Peo­ple with spe­cial needs, Kuwait’s great­est po­ten­tial News Feature by Fa­tima Al-Sal­man

Em­ploy­ees with spe­cial needs, ac­tivists ex­press de­sires to bring down all bar­ri­ers

Arab Times - - LOCAL -

KUWAIT CITY, Sept 15, (KUNA): While the so­cial per­cep­tion of peo­ple with spe­cial needs might veer to­wards sym­pa­thy and sor­row, most of said in­di­vid­u­als usu­ally shat­ter the molds of mis­con­cep­tion in the form of aca­demic, ca­reer, and ath­letic feats sur­pass­ing those

of their abled coun­ter­parts.

Sim­i­lar to their peers, peo­ple with spe­cial needs in Kuwait as­pire for greater things in life, but as much as other peo­ple; they face cer­tain ob­sta­cles in the way of achiev­ing their dreams.

Speak­ing to KUNA, a num­ber of em­ploy­ees with spe­cial needs, ac­tivists, and gov­ern­ment ex­ec­u­tives have ex­pressed their de­sires to bring down all bar­ri­ers be­tween abled and dis­abled in­di­vid­u­als for the com­mon goal of solv­ing prob­lems and de­vel­op­ing the coun­try.

Mona Al-Azmi, an Ara­bic lan­guage spe­cial needs teacher, said that her ca­reer re­quired from all ed­u­ca­tors to be fully ac­quainted with the re­quire­ments of their stu­dents to bring out the best of them.

Some school ad­min­is­tra­tions have al­most a vague con­cept of what ac­tu­ally oc­curs in spe­cial needs schools, said Al-Azmi who stressed that it was cru­cial for the min­istry to choose the right type of teach­ers for the job; oth­er­wise, the only per­son who suf­fers the con­se­quences would be the stu­dent.

Speak­ing of the fu­ture, AlAzmi in­di­cated that peo­ple with spe­cial needs lacked job op­por­tu­ni­ties that would re­lease their true po­ten­tial, af­firm­ing that it was time for so­ci­ety to give such in­di­vid­u­als their full sup­port.

Sim­i­larly, his­tory teacher Fa­had Al-Enizi said that spe­cial needs’ schools lacked ad­e­quate com­po­nents that were nec­es­sary for the ed­u­ca­tional process of dis­abled peo­ple.

When de­ci­sion-mak­ing is handed to in­di­vid­u­als with no prior ex­pe­ri­ence of the wants of peo­ple with spe­cial needs, the re­sults will nor­mally be cat­a­strophic, said Al-Enizi who called for bet­ter as­sess­ment and treat­ment of this im­por­tant and pro­duc­tive sec­tor of so­ci­ety.

Mean­while, Issa Al-Qal­laf – an em­ployee in Kuwait Univer­sity (KU) – said that his pro­fes­sion was not in align­ment with his as­pi­ra­tions and dream, but what made it worse was the lack of fa­cil­i­ties at the work­place that catered to his need as a per­son with a dis­abil­ity.

He in­di­cated that it would be very dif­fi­cult to ad­dress the needs of KU clients if the nec­es­sary equip­ment were not avail­able es­pe­cially for peo­ple with spe­cial needs.

The abil­i­ties and po­ten­tial of dis­abled in­di­vid­u­als should not be frowned upon be­cause they could sur­prise many peo­ple, af­firmed Al-Qal­laf who called for more sup­port to­wards spe­cial needs peo­ple.

On the flip­side of the coin, Cit­i­zens Ser­vice Cen­ter Em­ployee Ah­mad Al-Sarhan said that though the per­sonal road of tri­umph against the odds was long and over­whelm­ing, he man­aged to prove him­self at work.

Peo­ple with spe­cial needs have ev­ery right to at­tain im­por­tant po­si­tions if able to at­tend to du­ties ad­e­quately, said Al-Sarhan who lauded the gov­ern­ment’s keen­ness on sup­port­ing dis­abled in­di­vid­u­als.

On so­cial aware­ness re­spon­si­bil­ity, Sec­re­tary of the Kuwaiti so­ci­ety for the spe­cial needs and ac­tivists, Ali Th­waini said that it was im­por­tant to spread the word in re­gards to the re­quire­ments of peo­ple with spe­cial needs.

KUNA pho­tos

Top and above: some shots from the game be­tween the Kuwaiti and Chi­neseteams.

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