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People with special needs; Kuwait’s greatest potential

Calls for more support to staff with special needs

KUWAIT: 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. 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.

Bringing out the best
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.S ome school administrations have almost a vague concept of what actually occurs in special needs schools, said 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, Azmi 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.

Lack of facilities
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 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 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. Legislations and laws should be catering for all proponents of society including people with special needs, said Thwaini who indicated that infrastructure and facilities throughout the country must be either upgraded or established to help disable individuals to give back to Kuwait. He added the rights of special needs individuals must be respected and not tampered with, or else great injustices would befall.

Hanadi Al-Omani

On the legal side of the matter, attorney Hanadi Al-Omani said that disabled individuals need to carry their demands to the wider public and legal authorities in Kuwait. For them to ensure their rights, people with special needs must table their demands for job opportunities and other rights, affirmed Omani who added that lawyers and activists must provide a helping hand to support disabled people during their educational, academic or career paths. Reflecting the government’s keenness on support people with special needs, top executive at the Public Authority for the Disabled Anwar Al-Ansari said that the authority launched a campaign in May to encourage the employment of people with disability.
Being with special needs did not mean an individual could not be productive, said Ansari who affirmed that the authority had succeeded in securing hundreds of job opportunities for this special sector of society. With everything put into perspective, people with special needs in Kuwait will never stop their quest for more equality due to their enormous capabilities and vast potential. – KUNA

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