Services for people with special needs.
A functional society integrates all groups within it, people with special needs included. Providing an accessible infrastructure, an acceptant culture and inclusive policies emphasizes that they’re equally valued members of society, advocates disability consultant, Kholoud Al Haddad. When we’re able to do that, we obliterate the majority of the barriers they face. Jeddah is becoming more accessible for people with disabilities but information is difficult to find, so we interviewed Al Haddad and founder of Hope KSA Dr. Uzma Raheem, who provided crucial information to those with special needs and their caretakers.
Here are some tips on how to interact with people with disabilities in a manner that is not offensive.
- Behave as you would with anyone else. Don’t focus on their disability but on them as a person. This also applies to parents of children with special needs.
- Don’t ask “How did you get this? Is it something you have by birth or did you acquire it?” This immediately differentiates him from the rest, emphasizing his flaws or incompleteness. Rather, focus on his abilities.
- Don’t feel pity. Don’t look at them differently.
- If you think they need help, ask “Do you want me to help you with it?” Don’t impose or make them feel like they’re dependent.
‘Whatever the disability or disorder, there’s no human that doesn’t respond to love and to gentleness.’ Dr. Uzma Raheem
Here’s a list of organizations that provide services and assistance to those with disabilities.
1. Bayna Yadayya (بين يدي)
This app has a database of all the centers in Saudi that assist people with disabilities – those that specialize in education, rehabilitation, assessments and behavior modification.
2. Open Skies Jeddah
Horseback-riding is therapeutic and rehabilitative, tones muscles, strengthens the body, posture and balance, and improves breathing and the functionality of organs.
Their minivans are fitted with a platform lift and can accommodate 3 people in addition to the person with a disability. Their also provide transport to pilgrim sites.
4. University of Business and Technology
To support students with special needs and create an accommodating environment, they have updated their building and hired qualified staff.
Location: Sari St., Rawdah Dist.
5. Hope KSA
They provide tailored, high-quality education to children with special needs, using techniques and methods of the Applied Behavior Analysis curriculum.
Location: Abu Taqi St., Nahda Dist.
6. Taheel (تأهيل)
A mediator between service providers and users, this app provides access to activities, drivers and restaurants around their area that accommodate their special need. Available in most GCC countries.
7. Ebsar Foundation
Assisting the visually impaired, this foundation provides visual tests, assistive technology training, occupational therapy, and more.
8. The Saudi ADHD Society
They offer knowledge and skill-based training so families can help their children rise to their maximum potential. They don’t have a center in Jeddah just yet, but if you call them, they’ll guide you to a doctor who can cater to your child’s specific needs.
A program developed by Savola, Makeen offers vocational training to employees with disabilities and prepares recruitment officers to apply fair standards when hiring people with disabilities.
Location: Savola Tower, Floor 14
Tel: +966-12-268 7708
10. Dar Al Hekma
Dar Al Hekma University’s Special Education Program is the only one in the kingdom for those who want to build a career as a disability specialist.
Jeddah Municipality has announced new guidelines for the construction and design of new buildings in order to better accommodate people with disabilities.