HE Dr. Bushra Al Mulla, Executive Director of the Community Development Sector at the Abu Dhabi Department of Community Development (DCD), highlighted the DCD’s ongoing commitment to providing an inclusive and enabling environment for people of determination (POD). Dr. Al Mulla reiterated that POD are a key component within Abu Dhabi’s social fabric and the UAE as a whole, as they share the same rights and duties others have, while being vital contributors to the emirate’s ongoing sustainable development.
In a media statement marking the International Day of Persons with Disabilities - observed annually on December 3 - Dr. Al Mulla stated that the UAE’s wise leadership is unwaveringly empowering POD and their integration into society. The UAE’s leadership constantly emphasizes the importance of providing high-quality full-suite services to POD within the government, private and third sectors.
The Executive Director stated that the Abu Dhabi Strategy for People of Determination - launched by the Abu Dhabi DCD around a year ago - represents an inclusive ecosystem of policies and programs that ensures empowering POD and enhancing their contributions and their indispensable role in ongoing development. It also spreads community awareness and builds a culture that believes in POD rights.
Dr. Al Mulla clarified that the strategy falls in line with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, by adopting and consolidating the social and human rights model on disability. The strategy is reflected by the representation and leadership of POD in all strategic elements and teams; as the UAE involves them in drafting plans, initiatives and policies. This empowers them and enhances their role in making decisions that directly impact their destinies and lives. These efforts go hand in hand with this year’s theme for the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, adopted by the UN: "Leadership and participation of persons with disabilities toward an inclusive, accessible and sustainable post-COVID-19 world."
Dr. Bushra Al Mulla added that realizing the strategy's vision of transforming Abu Dhabi into an inclusive and enabling society for POD demands eliminating any existing behavioral, physical and organizational obstacles within society and various sectors. That will ensure people of determination will have access to services, programs, opportunities, and rights equally and fairly. Thus, concerted efforts are imperative to providing full-suite and high-quality services to POD, and ensuring they enjoy a dignified life alongside their families in Abu Dhabi.