps that will pave the way for a truly inclusive society where opportunities beckon not only the majority but everyone who call the UAE their home.

We can ensure dignity of life and respect for all when our policies are formulated not just around the majority of us but truly include every one in the country. And a critical element of this approach is building inclusive schools. As much as we think that people of determination need special care, attention, and handholding during the initial years in life, promoting inclusive schools, ensuring all our children learn together would do more good to us as a nation. 

Only when we educate all our children together will we be able to raise a generation that is more sensitive and responsive to the needs of the most vulnerable, which includes people of determination. The recent strategies re-affirm the country's commitment to inclusion, equality, and empowerment of all members of the UAE society. The eight priority areas of the Abu Dhabi government cover a gamut of aspects, including health and social care; education and learning support; employment opportunities; inclusive and prepared communities; streamlined governance; quality service; data, research and innovation; sustainable financing. It's all for one, and one for all in the UAE.  


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