Abu Dhabi: The Abu Dhabi Department of Community Development (ADDCD) which oversees the implementation of the Abu Dhabi Strategy for People of Determination 2020-2024 along with strategic partners, held the second quarter meeting of 2022 for the leaders of the Strategy pillars. The meeting, which was chaired by HE Dr. Layla Alhyas, Executive Director of the Community Development Sector at DCD, and attended by executive representatives of 13 concerned entities, discussed the progress made in the implementation of the strategy and action plans, as well as the expected outcomes for the remaining period of 2022.
The meeting was held at Al Karamah Training Institute affiliated with the Department of Education and Knowledge in Abu Dhabi. The institute is designed to empower Students of Determination – specifically those with Autism who are aged 15 and above – with future pathways for independent living and employment opportunities by providing them with series of vocational workshops designed to foster a hands-on practical approach to learning experiences in key industries linked to the UAE’s future.
The meeting purposefully took place at AlKaramah Training institute to highlight the efforts of concerned entities in Abu Dhabi in advancing and accelerating the implementation of the Abu Dhabi Strategy for People of Determination but also to emphasize the people of determination's right and potential to access the labor market and effectively contribute to social and economic life when inclusive programs, arrangements, and practices are available.
The Abu Dhabi Strategy for People of Determination includes 24 strategic initiatives that cover six main pillars, including education, employment, social care, universal access, health and rehabilitation, and enablers. It aims to make the Emirate of Abu Dhabi an inclusive, and empowering city promoting the rights of people of determination, in cooperation with partners from the government, private, and third sectors.
During the meeting, HE Dr. Layla Alhyas praised the efforts of the task forces implementing the strategy's initiatives as they reflect the level of communication and integration to achieve the main goal of empowering people of determination and including them into society. She stressed that concerned entities' ongoing efforts based on clear plans and specific outcomes will have a positive impact on the lives of people of determination and their families. Dr. Alhyas added that the strategy is part of the vision of the wise leadership in support of people of determination and in line with the social sector agenda to provide a decent life for all members of society.
During the meeting, the strategy’s six pillars discussed the main outcomes and progress achieved during the last period of as well as the main challenges facing entities during the implementation of initiatives and the appropriate solutions. The enablers task force, led by the Department of Community Development (DCD), shed the light on the progress of key initiatives – such as the establishment of an integrated system of care for people of determination and their families in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, training and capacity building on inclusive practices, and the implementation of the integrated system for the governance and evaluation of programs for people of determination in various government sectors, and the social protection scheme
The social care task force, led by the Zayed Higher Organization for People of Determination, reviewed key initiatives in the strategy, namely, the last phase of the alignment of the local classification system of disabilities with the Unified National Classification of Disabilities in the UAE, the targeted community awareness campaign based on the right-based view of disability, the support scheme for people of determination’s families and caregivers, and service officer for people of determination.
The universal access task force, led by the Department of Municipalities and Transport, and with the participation of the Department of Culture and Tourism, Abu Dhabi Digital Authority, Abu Dhabi Housing Authority, Abu Dhabi Sports Council, Abu Dhabi Airports and Abu Dhabi Ports , discussed the progress of implementing the initiatives, most notably the “universal access to build environment and transportation services” , “ universal access to housing” , “universal access to electronic and smart systems, services, and information” , “universal access to inclusive sports programs” , “universal access to inclusive cultural and touristic programs” , “inclusive air travel experience”, and “inclusive marine travel experience”.
The health and rehabilitation task force, led by the Department of Health - Abu Dhabi and the Early Childhood Authority, discussed the main achievements and challenges of the initiatives that fall under its umbrella, namely, developing a unified, comprehensive, and integrated assessment framework for people of determination, the integrate early childhood intervention program, and the assistive technologies program.
The education task force led by the Department of Education and Knowledge, reviewed the progress of the plans to implement the inclusive education model initiative in the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, which includes the launch and implementation of the inclusive education policy and framework.
Finally, the employment task force, led by Abu Dhabi Human Resources Authority, confirmed that the Inclusive Employment Policy initiative for people of determination is in the process of approval. The team presented the achievements and work plans of a number of projects that have been activated within the Inclusive Employment Program initiative, including a project to establish and apply the occupational classification for people of determination, a project to establish an employment registry for people of determination in the Abu Dhabi government, an electronic system for job matching and nomination, and a project to develop a guide for Abu Dhabi Government entities on the employment process of People of Determination
The meeting was concluded with an appreciation of the integrated efforts of all parties and a general discussion on ways to efficiently address anticipated challenges for the implementation of the Strategy in the upcoming phase to ensure a meaningful and sustained impact. In the presence of, Department of Health, Department of Education and Knowledge, AbuDhabi Early Childhood Authority, Zayed Higher Organization for People of Determination, Department of Municipalities and Transport, Department of Culture and Tourism, Abu Dhabi Sports Council, Abu Dhabi Digital Authority, Abu Dhabi Airports, Abu Dhabi Housing Authority, Abu Dhabi Ports, Human Resources Authority.
About the Department of Community Development
The Department of Community Development in Abu Dhabi (DCD) was established in 2018 to govern the social and community-development sector through a set of policies, strategies, systems, and standards. The Department aims to improve the quality of life in the emirate and provide a dignified life for all, through high-quality, impactful, and efficient services. One of DCD’s priorities is to raise awareness about social issues pertinent to Abu Dhabi and its people and find innovative solutions.
There are 4 main entities under the umbrella of DCD, namely: Abu Dhabi Social Support Authority (ADSSA), Authority of Social Contribution - (Ma'an), Abu Dhabi Centre for Sheltering, and Humanitarian Care - (Ewa'a), and Family Care Authority (FCA). The department also collaborates with 6 partners in the community development sector in Abu Dhabi to achieve the desired goals. These entities include Zayed Higher Organisation for People of Determination (ZHO), Abu Dhabi Sports Council (ADSC), Family Development Foundation (FDF), The Social Care and Minors Affairs Foundation (SCMAF), Abu Dhabi Housing Authority (ADHA), and Abu Dhabi Early Childhood Authority (ECA).